Rules of Civility
by Amor Towles
“In our twenties, when there is still so much time ahead of us, time that seems ample for a hundred indecisions, for a hundred visions and revisions—we draw a card, and we must decide right then and there whether to keep that card and discard the next, or discard the first card and keep the second. And before we know it, the deck has been played out and the decisions we have just made will shape our lives for decades to come.” ― Amor Towles, Rules of Civility
Even more appealing was Tinker's fascination with nature as found in the writings of Henry David Thoreau. This was emblematic of his own personal turmoil that seemed to be a complex mix of the age old nature versus nurture battle superimposed upon a larger struggle between Nature and Civilization. Implicit in all of this are the echoes of Gatsby. All the characters are beautifully drawn, the dialogue is sharp and Towles manages to avoid unnecessary sentimentality in the period pieces. The denouement of Katey's civilized life along with those of the friends she makes over the course of this one year in the late thirties makes this novel an exceptional one. I consider myself fortunate to have begun my new year of reading with such a thoughtful, literary, and evocative novel.
Rules of Civility by Amor Towles. Penguin Books, 2011