Rules of Civility
Publication Date: December 2011
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Selected by Indie Booksellers for the Fall '12 Reading Group List
“This flawless debut novel follows two young women, boarding-house roommates, making their way in 1938 Manhattan. A chance meeting with an enigmatic young businessman launches the pair into areas of society heretofore closed to them, where they encounter a large cast of characters both charming and repellent. With echoes of Fitzgerald, Towles evokes effortlessly the era of pre-war Manhattan, from the workplace politics of a law office secretarial pool to the alcohol-fueled lawn party of the Long Island gin-and-horses set. This is an astonishing book!”
-- Matthew Lage, Iowa Book L.L.C., Iowa City, IA
Selected by Indie Booksellers for the August 2011 Indie Next List
Towles delivers a sophisticated and entertaining debut novel about an irresistible young woman with an uncommon sense of purpose. Elegant and captivating, "Rules of Civility" turns a Jamesian eye on how spur of the moment decisions define life for decades to come. 352 pp. 75,000 print. Buyer's Choice
Conversation Starters from ReadingGroupChoices.com
- At the outset, Rules of Civility appears to be about the interrelationship between Katey, Tinker, and Eve; but then events quickly lead Eve and Tinker off stage. Are Dicky Vanderwhile, Wallace Wolcott, Bitsy, Peaches, Hank and Anne Grandyn as essential to Katey’s “story” as Tinker and Eve? If so, what role do you think each plays in fashioning the Katey of the future?