Overall Rating: LIKED it! 🌟
Rules of Civility is a historical fiction novel set in 1938 New York City. I’m a sucker for time period pieces that can pull you back decades for an inside look at how the people who came before us lived their lives – Rules of Civility delivered on just that.
The story follows Katy Kontent, a 20-something women trying to make it on her own in 1930’s New York; a feat with difficulties that do not go unaddressed. Her journey is set into motion on New Years Eve of 1937 when Katy and her roommate, Eve, decide to celebrate at a jazz bar on the “wrong” side of town. It’s there that they have an unlikely encounter with Tinker Grey – an attractive and very successful man looking for his pariah brother. The encounter initiates a friendship between the three that puts them on track for a year full of excitement, deception, and even a little romance.
If this novel were set in modern time, I’d group it under contemporary fiction for the way it entangles you in Katy’s self-growth and relationships. You’ll find yourself relating to the characters, feeling yourself pulled back 90 years only to realize that life in your 20’s back then really isn’t all that different from today. The novel leaves you feeling a connection to the past that you just can’t get from photographs and I feel privileged to have shared in Katy’s journey.
Amore Towles is also the author of 2016 bestselling novel “A Gentleman in Moscow”