“Sex. A year ago, Sophie hadn’t even thought about sex, and now it’s all around her, right out in the open. It’s all anyone can talk about. The films are full of it, and so are the books and theatres. It’s as if a dazzling new colour has suddenly been added to the rainbow, and you didn’t realize what you were missing before, except that sometimes it’s a little too dazzling, isn’t it? You sort of wish that the landscape would calm down a bit, from time to time. To give your eyes a little rest. To think about something else. But nobody else seems to feel the way Sophie does. Nobody else seems to want to rest their eyes a single minute. Nobody wants to think about anything else.”
– Beatriz Williams, A Certain Age
Intrigued? I thought so. Prepare yourselves for the drama, sex and glamour that is this week’s 50 Book Pledge Featured Read. New York Times Bestselling author of A Hundred Summers and The Secret Life of Violet Grant, Beatriz Williams, has written another brilliant piece of work that will transport you back to the scandalous Jazz Age set in New York City, 1922.
A Certain Age is voiced from the perspective of two fascinating ladies, Mrs. Theresa Marshall and Miss Sophie Fortescue, whose personalities are like night and day. Theresa, a forty-four year old married woman, smokes like a chimney and enjoys a healthy number of cocktails whilst sharing a bed with a much younger “Boyo” every Monday and Thursday. Theresa and her (rich) husband Sylvo have an “understanding”, as she puts it, that they keep their affairs private and never in their own home. In her mind, Theresa has everything she could possibly want in life… or so she thinks.
Significantly less risqué is nineteen year old Sophie who has lived a sheltered life under the watchful eyes of her sister and father. Sophie’s family has always been poor until recently when her father patented a machine that turned them into millionaires. Now the Fortescues are living life in high society, and Sophie finds herself engaged to an older man who also happens to be Theresa’s brother, a well-known, unashamed bachelor. But when Sophie meets Theresa’s “Boyo”, also known as Octavian Rofrano, a unique love triangle begins to form, making for an enticing scandal that’s difficult to put down.
- They tell you not to judge a book by its cover, but who are “they” and what do “they” even know? This cover is gorgeous! The bright red flapper dress and sparkling gold writing pulls you in right away, but I personally love the subtlety of the glowing Empire State building in the background. Both the cover and the story are intricate works of art.
- Williams created a beautiful depth to all of her characters and I found myself emotionally invested in every single one. I would be nearly screaming out loud at their poor choices (Sophie) or laughing hysterically at the witty banter that usually originated from a sassy and manipulative Theresa. Be wary of reading in public at the chance you may receive some concerned looks from strangers.
- I think my favorite part of A Certain Age was the beautiful imagery that radiates out of Williams’ writing. I lost myself in the glamourous 1920s styled outfits, feeling as though I was right there in those smoke filled bars, sipping on an illegal cocktail, and swaying to the jazzy background music… all you Gatsby fans know what I’m talking about!
Now, go grab yourselves a copy Savvy Readers, I can’t wait to hear what you think!