My Book Reviews: Rules of Civility

When it’s my month to choose the book for book club, the pressure is on.  I want everyone to love it, to transfer that love to me (Hayley, you have the best taste in books, you are just the best person, etc. etc.)  I’ve had several flops (Hayley, this book was too weird but we still mostly like you), and now I research before suggesting anything.  One of my favorite websites in my search is The Modern Mrs. Darcy, a blog about books that was recommended to me years ago by the famous Lauren Honeycutt.

I picked three recommendations from her blog, and my book club voted for Rules of Civility.

Do you ever read books and sink deep into the given mood?  I’ve read books that were cozy like pumpkin spice and sweaters, some that were beachy and easy, but this book was like re-living a long night in D.C.  I remember being on night shift, unable to sleep at two in the morning, and watching snow fall onto an empty street.

This book was that mood exactly.

Katya (aka Katie, Kate, Katherine) is a smart, capable 20something who meets “Tinker” Grey on a night out with her best friend, Eve.  The two girls engage in some competition over the rich and fabulous gentleman, but Eve eventually wins after she is seriously injured in a car accident–the ultimate pity move.  In her attempts to move on, Kate meets glamorous young friends (think The Great Gatsby) and drinks a lot of champagne.

“Anyone who has ridden the subway twice a day to earn their bread knows how it goes: When you board, you exhibit the same persona you use with your colleagues and acquaintances. You’ve carried it through the turnstile and past the sliding doors, so that your fellow passengers can tell who you are – cocky or cautious, amorous or indifferent, loaded or on the dole. But you find yourself a seat and the train gets under way; it comes to one station and then another; people get off and others get on. And under the influence of the cradlelike rocking of the train, your carefully crafted persona begins to slip away. The super-ego dissolves as your mind begins to wander aimlessly over your cares and your dreams; or better yet, it drifts into ambient hypnosis, where even cares and dreams recede and the peaceful silence of the cosmos pervades.”

Woven throughout are themes from George Washington’s Rules of Civility, hence the title.  My good friend Maureen read this book and raved about the symbolism and imagery in the book.   Listen, I don’t know about all that, but this book was good.  Like cold pizza for breakfast good.

You can thank me later for my magic words.

On a side note, it is about 45 kazillion degrees here.  Thank god the library has the best air conditioning!

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