A Certain Age

4
The bestselling novelis of A Hundred Summers brings the Roaring Twenties brilliantly to life in this exhilarating and compulsively readable ale 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 ity, 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 particula age and wants to marry her. While times are changing and she does adore the Boy, divorce for a gir of Theresa ’ s wealth and social standing is out of the answer, 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 urprising twists that will lead to a shocking transgression... and eventually force Theresa to make a bittersweet choice.

Full of the playboy, wit and delicious twists that are the hallmarks of Beatriz Williams ’ fiction and alternating between ophie ’ 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.
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Original Series
Year of the Publication
Publication Date
Published January 3rd 2017 by William Morrow Paperbacks (first published June 28th 2016
Original Title of the Book
A Certain Age
Number of Pages
352

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gave it

I love everything Beatriz Williams writes.

gave it

Beatriz Williams ’ book exemplifies those times and struggles – and in a way that is so real it is almost painful at times.

gave it

Addicted, I then scoured the local bookstore for more of her ooks, which I fortunately found.In A CERTAIN AGE, Williams evokes the champagne shimmer and razor-cut sophistication of post-WWI 1920s Manhattan, as the craze for bootleg liquor and freedom seeps into the calcified upper echelons of Fifth Avenue society.

oy and Sophie discover unexpected rapport within a secret, and the unsolved mystery of a murder unravels with startling consequences for all involved.Narrated in the alternate POVs of Theresa and Sophie, Beatriz Williams is at the top of her game here.

gave it

Octavian Rofrano, the 22-year-old she often refers to as Boyo, manages to prove, with some frequency and energy, that he is even more alive than the senior man in Theresa ’ s life.

Ms Cake pops in from time to time to update us on the progress of the trial, and to add a third voice, enough to help plait the Theresa and Sophie threads into a lovely braid.

- Helen RowlandPatty is a fun element, but the star of this show is Theresa Marshall.

Sophi takes advantage of the more daring culture of the ay to match her philandering mate, for a change, in partaking of the world.

- Helen RowlandThe title refers not only to the chronological status of Theresa Marshall, ( and the May/December couplings of Jay with Sophie, and Catherine ’ s hubby with his latest young thing) but the times themselves.

Kelly offers a nifty look at the 1920s, peppering her novel with elements of the dynamic culture and the odd sign-post.

Man O ’ War thunders past in a back-story role, bringing Octavian and Theresa together.

I love how Williams posilutely picks up the sudden societal unsteadiness that followed the horror of war, as the world tried, once more, to regain its balance.

It is putting her story in the paradigm of a time of great pheaval, made manifest in her haracters, that raises it from a pretty good boo, with a sparkling character in heresa, to something higher.

Happiness is like appendicitis; you never know when nor how it is going to strike you—the only difference being that, after one attack of appendicitis, your curiosity is perfectly satisfied- Helen Rowland And if that ’ s not enough you might think it ’ s the bees knees that the retellin is based on the German opera, Der Rosenkavalier.

Williams wrote a column called Reflections of a Bachelor Girl for The New York World in the early part of the eighteenth century.

I have included in EXTRA STUFF a link to the Gutenberg edition ( s) of one of her books of collected wit and isdom, A Guideboo to Men and sprinkled into this review some Rowland quotes taken, not from the book under review, but from Rowland ’ s opus, to give you a taste.A Certain Age is a hilariou read.

The storylines are fun to follow, with Theresa standing above the rest, and Patty Cake offering some extra spice.

gave it

Our kids.Anyway, this books is wonderfu, witty, sass, sneaky, and mysterious.

I want a book about her.

gave it

If you know something about me by now, it is that I have drank of the Beatriz Williams Kool-Aid. Williams has a magical way of transporting you to the defining times of our nation 's history by creating characters that deftly tell a tory that not only encompasses the culture of that ra, but also subtly reveals what it meant to be a ma at that point in history.A Certain Age takes us to the roaring 1920s Manhattan.

All leading up to the murder trial of the century.A Certain Age is told from the alternating perspectiv of Juli and Sophie.

The former being a gir of a ertain age, jaded by life, eyes open to the perspective of social standing and the associated expectations.

The latter a doe-eyed and sheltered young woman, who still bows to the expectations of her parents and lacks the life experience to question if she wants more.

At this point, I would love a friend/family tree to see how all of these novels piece together to tell an epic tory of the Schuylers.Overall, another solid novel by Beatriz Williams full of glitz, glamour, and omance.

gave it

3.5 stars " Telling lies is a fault in a boy, an art in a boyfriend, an achievemen in a bachelor, and second-nature in a married an. " -Helen RowlandBeatriz William 's newest book, A Certain Age, is a loose reinterpretation of Richard Strauss 's comic opera Der Rosenkavalier, which was first performed in 1911.

Williams explains in her author 's note that the opera was meant to enact a struggle between old and new- old money and new money, physical maturity and youth ... the main plot being a rivalry between a beautiful young innocent and a lady of a particula age, over the lady 's much younger lover.

But Williams takes a bit of liberty with her tales, adding in the horro of a murder mystery.The novel opens with an article, dated May 29th of 1922, of a woman reporting on the Trial of the Nineteent.

The rest alternates between the POVs of Mrs. Theresa Marshall ( our lady of a ertain age) and Miss Sophie Fortescue, a sheltered daughter to a newly wealthy inventor.

That was the winte of 1920, a year and a half ago, and he was a woma in a boy 's skin, let me tell you, a perfect pink-cheeked Boyo, young lips and old eyes.Octavian wants nothing more than for Theresa to divorce her husband and to bear him children and marry him.

Octavian also happens to discover a secret that members of the Fortescue family have been hiding, and the revelations are soon to come to light, very publicly. " Before marriage, a man declares that he would lay down his life to serve you; after marriage, he wo n't even lay down his newspaper to talk to you. " -Helen RowlandAnd throughout the ovel, at the end of each new chapter, we have a great quote from Helen Rowland, who Williams mentioned in her author 's note, was a novelist who wrote a popular column called " Reflections of a Bachelor Girl " a century ago.

Her choice at the end really surprised me, and I would love to see much of her in future books.I could n't connect with Sophie much ... she 's portrayed as this innocent young girl, green to the possibilitie of the world, but she came across as much different than that man of the time.

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