Rules of Civility by Amor Towles
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
This is a rare novel that sucks you right in and never lets you go. Set in 1938 Manhattan, it eases us through a handful of lighthearted or otherwise fairly steady characters as they develop -- or destroy -- their relationships.
Sounds about usual, no?
But here's where the novel takes off: the writing.
There's an enormous amount of worldbuilding and depth of character and while there is never much emphasis on huge things going to hell, the other emphasis on simply living their lives takes the center stage.
Chance encounters usually aren't. New York City is volatile and gives way to meteoric success and many failures. But relationships? These are golden and complicated and strange. :)
And just look at the title. It really spells it all out. What is Chivalry? What is Civility? What are these strange rules of living?
Honestly, I think it adds such a sweet and wonderful layer to the whole novel. It's easy to read it on multiple levels, but there is absolutely no compunction to do so. :)
Even though this isn't particularly my kind of usual reading, I found I could keep reading this forever.
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