I actually listened to the Audible.com version of this book. That may have added to my rating since it was so well done.
I am not generally a lover of historical fiction, so I wouldn't have picked this up on my own. I am so happy that it was a book club choice, since that's what got me to read it. It starts and ends in the 60s, which is close enough to the present for me. But the bulk of the novel takes place in the late 30s. It's the story of Katie and Tinker, both from working class backgrounds, and the different ways that they joined the upper crust as well as how their social climbs affected them both. At one point, Katie uses honeymoon bridge as a metaphor for life. You draw a card and then must choose whether to keep it or discard it and draw another. And each card defines in some way how your life will proceed.
The book was beautifully written, the characters so real, and it felt as though I were right there in 1930s New York. I did some extra driving because I didn't want to leave it, and now I'm sad that it's over.
Moving, breathtaking, surprising
Ethan Frome. Once I really got into the storyline of this book, I couldn't help thinking of how easily it would have been for all three major characters to fit into Ethan Frome's life. Without giving away spoilers, there are similarities, but well played and totally fitting.
I think if I had just read the book I wouldn't have caught the emotional depth of the sadness through the eyes of the main character.
Yes! The whole story was so engaging and entertaining, and the narrators voice was lovely. I would happily take this journey again!
The main character. She sounded like a woman who was very progressive for her time and someone that young women now could relate to.
Her voice is so beautiful and easy to listen to. I don't think I would have imagined the characters to be so graceful and classy without her narration.
The book didn't make me cry, but it pulled me right in, right from the start. I hated whenever I had to stop listening.
Hoosier transplanted in Virginia Beach who is a fan of good books and travel.
The narrator's voice seemed especially well suited to the main character, and she did an excellent job interpreting the other characters' personalities as well.
Katie was a very engaging character, and of course we saw the story unfold through her eyes. I especially liked that the other characters were painted with depth and empathy, and no one was despicable, because we grew to understand them and why they behaved the way they did.
Rebecca Lowman's performance of this book is stellar. She gives meaningful inflections to each character's voice. She pulls off a few language shifts, as well.
The book is unbelievably good. It is a reader's read. Filled with homages and name-drops, Towles achieves the impossible: he is Edith Wharton, Ernest Hemingway, and F. Scott Fitzgerald all at once.
Age of Innocence for its comedy of manners approach to Manhattan.
The Great Gatsby for its up-and-coming-or-not characters.
The Sun Also Rises for its burn-and-crash characters and pacing.
The movie Metropolitan for its look at the upper-class and arrivistes with equal measure.
Tinker Grey--his is the character of greatest focus and growth.
Librarian, blogger, reader
I would listen to this narrator read anything. She has a slightly deep, slightly husky voice that was perfect for this book. She read the characters different enough from one another that it was easy to tell who was speaking, without making those differences exaggerated. Lovely job!
This is not a book of action - it's more about people living in a specific time, but I was interested in those people and the time in which they lived. I felt quite transported by it. Tinker Grey reminded me a bit of Jay Gatsby, perhaps because I was rereading The Great Gatsby at the same time. Although it wasn't plot-heavy, I still thought it was a good story, but the real strength is in the beautiful writing.
I found the story a little depressing even though that was the author's intent. Some uplifting character's would have been welcome. But, overall, a good depiction of that era in NYC.
Evoked another time
(Spoiler alert)--When Katie discovers the true nature of Tinker's relationship to Anne.
The Great Gatsby revisited
The dialog evoked a time before tweeting and texting when people were articulate.
Looking for riveting fiction with well developed characters, close to real life stories and a compelling narrator who feels the story.
The story, the characters and the narrator are fabulous. Love the narrator's accent and passion as she brings to life the characters and the scenes. I felt like I was there experiencing everything first hand.
The main character is outstanding - really well written and very strong believable woman.
Rebecca brings the characters to life - wonderful accents and personality.
In parts I laughed in others, I held my breath until I found out what was going to happen next.