About A Certain Age• Paperback: 352 pages • Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks; Reprint edition (January 3, 2017) 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.
I have been wanting to read Beatriz Williams for a few years now but somehow never quite managed to make it happen. So I was really excited when the tour opportunity for A Certain Age came up. I love the time period and that cover is just ridiculous but what if it didn't live up to my expectations? I will say that A Certain Age wasn't quite what I was expecting - it was better. This is a lighter read but it isn't fluffy and it most definitely isn't silly. The characters aren't perfect - in fact I didn't particularly care for Theresa at the beginning of the book. But that didn't last long becasue as I got to know her I felt like I understood her and her flip remarks and shocking comments were just bravado - a shield to protect her real feelings. The other primary characters - Sophie, Jay, Octavian - are also nicely flawed without being overdone. I guessed the shocking family secret fairly quickly and I wasn't particularly surprised by the outcome of the book itself but that wasn't a negative. I loved seeing the interaction between the characters and watching the story spin out around them. While the story itself wasn't particularly surprising the writing was fluctuating between matter of fact, sarcastic, humourous and the occasional moments of heartbreak. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and am glad I've finally read Beatriz Willimas. I'm very much looking forward to reading more from her. Rating: Very Good