{Thirteen in 2013} The Rules of Civility

To meet my Thirteen in 2013 goal for March, I read The Rules of Civility by Amor Towles.  It opens with the narrator attending a gala in the 1960s and flashes back to tell the story of her life as a young woman living in New York City in the 1930s.  Because of the flashback format, you have a general sense of what is going to happen from the beginning, but the book was not in any way less enjoyable because of it.  Towles paints a vivid picture of the duality of New York in the 1930s- the glamorous jet-set living near Central Park and the realities of life as a first-generation American living in bed-sits and cramped little apartments.
The book is about Katey Kontent, the daughter of a Russian immigrant, and the way she straddles these two worlds.  The novel was so well written, and it was easy to get wrapped up in the story of Katey, her roommate Eve, and the man they meet, Tinker Grey.  It was such a compelling story, I had to keep reminding myself that the author had basically already told us what was going to happen.  The plot twists to get there, though, were truly surprising, in the best possible way.  I love a book that defies expectations, and The Rules of Civility definitely did that for me.
Also, just as a side note, if I had a pen name, I would want it to be as glamorous as the name Amor Towles. 
Have you read The Rules of Civility? What did you think?

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