Saturday, July 16, 2016

Book Review: A Certain Age

A Certain AgeAuthor: Beatriz Williams
Publication Date: June 28, 2016
Publisher: William Morrow

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 ingĂ©nue, 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.

And I decided, right then, that there was something to be said for a young lover, after all.

It’s Sylvo, who rises from his desk and kisses me tenderly, and then sits me down on the leather Chesterfield sofa, hands me a glass of cream sherry, and tells me he wants a divorce.

Too bright, really. Last night’s paltry fall of snow has given way to a sky make of blue ice, and a brilliant sun fixed at its eastern end. 

Beatriz Williams has such a way with words. I have read every single book she has published since 2013. I cannot get enough of her writing and her incredible characters and story lines. This time she writes a compelling piece set in the every elusive Jazz Age. Our story this time around follows a Mrs. Theresa Marshall of Fifth Avenue who has fallen in love with a younger man while trying to hide it all from her husband. Throw another, much younger, woman in the mix and you have got yourself a little scandal, which is just what happens in this story. Not everything is as it seems and all of the characters in this fabulous new novel definitely have something to hide.

I must admit that Theresa Marshall, the main character, was my least favorite character for many reasons. However, I enjoyed reading about the mess she got herself into. The four or so main characters spin a web of lies and deceit and as the story unravels we, the readers, find out more and more about these characters. By the end of the story I was blown away by how meticulously Williams weaved a tale so spectacular and vivid that I did not want it to be over. I have not found a single one of her books that does not mesmerize me within the first chapter and give me so much to invest in. Beatriz, please do not stop writing!

***A free copy of this book was provided to me by the publishers at William Morrow in exchange for my honest review*** 


  1. I enjoyed your review. You made me laugh out loud when I read: "Theresa Marshall, the main character, was my least favorite character for many reasons. However, I enjoyed reading about the mess she got herself into." and "The four or so main characters spin a web of lies and deceit..."

    Sounds like an interesting book. The 1920's time period has a certain fascination, despite being almost 100 years old.

  2. I love the way this book sounds and just place a hold at my library. Nice review!

  3. Just picked up the Temple Wars book! Book 1 is fascinating and had me engaged from page one! You guys should check it out! Temple Wars