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A Certain Age Paperback – 14 Jul 2016
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‘A world filled with elegance, charm, and bygone manners … No-one does it better than Beatriz' Jane Green
‘Full of wit, romance, and surprising twists’ Popsugar
Praise for Beatriz Williams:
‘Definitely worth squeezing into your hand luggage’ RED
‘Summer of 1938: A scandalous love triangle and a famous hurricane converge… a perfect storm.’ GOOD HOUSEKEEPING
‘A fantastic summer read’ HELLO
‘Delightful and rewarding from an author to watch’ WE LOVE THIS BOOK
‘Williams' historical masterpiece is an all-encompassing, period-perfect read.’ RT Book Reviews (Top Pick!)
‘[A] fast-paced love story…the scorching sun illuminates a friend’s betrayal and reignites a romance’ O, The Oprah Magazine
‘A candidate for this year's best beach read – the period story of a derailed love affair seen through a sequence of summers’ Kirkus Book Reviews
From the Back Cover
As the hedonistic Jazz Age transforms New York City, glittering socialite Mrs. Theresa Marshall has done the unthinkable: she's fallen in love with her young paramour and war hero, Captain Octavian Rofrano. Though Octavian wants to marry Theresa, she resists. The world is changing but divorce for a woman of Theresa's wealth and social standing remains risky. And there is no need: she shares a gentle understanding with her husband, Sylvo.
That is, until Theresa's brother, Ox, decides to marry Miss Sophie Fortescue, a wealthy inventor's daughter. Theresa enlists Octavian to check into the background of the reclusive Fortescue family. When Octavian meets charming Sophie, he falls for her, even as he uncovers a devastating family secret. As a fateful love triangle forms, loyalties divide, drawing Octavian into transgression . . . and Theresa into making a bittersweet choice.
Full of glamour, wit, and delicious twists, A Certain Age is a beguiling reinterpretation of Richard Strauss's comic opera Der Rosenkavalier set against Gatsby's decadent New York.--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title. See all Product description
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Theresa's brother Ox wants to get married to the lovely Sophie. Sophie is nineteen years old and is much younger than Ox. He loved his bachelor life, but thinks it's time to settle down. Theresa decides that Octavian is the perfect person to present Ox's ring and proposal to Sophie. There's an immediate spark between them, but spending time with her family means that Octavian starts to remember things and with that he opens a can of worms. Meanwhile Theresa makes a discovery of her own that isn't very pleasant. She has a choice to make to save herself. What will be the consequences of Octavian's actions for both Sophie and Theresa?
A Certain Age is a dazzling story set in the New York of the Roaring Twenties. Theresa is a rich woman with a prominent position. She's married to a man who loves his affairs and it's time to have some fun of her own. Only Octavian really loves her and wants to have a future together. Their age difference is huge and I loved the older woman with a younger man aspect. Theresa is a beautiful and powerful woman who isn't afraid to play games to get what she wants. Sophie is naïve and hasn't seen much of the world yet, but she has a type of power Theresa doesn't have and that's the power of youth. Octavian is caring and chivalrous and I instantly liked him. Ox is superficial and not very bright, so he mostly takes advice from his sister and doesn't think for himself much. Their lives are a whirlwind and the events that are being set in motion are intriguing. I couldn't wait to find out what the scandal would be and what would happen to the main characters because of it.
What I liked best about Beatriz Williams's writing is that she doesn't only tell her story with words, there are a lot of things that contribute to the atmosphere, even her pace is exactly right for the era she writes about. Her story is fast-paced and hypnotizing and her characters are all fantastic. The story alternates between Theresa and Sophie and their voices are very different. I really liked that Beatriz Williams uses their tone of voice, language and life experience to enhance the reader's experience of these two interesting women. They aren't flawless and they don't always make the right decisions, which makes them more fascinating to read about.
I loved A Certain Age. It's a unique, unusual story with a great theme and a perfect setting. I enjoyed reading about life in the Twenties, it's a time of change and possiblities, a decade of lust versus love. Beatriz Williams has written a story that sparkles, charms and mesmerizes. I absolutely loved this brilliant book.
His ears are large and extend like a pair of wings from his old-fashioned whiskers, so that Sophie sometimes imagines he can actually hear her thoughts.
I don’t go in for soul-searching, for this modern passion of psychoanalysis. Examining every last detail of your childhood, every last itch in your subconscious. Generally speaking, the less I know about the contents of a person’s soul, the better I like him.
A Certain Age was enthralling, captivating, and smartly written. I became so involved in the story I heard Jazz music as well as the tinkling of ice cubes, the ringing of an old-fashioned phone, the striking of a match, and even sensed the faint smell their cigarette smoke. The story seamlessly flowed from omnipresent narrative to a sharper dual POV with intriguing and unique characters, who were not always likable but unfailingly fascinating. The writing was multi-layered, brilliantly crafted, meaty, densely packed, and lavishly detailed. I adore this talented author’s smart and snappy style, clever humor, and insightful observations and will be forever in her debt for introducing me to the ingenious stylings of Helen Rowland, whose amusing wit was used to start each new chapter.
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.
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