Friday, July 15, 2016

Rules of Civility by Amore Towles

In the late 1930s, New York City could be an exciting or desperate place to live, depending on your income and background. Katey Kontent, daughter of a Russian immigrant, and Eve Ross, a Midwestern transplant, were in the desperate group. But they were enterprising young women and knew how to stretch their limited resources: by sharing a room at a boarding house, sharing wardrobes, sneaking into movie theaters and stretching three dollars at a jazz club on Saturday night. When they met Tinker Grey, a handsome young banker with classy clothes and an apartment in the high rent district, they were able to expand their social life to include many well-to-do young people and fancier establishments. Unfortunately, an automobile accident disrupted their lives and their outlook on life changed. Eve, badly injured, eventually went her own way. Tinker, feeling guilty, came and went in Katey's life. But Katey, smart, capable and sensible, succeeded on her own, finding better jobs and expanding her circle of friends and acquaintances. Rules of Civility by Amor Towles paints an intriguing picture of depression-era New York City and its residents of all social classes.