You may have noticed that a few of the books I’ve reviewed here share a common time period: the 1920’s.
I am unceasingly intrigued by the glamour and opulence of the time. Statement-making clothes, bold makeup, perfectly coiffed hair…and that’s just one aspect. The over-the-top parties and clandestine activities are sure to make any modern gal a little jealous. (Forget about that whole Great Depression thing that finished out the decade, though.)
That’s why I couldn’t resist picking up another tale from the Jazz Age when I was looking at the genres of my Blind Date Books. Since the book won’t officially be released until June, I knew I didn’t have to worry about the risk of having read it already.
Once I unwrapped it, I learned that the novel was A Certain Age by Beatriz Williams. The cover features a stunning young woman in a show-stopping red dress with matching lips. Behind her, the city of New York glitters in the night. Consider my interest piqued.
All of that being said, I sit here trying to come up with a word to describe this novel. It is far different from anything else I have read recently. I hesitate to use the phrase “dark comedy” here, because it certainly isn’t a comedy in the modern sense of the word. Rather, it reminded me of the type of comedy that Shakespeare penned. A bit offbeat, a bit farfetched, but also a storyline you become invested in despite (or, perhaps, because of) the unique style.
This made a lot more sense when I did some research after reading and realized that Williams based the plot on a German opera from the 1700’s!
A Certain Age is told from alternating perspectives of two characters. Rather than get into the complicated connection of the cast of characters here, I’ll just tell you that the novel is a love triangle – uh, rectangle? – with a murder mystery thrown in. All set in the era of prohibition, budding women’s rights, and the juxtaposition of old and new money.
Do I think this novel is the next Great Gatsby? Absolutely not. But do I think it’s a fun, unique read that provides a nice respite from the ordinary? Yes indeed.
Grab a copy of A Certain Age when it comes out in June, and let me know what you think!