When I finished Rules of Civility, I had the urge to immediately go back to the beginning and read it again. This book was like a scarf that floated lightly around my neck. Silky smooth prose studded with sparkling turns of phrase, it was soaked in the rich colours of interesting characters. And it twists delicately with subtle plot shifts. I could wear this scarf any time.
It's not that the book will make on the hundred best books of the 21st century or anything. It's basically a romantic period piece set in 1938 in New York City. The heroine, Brooklyn-born Katey Kontent (accent on the second syllable) is smart and sassy. She's that irritating person who finds the perfect riposte right in the middle of the conversation, not the next day. Despite living on the paltry salary of a secretary, she finds herself in many of New York's most noted nightspots, and she falls into romantic relationships with rich men at the drop of a hat. It's light, frothy stuff, like that scarf I described, and I recommend it heartily.