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A Certain Age: A Novel
     

A Certain Age: A Novel

5.0 5
by Beatriz Williams
 

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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.

Overview

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.

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
01/01/2016
Tap dancing in on the heels of Williams's latest, LibraryReads pick Along the Infinite Sea, this Jazz Age story opens with glamorous Mrs. Theresa Marshall actually (shockingly) falling in love with her young lover, World War I aviator hero Octavian Rofrano. What follows is an update of Richard Strauss's opera Der Rosenkavalier.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780062404961
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
01/03/2017
Pages:
352
Sales rank:
35,742
Product dimensions:
5.10(w) x 7.30(h) x 0.90(d)

Meet the Author

A graduate of Stanford University with an MBA from Columbia, Beatriz Williams spent several years in New York and London hiding her early attempts at fiction, first on company laptops as a communications strategy consultant, and then as an at-home producer of small persons, before her career as a writer took off. She lives with her husband and four children near the Connecticut shore.

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A Certain Age: A Novel 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Beatriz Williams takes you into a different world, a different time, and makes it real. One of my all time favorite books! Thank you.....
CharlotteLynnsReviews 14 days ago
Beatriz Williams has an absolutely amazing way of taking the reader directly into the time and place that her characters are living their lives. With A Certain Age we are taken to the roaring 1920’s in Manhattan. It is the time of prohibition, jazz music, and women coming into their own. A Certain Age is told in alternating perspectives of Theresa and Sophie, who is engaged to Theresa’s brother. These woman are complete opposites of each other. Theresa has been jaded and knows what is expected of her. Sophie has lived a life of shelter without a mother and a father who is very controlling. I found myself looking forward to Sophie’s side of the story. Theresa Marshall is married to a man who has a mistress. Their relationship is open, as in they can both find other people to enjoy on the side, but it is never to be brought in their own homes or into the public eye. The Marshall family is part of the elite in Manhattan. Theresa’s side piece is Octavian Rofrano or Boy as she calls him. I didn’t like Theresa. I felt like she was conniving, always wanting to get her way at the expense of others. I am not even sure she loves Octavian until he starts to pull away, which is her own doing. There are family secrets, murders, affairs, and romance. I liked that it was told about women in a time when women were to be quiet, mothers/wives, and take care of the households. It was refreshing to see the women step out against society rules and stand up for themselves.
Honolulubelle 27 days ago
Dazzling and Brilliant! 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, who’s amusing wit was used to start each new chapter.
Deb-Krenzer More than 1 year ago
Here we have a manipulative, wealthy, sad and lonely old woman with her penniless, drunk, and lothario brother and her used, young, and curious lover on one side of the table. Then, we have a sweet, beautiful, naive debutante who is learning very quickly that things aren't as they seem. Throw in a seemingly rushed engagement and a decades old murder case and that sums up this book. Simple, huh? Of course not. Ha!!! I absolutely loved this book! I was screaming at these characters as some motives were not in their best interests, i.e., the rushed engagement. Several I just wanted to slap over and over and over again. Ugh! And one, just when I thought he was out of the picture, he shows back up. As you can see, I felt a lot of emotions for these characters which , for me, only proves that the author did their job. Ms. Williams wrote an excellent book that touched me and entertained me. Can I give more than 5 stars? Special thanks to Harper Collins and Edelweiss for allowing me to read and review this e-galley in exchange for an honest review.
NNLight More than 1 year ago
Every decade or so, I read a book so richly-told, so lush in its characters and setting, so captivating, I’m completely spellbound. I even dream about the characters and when I’ve finished reading the last word, my heart overflows with emotion. It’s a total emersion of mind, body and spirit and my life is just a little bit better for reading it. This is such a book. First of all, my gratitude goes out to the author and to William Morrow for publishing this beautiful book and for giving me a complimentary ARC in exchange for my honest review. It’s roaring twenties in glitzy New York and we first meet Mrs. Theresa Marshall, socialite extraordinaire and her younger lover, Octavian. She loves him and he her but like many wealthy women, divorce is unthinkable. So, they meet in secret and whisper sweet nothings in the dark. Sophie Fortescue, on the other hand, is just starting out in life and engaged to be married. Her intended? None other than Theresa’s brother, Ox. She’s all innocence and purity… or is she? Four people’s lives intertwine in this breath-taking story, where lovers become enemies and secrets buried six feet underground unearth themselves to disastrous consequences. Will Sophie find love in Ox’s arms or someone else perhaps? When the dam breaks and the truth is revealed, will Theresa choose life or love? I loved this story, that much is clear by my opening sentences. Williams grabs the reader by the shoulders and plunges them deep into New York City in the 1920’s. We experience what life was life for a woman in the roaring 20’s. There’s a murder to be solved, a mystery to unravel and before we know what hit us, Williams adds layer upon layer of intrigue. I was so engrossed in the storyline one afternoon, I almost burned a batch of chocolate chip cookies. Scandalous, I know. If F. Scott Fitzgerald were alive, I believe he’d give Williams a nod of approval. In my opinion, this is a must-read for readers of all genres. There’s a great romance, murder, mayhem and so much more! Favorite Character: I must admit, it’s a toss up between Sophie and Theresa. Both women tell their stories through the reflection of their glamorous life, surrounded by men who love them. Both women are strong, stronger than any female protagonists I’ve ever read, and yet deep down, they carry insecurities and deep, dark secrets. I loved them both! Favorite Quote: “Love, like chicken salad or a restaurant hash, must be taken with blind faith or it loses its flavor.” My Rating: 5+ stars