By: Amor Towles
So I’m taking a break from reading books coming to movie this year and read this book which was a quick historical fiction read with just enough substance to get you from start to finish. It takes place in the late 1930s which I have found to be a very romanticized decade when focusing on the upper class which this book does.
Quick synopsis: Young New York native Katy Kontent spends a year evolving and growing while experiencing the Jazz nightlife of New York’s well to do. Honestly that pretty much sums it up. If I tell you anymore I’ll have to put spoiler in front of it.
I enjoyed the constant wit throughout this book and I loved how modern KK was. My favorite line in the whole book came from KK herself during the dinner party hosted by Tinker and Eve.
“ Bucky dear, his wife warned, you’re slurring your words.”
“Slurring is the cursive of speech, I observed”
I actually saved it in my notes so that next time I’ve drank too much and can’t speak correctly I can fire that one off. This exchange is a prime example of the book though. Lots of gin, lots of champagne, and lots of jazz.
With the book starting in the sixties you knew that KK and Tinker were not going to get together, but I was little surprised still that he was sleeping with Anne and then abdoned his whole life to slum in the dock district. I figured he was going to die in the war like good old Wallace and that would be why they never got together. I also thought it was ridiculous that Dicky pretty much told Katy to forgive Tinker. He chose to prostitute himself out to old Anne and he chose to lie about it to K and to Evelyn, her best friend. Maybe his dad did squander all of his tuition money and maybe sleeping with Anne was his only way to get his foot in the door and yes Eve did blow him off, but how is that Kate’s issue? I don’t know why she went looking for him or why she would even give him the time of day after that. Especially since she worked hard for everything she had.
I loved reading about the parties and the lifestyle of the well to do that K would frequently brush shoulders with by chance or by meager connections. Wallace of course was a doll and him dying during the war was unfortunate, but expected. Dickey was adorable. I love that he jumped in the tub with his socks on bc he was so excited for Katy and the note he wrote to the children and flew into their window as a paper airplane.
Our bastions are under attack from all sides. Our stores of ammunition are low. Our salvation lies in your hands. Peter Pan
Adorable. I fell a little in love with Dickey that chapter.
The ending was mundane, the obsession with Washington’s rules of civility was overplayed, and someone help me but what was the last chapter even about? The two guys loading sugar onto the train. Was it just a newcomers appreciation of New York or was there something I missed?
Now after it is all said and done. I enjoyed this book. I would give it 4/5 stars and I already went and reserved my copy of this authors other book.
Feel free to share your thoughts or comments below.
Happy Reading Friends!!