Author: Beatriz Williams
Published by: William Morrow on June 28, 2016
Genres: Historical Fiction
Format: eBook, ARC
Source: William Morrow, Edelweiss
Book Rating: 8.5/10
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.
This is a riveting tale of passion, adultery, jealousy, love, loss, war, and murder.
The story is set in New York City, in the prosperous banking days of the early 1920s, complete with lustful indulgences, free-flowing gin, and copious amounts of cigarettes.
It is told from two differing perspectives. Theresa, a wealthy middle-aged woman, who enjoys her life as a married socialite, but at the same time is obsessed with her younger lover. And Sophie, a mother-less young woman, who yearns for more independence and freedom, and yet finds herself courted and betrothed to a gentleman almost 20-years her senior.
The writing is elegant and descriptive. The characters are glamorous, multi-faceted and flawed. And the plot is fast-paced, creative, and unique, with a past/present style, that gives depth, understanding, and suspense to the story line.
This is an extremely engaging story that will captivate you from the opening extract right through to the final page, and I highly recommend it for book club enthusiasts and historical fiction lovers everywhere.
This novel is due to be published on June 28, 2016.
Pick up a copy of this story from your favourite retailer or from the following Amazon links.
Thank you to Edelweiss, especially William Morrow, for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.