ABOUT THE BOOK
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.
I love reading a book that completely transports me to another era and makes me wish I had been born there. A CERTAIN AGE by Beatriz Willams is such a book. It kept me happily ensconced in the Jazz age–a period in time I can only dream about.. or read about.
The book alternates between two voices. Theresa, a ‘confident on the outside, sensitive on the inside’ married socialite who knows the ropes and how to use them. And, sweet, naive Sophie who wants to break free of life planned out for her but is too afraid. Theresa is the one I preferred the most of the two. I’m not sure if it’s because we are both “women of a certain age” or because I saw myself in her a few times, but I was rooting for her to get her happy ending. With a mysterious family secret making its way into the story, this book has it all.
This is the first book I’ve read by Beatriz Williams and I was so impressed that I went and bought another straight away. I work at a book store and when people ask for books about this era, I immediately hand them this one. She has an elegant writing style that flows easily and creates a different world for the reader to live in.
With love, murder, betrayal, and booze, I give A CERTAIN AGE by Beatriz Williams 5 stars *****.
*I received a copy of this book from HarperCollins Canada in exchange for my honest review*