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A Certain Age: A Novel

A Certain Age: A Novel


A Certain Age: A Novel

valoraciones:
4/5 (18 valoraciones)
Longitud:
12 horas
Editorial:
Publicado:
Jun 28, 2016
ISBN:
9780062445186
Formato:
Audiolibro

Descripción

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 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.

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.

Editorial:
Publicado:
Jun 28, 2016
ISBN:
9780062445186
Formato:
Audiolibro


Sobre el autor

A graduate of Stanford University with an MBA from Columbia, Beatriz Williams spent several years in New York and London hiding her early attempts at fiction, first on company laptops as a communications strategy consultant, and then as an at-home producer of small persons, before her career as a writer took off. She lives with her husband and four children near the Connecticut shore.

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Reseñas de lectores

  • (3/5)
    It was fine, but the plot relied too heavily on coincidences for my taste.
  • (5/5)
    Theresa Marshall is a woman of a certain age who appears to live a comfortable life in her Fifth Avenue home during the Jazz Age. However, she is in a loveless marriage with her much older husband and has not gotten over the death of one of her sons during the Great War. Things change for Theresa when she meets Octavian, a young pilot and hero during the war. Theresa and Octavian begin a love affair and Octavian becomes intensely involved with Theresa. When Theresa's brother Jay becomes engaged to a young Sophie Fortesque, he needs a cavalier to deliver the engagement ring according to family tradition. Theresa offers up Octavian for the job. Octavian and Sophie meet and they know there is something more there. When Octavian is asked by Theresa to look into the new money of the Fortesque family, he finds a secret that not even Sophie knows about. Decisions will be made by Theresa, Octavian, Sophie and Jay that require courage , conviction and love.Another fabulous look into the lives of those who lived in New York's Jazz Age. If you have read other Beatriz Williams books, you will reconnect with some characters and haunts around the city. A Certain Age, however, focuses on the love triangle of Theresa, Octavian and Sophie. This is not a typical love triangle though, I truly cared about all of these characters and their well being. There also was no obvious answer to their conundrum, and yet, everyone somehow made the best and most difficult decisions in the end. I felt connected to Theresa and the twists and turns that her life made. She was one of the products of the age, married young into a loveless marriage, Theresa enjoys her upper class lifestyle, but would happily give it up to be with Octavian. Octavian is a different product of the age, a war hero who returned to life and felt lost. Sophie is yet another product of the Jazz age, a young woman who has lived under her father's rules and yearns to be independent and make her own decisions. These well developed characters combined with the mystery of the Fortesque family created and exciting and intriguing look into the lives of those during New York's Jazz Age.
  • (4/5)
    This was a fun read and a book that I would not have chosen for myself. Nook is now offering a daily serial read each month. This title was chosen for April. So each morning, while I had my first cup of tea, I would read the daily chapter on my Nook. I have to say that I really enjoyed this and looked forward to reading a chapter every morning. We have Theresa Marshall, a middle-aged socialite, and Sophie Fortescue, the youngest daughter of a widower, recently rich from his inventions. The young Sophie is reluctantly engaged to Theresa's brother whose more interested in Sophie's money. Meanwhile, the married Theresa is having an affair with a young man she calls Boy. The plot thickens when the young man, Octavian and Sophie meet and become interested in each other. A lot of fun as a serial read!
  • (4/5)
    Wow! I really enjoyed the writing and the story continued to suck me in with all the pending intrigue. The visuals created by Beatriz Williams in my mind's eye were beautiful and made me wish that I could be transported back to the roaring 20's - a time of decadence and frivolity that no longer exists. The characters are 3 dimensional and endearing.

    I will seek out further novels by Beatriz Williams - I thoroughly appreciated her writing style and talent. Well done!
  • (4/5)
    Nice escape fiction. Mystery, romance, historical.
  • (3/5)
    Two girls and a father inventor living in NYC. Younger daughter gets engaged but falls in love with her cavelier.
  • (3/5)
    This is a rather fizzy tale about a love triangle, and supporting characters, during the 1920's New York socialite scene. There's a murder mystery thrown in which I didn't find intriguing at all. One of the main characters, Theresa Marshall, is written as just too cute, too precious - and she calls her 20-years-younger lover "Boy" which fit in with her character but was extremely annoying. Also - and this is my main complaint about many of Beatriz Williams' books - the author is obsessed with cigarette smoking. In a typical scene, a character will pull her cigarette case out of her purse (and the case itself is described in loving detail), "light herself up," smoke it, hold it in a certain way, "tip the ash," and finally put it out. With each new scene, I kept waiting for the cigarettes to appear, and it was very distracting. I think I liked this book the least of the ones that I've read.
  • (4/5)
    This is a book taken from an opera an “updated” to the Jazz Age. We have an married to an older man but having an affair with a younger man whose brother is looking to marry a younger woman. It’s all very polite, at times too polite. Our matron, Theresa refers to her lover as Boy which I have to admit bothered me immensely throughout the novel. every time I read it I cringed. It got so I almost didn’t want to finish the book because I found it so aggravating and insulting.The sister’s lover is part of the formal proposal to the brother’s new love – you’ll have to read the book I’m not going to explain it here – and this meeting leads where you expect it to, but it also takes the reader to many unexpected places. By the time you get to the end of the book you realize how perfectly set up you have been.I realize I’m being coy here – it’s hard not to be because it’s a somewhat twisty tale and I don’t want to spoil the plot even though this one main female character bothered me so much. Yes, the book is a little too predicable at times but it was good distraction from heavier reading.
  • (4/5)
    This very entertaining novel is set in NYC in the early 1920s. It begins with an intriguing description of the participants in the upcoming "trial of the century," who all hold featured roles as the book progresses.At the heart of A Certain Age are Theresa Marshall, a prominent middle-aged socialite, and Sophie Fortescue, the younger daughter of a widower whose inventions have resulted in a handsome income. There is a wide disparity in the ages and social standing of these women, and the virginal Sophie is reluctantly engaged to Theresa's dissolute brother whose eyes are cast on Sophie's fortune. Meanwhile, the married Theresa is conducting a passionate affair with a man young enough to be her son with the wonderfully French farcical name of Octavian Rofrano, a WWI pilot. The plot thickens when Octavian and the much more age-appropriate Sophie meet and begin a chaste relationship with palpable undercurrents, in addition to an unlikely coincidence that has ramifications leading to the trial. Sprinkled throughout the book are witty observations by a sharp-eyed columnist about the participants in the trial.This was an interesting book with a number of twists and turns that makes it a very good beach - or anywhere - read.
  • (4/5)
    This is a book taken from an opera an “updated” to the Jazz Age. We have an married to an older man but having an affair with a younger man whose brother is looking to marry a younger woman. It’s all very polite, at times too polite. Our matron, Theresa refers to her lover as Boy which I have to admit bothered me immensely throughout the novel. every time I read it I cringed. It got so I almost didn’t want to finish the book because I found it so aggravating and insulting.The sister’s lover is part of the formal proposal to the brother’s new love – you’ll have to read the book I’m not going to explain it here – and this meeting leads where you expect it to, but it also takes the reader to many unexpected places. By the time you get to the end of the book you realize how perfectly set up you have been.I realize I’m being coy here – it’s hard not to be because it’s a somewhat twisty tale and I don’t want to spoil the plot even though this one main female character bothered me so much. Yes, the book is a little too predicable at times but it was good distraction from heavier reading.
  • (4/5)
    A Certain Age is a little overwrought, but as it's loosely based on the Strauss opera Der Rosenkavalier, it's understandable. I'm not entirely sure I like this recent trend of basing modern books on 19th century works, or in this case, a work from 1910. At least it wasn't Edith Wharton again - I think she's been done enough. The Helen Rowland quotes at the start of each chapter were the best part.
  • (4/5)
    Wonderful writing once again by the author that thrilled me with her book, A Hundred Summers. This was a time machine to NYC during the JAZZ Age, and so well done you can picture yourself walking the streets.
  • (4/5)
    Another excellent read by Beatriz Williams. She has the ability to make any story come alive. This doesn't have the most stunning of plots, but it sings.
  • (4/5)
    There are so many things I loved about this novel - the setting of 1920s Manhattan, a family living with dark secrets, and intertwining plots and characters. A Certain Age is perfect for escapist historical fiction, complete with a satisfying ending and just enough loose ends to make one wonder.
  • (4/5)
    There's something incredibly glamorous about the Roaring Twenties. The fashions, the wealth, the feel of slight illicitness, all combine to make this era sexy and appealingly scandalous. It is, after all, the era of Jay Gatsby on one end and Sam Spade on the other. And it was a letting loose, a rejoicing, after the horrors of the war to end all wars. Beatriz Williams' delicious new novel, A Certain Age, fits right into that twenties mystique.Mrs. Theresa Marshall is a New York socialite, married to a wealthy if philandering man, beautiful and aging well, and she's enjoying a steamy affair with her Boyo, a young man younger than her own sons. The only fly in the ointment is that Boyo (real name Octavian Rofrano) is an honorable man and he doesn't want to sneak around having an affair; he wants to marry Theresa. She's content with things as they are, as is her husband, who is, as always, engaged in his own discreet affair. When Theresa's bachelor brother, Jay Ochsner, announces that he's finally fallen in love and wants to marry, he enlists Theresa's help finding him a cavalier. Family tradition dictates that he send an unmarried man as his cavalier to propose to the lovely, young, and fabulously rich Sophie Fortescue rather than going himself. Predictably Sophie says yes. She may have money but Ox has the name that will gain her admittance into the old New York version of aristocracy. Theresa enlists her Boyo as Ox's cavalier and to investigate Sophie's family, of whom little is known, two requests that will reverberate with unavoidable consequences through all of their lives.The plot is a combination of murder mystery and a romp through the lives of the very wealthy but there's so much more than just a fun plot here. In Theresa and Sophie, Williams sets up not only the contrast of dewy youth and innocence with realistic, pragmatic middle age, she also contrasts society's changing attitudes towards sex and marriage. Theresa's character is strong and glittering. She is adept at arranging situations to her advantage, mostly, but not always, stopping short of being manipulating. But she's clearly also good to those she loves, not just to herself, making her more sympathetic than selfish in the reader's eyes. As events start spiraling out of Theresa's control, she doesn't panic; she just smoothly adjusts course. Sophie is a much more naive character, testing the water to find out who and what she wants to be. She isn't quite as nuanced as Theresa and her chapters were correspondingly that little bit less engrossing. The narration shifts from Theresa to Sophie in alternating chapters, generally switching the action from one to the other just as the narrative tension reaches fever pitch. Interspersed occasionally throughout the story are gossip column tidbits hinting at the main characters' involvement in the trial of the century. The columns only slowly reveal facts designed to entice and suggest but not to fully explain. These are used to good effect for sure. The beginning of the book is rather languorous but the pacing escalates to a gallop in the final third of the book so that it is impossible to put down. The climax is shocking and appropriate and the ending is earned, even if it isn't a complete surprise. Fans of historical fiction will thrill to this one; it has everything we've come to expect from novels set in the 1920s: scandal, impossible love, murder, adultery, and honor.
  • (4/5)
    I received an Advanced Reader's Edition of this book in exchanged for an unbiased review.Theresa Marshall is a wealthy and sophisticated socialite living in Manhattan at the dawn of the Roaring 20's. Her children grown and her husband preoccupied with a string of mistresses, Theresa finds passion and comfort in the arms of her younger lover, Octavian Rofrano- or as she calls him, The Boy- a handsome WWI pilot.When Theresa's brother announces that he has plans to marry a young girl, Sophie Fortescue, from a 'new money' family, Theresa asks The Boy to look into her brother's fiance's background to make sure that the young lady is a suitable match for their family. But what The Boy finds out about Sophie and her past, and what happens on his search will change everything for all of them.Beatriz Williams handled a plot full of twists and turns masterfully, making the characters come alive in the process. A CERTAIN AGE has everything you could want from a book set in the gilded age of progress and jazz in New York City, from love affairs, to heartbreak, to mystery, to murder. I particularly loved the way she wrote Theresa Marshall, the subtlety of her voice and how her character developed. Conversely, this is the only thing that stopped me short of completely loving the book, because I could not connect on the same level with Sophie during her chapters. I would highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys historical fiction set in the 1920s, and passionate, fast-paced love stories.
  • (3/5)
    I was first drawn to this book by the lovely book cover. The next thing was the time period this story featured... the 1920's. I have really been intrigued by this era and getting my hands on new books that I come across that take place in this era. As soon as I opened this book I was transported back in time. This is the best part about this book...the era. I was not immersed in the characters or their lives as much as I would have liked to be. In fact, for me I did not really see or experience a love triangle. Although, I thought that Octavian was good as was Sophie. Theresa was fine but I felt a brick wall between her and Octavian that they could not fully break down in their relationship. Despite not being in love with this book I did like what I read and would read more books by this author.
  • (3/5)
    3.5 starsA CERTAIN AGE is a trip back in time to my favorite “modern” era. Maybe it’s simply nostalgia on my part, but it was a glorious time full of promise and limitless potential, and a sense of innocence we’ve lost. A CERTAIN AGE’s character’s embody and reflect aspects of the era beautifully with each facet given a name and face. I truly felt transported back in time with:Theresa- New York Society and old money matron, of a certain age. Sophie- Bright young thing with the world before her. Pauper to “patent princess” thanks to daddy’s invention. She’s also the object of Jay’s affection and his desire to throw off the mantle of bachelorhood.Jay/Ox- Theresa’s brother, impeccable pedigree and no money.Boy(o)/Octavian- Recently returned from France, former war pilot. Experience has made him more man, and more troubled, than men twice his age. He’s also Theresa’s lover.Sylvo- Theresa’s husband. They’ve had an agreement for years, initiated by Sylvo. It works for them.While the male characters play integral roles, and we couldn’t do without them, most of their actions, to me, are in reaction to the women. They’re the ones who call the shots.And of the women, speaking for myself, Theresa was by far the most interesting. The opening “trial of the century” teases because we have no clue who’s on trial or for what, though murder is what usually results in a “trial of the century” moniker. The characters are then introduced and we get to know them and their all too human dramas, be they monied or poor, as they draw ever closer to the fateful day and its events that culminate in the trial. Things were tooling along swimmingly and I was there hook, line, and sinker…..until we knew who and what in regards to the trial. There had been foreshadowing but I’d hoped it was my imagination. Sadly, it wasn’t and that’s when events became a bit melodramatic/soapy and somewhat on the predictable side. Despite that, Theresa’s POV was still interesting while Sophie essentially lost me. Bright young things aren’t all that entertaining to me. But I certainly appreciated the twist(s) at the end.Reviewed for Novels Alive TV & Miss Ivy's Book Nook Take II
  • (5/5)
    A Certain Ageby Beatriz WilliamsLet me begin by placing a few key phrases before you."hedonism of the Jazz Age" in New York CityCaptain Octavian Rofrano (BOY)... honorable, devoted war hero, "battle scarred" paramour of the flamboyant Mrs. Theresa Marshall.Miss Sophie Fortescue... naive, charming ingenue, advancing and retreating on the fringes of "the Roaring 20's.""As a fateful triangle forms, loyalties divide and old crimes are dragged into daylight, drawing Octavian into transgression…and Theresa into the jaws of a bittersweet choice."(publisher's note)This is an excellent rendering of the jazz age in NYC andthe colorful characters dabbling in conventional and forbiddenpursuits4.5 ★
  • (4/5)
    Falling in love with a younger man while you are still married and then having a younger woman come along wasn't the best thing to happen to Mrs. Theresa Marshall.A CERTAIN AGE began with an excerpt from a murder trial then moved to alternating chapters and told of the life of high society and how they adapted social protocol to whatever they wanted.We follow Mrs. Marshall, Mr. Marshall, Captain Rofrano, and Miss Fortescue in the scandalous antics they were all involved in. Decisions had to be made and Sophie Fortescue had the most difficult decision, even though her father was the one that would be making the decision about who she was to marry.Ms. Williams again perfectly portrays the time period and how women in wealthy families really didn't have a choice about choosing their spouse. After the marriage proposal was made, an investigation into the Fortescue family adds another layer to the book. The Fortescues are not who they say they are, and a house that Mr. Rofrano grew up in was part of their secret.Once the secret was revealed and Sophie Fortescue was more outspoken, the book heated up with an ending that was oh so good with an unexpected twist. I enjoyed the characters, but Mrs. Marshall and Mr. Fortescue were my least favorites. Mr. Fortescue was too controlling, and Mrs. Marshall was too sneaky for me.A CERTAIN AGE was beautifully written as all of Ms. Williams’ books even though it took me a while to get connected, but it was still enjoyable.The book's cover is stunning, and the book is patterned after an opera titled Der Rosenkavalie. ENJOY if you read A CERTAIN AGE. 4/5