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A Certain Age: A Novel Hardcover – Deckle Edge, June 28, 2016
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From the Back Cover
The bestselling author of a hundred summers brings the roaring twenties brilliantly to life in an enchanting and compulsively readable tale of intrigue, romance, and scandal in New York society
As the hedonism of the Jazz Age transforms New York City, the iridescent Mrs. Theresa Marshall of Fifth Avenue and Southampton, Long Island, has done the unthinkable: she’s fallen in love with her young paramour, Captain Octavian Rofrano, an aviator and a hero of the Great War.
Though the battle-scarred Octavian is devoted to his dazzling socialite of a certain age and wants to marry her, Theresa resists. The old world is crumbling, but divorce for a woman of Theresa’s wealth and social standing remains a high-stakes affair. And there is no need: she shares a gentle understanding with Sylvo, the well-bred philanderer to whom she’s already married.
That is, until Theresa’s impecunious bachelor brother, Ox, decides to tie the knot with Miss Sophie Fortescue, the naïve young daughter of a wealthy inventor. Theresa enlists Octavian to check into the background of the reclusive Fortescue family. When Octavian meets Sophie, he falls under the spell of the charming ingénue, even as he uncovers a devastating family secret.
As a fateful triangle forms, loyalties divide and old crimes are dragged into daylight, drawing Octavian into transgression . . . and Theresa into the jaws of a bittersweet choice.
Full of the glamour, wit, and delicious twists that are the hallmarks of Beatriz Williams’s fiction, A Certain Age is a beguiling reinterpretation of Richard Strauss’s comic opera Der Rosenkavalier set against the sweeping decadence of Gatsby’s New York.
About the Author
A graduate of Stanford University with an MBA from Columbia, Beatriz Williams spent several years in New York and London hiding her early attempts at fiction, first on company laptops as a communications strategy consultant, and then as an at-home producer of small persons, before her career as a writer took off. She lives with her husband and four children near the Connecticut shore.
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Top customer reviews
Well the drought is over. This book is a fantastic read. The author is gifted and the story and characters are so perfectly put together. There is an absolute maturity to the writing--I've read some of this author's other books since reading this one and this is the best. They've all been good but each has improved over the other.. If you are on the fence about whether you want this book or not, get it. You will be pleasantly satisfied. Now if you like the very graphic sexual romance novels, this won't be the one for you. It's about love and conflict and maturing - for all of the characters.
I'm not going to go over the story because I don't actually like synopses in my reviews because I don't like to know too much about a story before I read it. I just like to know if one likes it and why. Well, I loved this book. Every sentence has a meaning and a purpose. Thus, you don't get lost in unnecessary details. The characters are people you grow to know and care about and they don't act "out of character" leaving a reader confused. They may do something unexpected but it is in keeping with what has happened and is happening in their lives at the time.
This writer will be an auto buy from me for now on. The writing seems effortless and yet I know it couldn't be - there's a logical flow to it all. I highly recommend this and it makes the other books I've read lately pale in comparison.
Note: I've seen a couple of comments about not liking the style of writing for the older female character - it's stream of consciousness and so it's a little different but I really liked it - some authors are good at it, some are not. This author did a great job.
It's the dawn of the Roaring '20s where sex (not necessarily with your spouse), drink and other shenanigans rule the day. The rules of society are changing. The plot is complex (so I won't even try to summarize it here--you can read that easily enough elsewhere), and the writing keeps up the pace in what turns from a love story/love triangle to a murder mystery (with exciting twists and turns) and then back to the love story/love triangle. Williams brilliantly captures the aura of these freewheeling times from the sordid speakeasies to the grand parties in elegant Fifth Avenue apartments that are mansion-like in size.
This is a fun, easy read--ideal for the beach or a snowstorm. This is the classic "can't-put-it-down" novel. Get it!
The writing is disjointed, the storyline weak, and a character named “Patty Cake” made this whole project insipid. Really. This one is a bomb.
The book’s cover is beautiful, so all is not lost.