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A Certain Age Paperback – 14 Jul 2016

3.7 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 452 pages
  • Publisher: Harper (14 July 2016)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0008132615
  • ISBN-13: 978-0008132613
  • Product Dimensions: 29.4 x 2.8 x 13.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 89,515 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

Review

‘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

The bestselling author of a hundred summers brings the roaring twenties brilliantly to life in an enchanting and compulsively readable tale of intrigue, romance, and scandal in New York society

As the hedonism 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, an aviator and a hero of the Great War.

Though the battle-scarred Octavian is devoted to his dazzling socialite of a certain age and wants to marry her, Theresa resists. The old world is crumbling, but divorce for a woman of Theresa's wealth and social standing remains a high-stakes affair. And there is no need: she shares a gentle understanding with Sylvo, the well-bred philanderer to whom she's already married.

That is, until Theresa's impecunious bachelor brother, Ox, decides to tie the knot with Miss Sophie Fortescue, the naive young daughter of a wealthy inventor. Theresa enlists Octavian to check into the background of the reclusive Fortescue family. When Octavian meets Sophie, he falls under the spell of the charming ingenue, even as he uncovers a devastating family secret.

As a fateful triangle forms, loyalties divide and old crimes are dragged into daylight, drawing Octavian into transgression . . . and Theresa into the jaws of a bittersweet choice.

Full of the glamour, wit, and delicious twists that are the hallmarks of Beatriz Williams's fiction, 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 text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

By Suze Lavender TOP 500 REVIEWER on 22 July 2016
Format: Kindle Edition
It's the beginning of the Twenties in New York. Theresa's husband hasn't paid her any attention for years and she's found herself a lover who's more than twenty years younger. Theresa is a socialite who has been able to teach her young captain a lot. Octavian wants her to leave her husband, but divorce isn't an option for a woman in Theresa's position. She's having fun with him, but she thinks they can never have more.

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.
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Format: Paperback
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.
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Format: Paperback
Favorite Quotes:

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.

My Review:

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.
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Format: Kindle Edition
It is the 1920s in New York and on the face of it beautiful socialite Mrs Theresa Williams has a perfect life. Married to the wealthy, much older Sylvo, they turn a blind eye to each others extra-marital affairs, as divorce is scandalous. A Certain Age follows the relationship between Theresa and her younger lover, the splendidly named Captain Octavian Rofrano.

This was a steady paced story where the secrets are gradually revealed. This was a glamorous time with the beautiful clothes and the high society parties seeming so decadent. Think Downton Abbey transported to New York and you have an idea of the clothing styles and also of the changes society was undergoing. I enjoyed reading more about what scandals were going on and what secrets the characters were hiding.

I also really enjoyed reading Helen Rowland's witty comments about men, women and marriage at start of each chapter. She was a real-life journalist who wrote a column in a New York newspaper about life as a bachelor girl. Many of these made me smile including this little gem: "When you see what some women marry, you realize how they must hate to work for a living."

A elegant novel with romance, betrayal and a murder mystery at its heart. There were some dramatic scenes near the end bringing the murder mystery element of the story to a conclusion together with resolving the love stories of the main characters. There seems to be potential to carry on the stories of some of the characters after this book ends and I'd particularly like to know more about Theresa and Virginia.
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