When my friend Laurie recommended Amor Towles’s novel, I’d said, “Yeah, yeah. I heard it was good and I’ll get around to it.” I don’t know why I didn’t jump into the book right after she’d touted it so highly. The reviews had been exceptional but I was busy scoping out “Fifty Shades of Grey” to see what the fuss was about. (I shouldn’t have bothered. What a bore.)
Finally, I downloaded “Rules” on my Kindle and started reading. The beginning was slow. I wasn’t sure I’d like the book after all. And then boom – the prologue was over and the author plunged me right into the heart of the story of a smart, pretty, wise-beyond-her-years women named Katey Kontent in 1938 New York City. I became enthralled with her life, with her best friend Evey, with the man they both befriended, Tinker Grey, and all the characters who came after.
The book is such a compelling read. New York back then was a place of glamor and jazz and beautiful clothes, as well as of Depression era poverty and war. Katey, who narrates the story, has such a strong voice that I was utterly drawn in by her changes in fortune. When she loved, I loved. When she hurt, I hurt. I was rooting for her in a way I haven’t felt about a heroine in a very long time.
And to think she was created by a male author. Amazing. Towles’s writing is so beautiful at times it makes you ache with longing. Obviously, I didn’t want the book to end and kept hoping that it would magically go on forever.
But alas, I finished it this morning and I’m in mourning. I didn’t like the ending – not because it didn’t feel right or appropriate but because I’m a romantic sap and I wanted….Well, never mind. No spoilers here.
Since there’s a huge void in my reading life at the moment, I’m in the market for a new book. But it won’t be easy to find one that transports me the way “Rules” did. Sigh.