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Condition: Used: Good
Comment: The item shows wear from consistent use, but it remains in good condition and works perfectly. All pages and cover are intact (including the dust cover, if applicable). Spine may show signs of wear. Pages may include limited notes and highlighting. May include "From the library of" labels.
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Decorum Paperback – March 31, 2015

3.9 out of 5 stars 25 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Kaaren Christopherson has had a professional career writing and editing for over 30 years and is a senior editor for an international development nonprofit organization in Washington, DC. A Michigan native, Kaaren received her BA in history and art and her MA in educational administration from Central Michigan University in Mt. Pleasant, Michigan.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 512 pages
  • Publisher: Kensington (March 31, 2015)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1617735213
  • ISBN-13: 978-1617735219
  • Product Dimensions: 5.6 x 1.2 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #701,677 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition
Decorum is an evocative portrait of late 19th-century New York City society, complete with all the glitz, privilege and of course the delicate balance of etiquette that one would expect of a novel set in this marvelous setting. With only a few pages this novel sweeps the reader into the alluring world of golden society circles of Old New York in the 1890's and introduces us to a set of characters that range from those born with silver spoons in their mouths to those on the outside looking in and finally the classic keyhole views of service. As a few more chapters pass by, the reader may soon realize that Decorum is more than a story of ornamented existences and social masks; this is a story of matters for better or for worse with a crumbling era serving only a pretty backdrop. This was probably not what the reader was expecting to hear and in Ms. Christopherson's debut, she further draws this lace curtain of comfort back and adds more events that take her multifaceted company and her readers on an unexpected journey of twisted avenues of "unpleasantness" and a possible search for something that matters and is worth more than gold.

In the end, this was an impressive read that transported this reader back to an era that I absolutely adore and can’t stop reading about. The 1881 edition of Decorum: A practical Treatise of the Etiquette and Dress of the Best American Society was a brilliant organized theme to follow and reined in everything so nicely within this story. I would have to say the beginning was my favorite and I couldn’t put it down especially when the first twists and surprises made an appearance and a veil of mystery fell over the story. If the potential reader loves a mystery, scandals and portents of misfortune; you will love the first half of Decorum.
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Format: Paperback
New York, 1890, and the glitz and glamor of the time and setting, are the backdrop for this novel about a young heiress who suddenly finds herself alone in the world. I loved how each chapter began with a rule of etiquette based upon the societal norms of the time. The story gave me a glimpse of what it would have been like to live among the wealthiest and most prominent citizens. Of course, all is not perfect, for the heroine must maneuver her way through treachery, greed, and scandal to find which of the two men in her life is her true love. I thoroughly enjoyed how the characters interacted, and how authentic they felt to me. Lots of wonderfully rich descriptions of places and gowns really brought the era to life. There were an awful lot of characters and this always causes me to struggle a bit to recall them all. At times, I had to flip back through the pages because some scenes did not make sense, and I wish it had been edited a little more to ensure clarity. I definitely recommend this book to anyone who enjoys New York in the Gilded Age. A good historical read!
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Format: Paperback
CHARACTER SUMMARY:

Francesca is pretty ordinary. Of the three main females, Fran, Nell, and Blanche, she was my least favorite. She’s twenty-eight, blonde, and lives with a slightly older married couple in New York. She’s still grieving the loss of her parents and brother, who died in a boating accident.

Edmund Tracey is an auburn-haired, blue-eyed man in his early thirties who’s been after Fran’s money for five years. They plan to marry. He’s a very violent man and his dark secrets come out.

Nell Ryder is a married woman in her early thirties who he’s having an affair with. She supports him financially. Unfortunately she gets to see firsthand his violent temper, as does Francesca.

Blanche Alvarado is a black-haired, brown-eyed widow. Not only does she have a sexual relationship with Edmund, but she has one with Connor O’Casey as well.

Connor O’Casey is an Irish immigrant in his early forties who’s made his fortune in mining. He takes a liking to Francesca and peruses her.

MY THOUGHTS:

Those are the five main characters. I like bad, evil characters who are up to no good so I really liked Edmund, Nell, and Blanche too, to an extent. I think the Edmund/Nell storyline could have gone on much longer than it did, possibly till the very end of the story. It was the most interesting part of the entire novel but it ended too abruptly for my liking.

Francesca was terribly dull to read about and I didn’t care much at all about Connor. I don’t see where his attraction to Francesca came from nor do I understand why he wants to marry her so badly and laid out all the reasons she should marry him. I never felt she was attracted to him. They’re an odd paring, in my opinion.
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Format: Paperback
So, I feel like I have a lot to say about this book, mainly good things.
To begin with, the writer is very talented. The book is beautifully written and I appreciated the range in all the different characters. There's the mysterious Nell, the deplorable Edmund, the blase Francesca, the excitable Vinnie, the charmingly gruff Connor, etc. I did not notice hardly any typos or mistakes, so the editing was also well done.
The book, frankly, was a lot more interesting than I thought it would be. I love a good historical fiction, which is why I decided to read this book, but the summary on the inside flap wasn't particularly enthralling - it seemed like it could easily be a dull, stuffy plot, which it certainly wasn't it. Don't let the overview make you think you won't like this book, because there's a good chance you will if you're interested in the Victorian era.
What I really liked about this book is the fact that people, when learning news that could ruin their reputation or news that could hurt someone else, actually TOLD other people. I hate in books when someone hides something important instead of just letting it out and then that is the driving force of the plot - in this book, there was an actual plot not created by hard-to-believe lies and secrets.
However, there were also some negative aspects of the novel.
Some moments, particularly at the end when certain characters travel to Canada, became pretty boring. Sometimes I skimmed entire chapters (which are quite short) instead of fully reading them because it was just dull. Most characters are likable, but they can seem pretty one dimensional. For example, Edmund is the bad guy and that's ALL he is - he has no redeeming qualities. He's selfish and mean and greedy and that's it.
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