Title: A Certain Age
Author: Beatriz Williams
Date finished: 4/3/16
Genre: Historical fiction
Publisher: William Morrow
Publication Date: June 28, 2016
Pages in book: 324
Stand alone or series: Stand alone
Where I got the book from: BookBrowse NOTE: I received this book for free from BookBrowse in exchange for an honest review. This in no way affected my opinion of the book, or the content of my review.
Blurb from the cover:
The bestselling author of A Hundred Summers brings the Roaring Twenties brilliantly to life in this enchanting and compulsively readable tale of intrigue, romance, and scandal in New York Society, brimming with lush atmosphere, striking characters, and irresistible charm.
As the freedom 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, a handsome aviator and hero of the Great War. An intense and deeply honorable man, Octavian is devoted to the beautiful socialite of a certain age and wants to marry her. While times are changing and she does adore the Boy, divorce for a woman of Theresa’s wealth and social standing is out of the question, and there is no need; she has an understanding with Sylvo, her generous and well-respected philanderer husband.
But their relationship subtly shifts when her bachelor brother, Ox, decides to tie the knot with the sweet younger daughter of a newly wealthy inventor. Engaging a longstanding family tradition, Theresa enlists the Boy to act as her brother’s cavalier, presenting the family’s diamond rose ring to Ox’s intended, Miss Sophie Fortescue—and to check into the background of the little-known Fortescue family. When Octavian meets Sophie, he falls under the spell of the pretty ingénue, even as he uncovers a shocking family secret. As the love triangle of Theresa, Octavian, and Sophie progresses, it transforms into a saga of divided loyalties, dangerous revelations, and surprising twists that will lead to a shocking transgression . . . and eventually force Theresa to make a bittersweet choice.
Full of the glamour, wit and delicious twists that are the hallmarks of Beatriz Williams’ fiction and alternating between Sophie’s spirited voice and Theresa’s vibrant timbre, 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.
My rating: 4.0 stars out of a scale of 5
My review: I was provided a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest and fair review. I read a few of Beatriz Williams’ other books last year (Along the Infinite Sea and Tiny Little Thing) and I just loved them so when I saw that her new book was available on Book Browse I hoped that I would be selected to receive a copy, and my prayers were answered! First I have to say that I just love the cover of this book, its glitz and glamour and it really calls out to readers. The girl on the cover I think is Sophie, she is described at one of the parties in the books wearing a dress similar to the one on the cover. This book has a varied cast of characters but mostly centers around Theresa Marshall, her brother “Ox” (Jay), his fiancee Sophie Fortescue, and Theresa’s lover Octavian (“the Boy”). Theresa’s character reminded me a lot of Babe from Swans of Fifth Avenue and Tiny from Tiny Little Thing and I really connected with her character the most. After Jay becomes engaged to Sophie, Theresa asks Octavian to dig into Sophie’s family just to make sure there aren’t any huge skeletons that would mar the family name. Unfortunately this opens a can of worms that will end up drastically changing all of their lives.
Overall I really liked this book. The author did an amazing job of transporting the reader; her description of the scene at the horse track was so well done I felt like I was there with Theresa and Octavian. Honestly I could almost smell the horses. The characters were also very complex and interesting. I really felt bad for Theresa through most of the story. She may have been a difficult person but she was so in love with Octavian and I could just feel her sadness emanating from the book when Octavian started to fall for Sophie. The story line was riveting and had a couple of good twists and turns. I didn’t want to put the book down, the story really just draws the reader in. I’m not really sure yet how I feel about the ending. I think that it fit with the story line and it was a touching ending but it left me feeling a little empty I think. I actually feel very similar to how I felt about the ending of Along the Infinite Sea, I’m left feeling a little adrift. Really good story though and a great book. This is definitely going to be a summer must read!
The bottom line: This was a really great book! There were some great twists and turns and I’m not 100% sure how I feel about the ending but I couldn’t put it down! I would definitely recommend!!