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Tuesday, 14 March 2023

Rules of Civility: The higher-than-expected price of appearances


Amor Towles’ Rules of Civility takes us through the glitzy life of 1930s New York through the eyes of Katey Kontent, a hard-working, middle-class young woman whose life changes after a chance encounter on new year’s eve with charming Tinker Grey. From working long hours to make ends meet, Katey is transported thanks to her new friends to the city’s finest restaurants, lavish parties, and posh estates. But a ghost looms over it all: The recession, having supposedly dissipated over a decade ago, still casts its long shadow if you look closely enough. Despite the silver cigarette boxes, the private chefs preparing luxurious dinner parties, and the eccentric apartments filled with art, Katey discovers to her great despair that sometimes the price of appearances can be higher than she ever thought. With empathy and understanding, the author shows us the truth of the characters whose flaws continue to charm.

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