Near the close of the summer a book hit the shelves that had all the literary critics crossing their eyes they were so excited. The book was Rules of Civility written by Amor Towles, first-time novelist and principal at a Manhattan investment firm (sounds scripted, eh?), was immediately hailed as a “love letter to New York in the 30s” and compared to the works of F. Scott Fitzgerald.
It’s a novel about exactly what you’d expect you to be about with a setting like 1930s New York. Flashy, society climbing twenty-somethings carving out their existence in The City. Katey Kontent narrates in a voice that is fascinatingly modern. She’s the daughter of Russian immigrants living in a boarding house when we meet her. Her roommate, Eve, is from the MidWest. Together they race around Manhattan having a grand ol’ time.
New Year’s Eve 1937 finds them in a seedy Jazz Club drinking their way through their last 15 cents when Tinker Grey wanders in reeking of wealth and prestige. The girls instantly latch on to him and promise to show him a wonderful time.