Thursday, January 26, 2017

A Certain Age by Beatriz Williams - #review


• Hardcover: 336 pages
• Publisher: William Morrow (June 28, 2016)

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.

GoodReads * HarperCollins * Amazon * Barnes & Noble

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MY REVIEW

First of all, this is one GORGEOUS book!  The cover has this pearlescent sheen to it that is just lovely.

A Certain Age is like "Desperate Housewives" set in 1920's New York society.  Theresa and her husband, Sylvester have an 'open marriage' - he has a mistress, with whom he has a child; she has a 'boy toy' (he's actually called Boy throughout the book) that is about the age of her sons.  Theresa's brother, Ox, is in love with Sophie, a young lady whose family has considerable wealth due to her father's inventions.  Theresa gets Boy to deliver the heirloom engagement ring to Sophie.  When Sophie says, "Yes," is she responding to Ox?  Only time, and reading, will tell.

And that is just the surface layer of this rich story.  Ms Williams gives her readers a sensuous delight ... you can see, hear, feel, smell and even taste "The Big Apple".  I enjoyed it so much, I might just have to be a flapper for Halloween this year!

The story is told from alternating points of view: Theresa's, Sophie's, and I think Boy's - which I think is the correct choice for this tale.  It goes back and forth in time to visit events from the past that have impinged upon the current day.  You see, Boy was a pilot during WWI; Theresa's eldest son died at the end of the war and Sophie witnessed her mother being murdered when she was about three years old.

Oh, and there are several offerings from a "Patty Cake", who appears to be a society/gossip columnist for the New York Herald-Times and dishes up all the good dirt from society parties and murder trials alike.  These are actually quite entertaining in their own right.

There were more *ahem* adult situations of the bedroom variety than I generally care to read about, but at least there was no crass references to body parts.  So, definitely not for younger readers, but the moms and ladies of 'a certain age' (fairly huge double entendre) will love it.

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MEET 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.

Find out more about Beatriz at her website, and connect with her on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.

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Click the button above to go to the tour page, where you will find links to numerous other reviews of this title.  You can also find out how to become a blog host for future book tours while you are there!

(Disclosure:  I received a copy of this book from the author and HarperCollins via TLC Book Tours in exchange for my honest review.)

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