I enjoyed this book immensely. Not only is the cover art beautiful and is something I would pick up based on that alone, the writing is superb.
The story initially begins by Katey Kontent and her husband at an art gallery featuring photographs of strangers riding the subway. Two of these photographs feature Tinker Grey. This year is the year that was worth a flashback in Katey’s life. It was essentially the year she stepped out of her best friends shadow and lived her own life.
On New Years Eve of 1937, Katey Kontent a New York native and her best friend Eve Ross, who is transplanted to NYC from Indiana, find themselves in a Greenwich Village jazz bar when Tinker Grey, a handsome banker with a bit of a secret side, happens to sit down next to them. The three of them instantly click and start hanging out, becoming an unlikely threesome. And as all threesomes go, one poor soul is always left out. At the beginning you can see that Tinker, despite Eve’s raw sensualism, is developing a little crush on Katey. Eve who is very outspoken and always looking to be the life of the party does not like the way Tinker’s mind is going. While Katey never shies away from the dramatic flair, you can tell she is more reserve and cannot compete with her best friend’s advances and ‘this-belongs-to-me’ attitude. This especially comes clear when they end up in a car crash. Tinker guilt plays a large role and him and Eve shack up propelling Katey on a year-long journey into the upper echelons of New York society where she goes from lowly secretary to a well-respected business woman.
Towles is a great writer. He writes with ease and romanticism. He makes you feel connected not only to 1938 New York but to each of the characters as well. Katey was a great character. She was a hard worker, hard partier, loved to read and loved to shoot guns. She was very believable and likeable. One thing that I did not like about Towles writing style was his lack of quotation marks. I found it confusing at first, second guessing who was actually saying what. You get used to it, but really? Why did you have to try something different?
I give this 4.5 stars! You should check it out!I want to write more, but I fear too many spoilers would be given away!
“...be careful when choosing what you're proud of--because the world has every intention of using it against you.”