A CERTAIN AGE

Beatriz Williams

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.

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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.

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  • William Morrow
  • Paperback
  • January 2017
  • 352 Pages
  • 9780062404961

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$15.99

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About Beatriz Williams

beatriz-williamsA 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.

Author Website

Praise

“Set in the Roaring Twenties in the high-society circles of New York City, Williams’ story is a rousing, enjoyable read. . . Williams’ historic details and detailed descriptions only add to the decadence. New money, old money and intrigue make for a lot of lively fun.”Dallas-Forth Worth Telegram

Discussion Questions

1. By the tone of the first few pages, did you get the sense that A Certain Age was set during the period between World War I and World War II? Why or why not? How does the author set the stage for the era when describing the Roaring Twenties in New York City?

2. At the beginning of the novel, Boyo is beautiful and alluring because he can’t have what he most wants: Theresa. Theresa loves Boyo but knows she’s not who Boyo thinks she is — she’s twice his age and (at that point) married to a man with a mistress. Isn’t the point of an affair to get close to a feeling you can’t quite possess? Is it possible for an affair to work if both parties have nothing to lose?

3. A Certain Age is set in the 1920s in the era of speakeasies and bootlegging. Which scenes did you gravitate towards most: the underground parties full of flappers, smoke, and jazz of Julie Schuyler’s taste, or the upper-crust soirees decorated with crinoline, lace and fancy cocktails? Do you get a sense that the author preferred writing about one over the other?

4. Many of the scenes between Boyo and Theresa, and Sophie and Octavian/Mr. Rofrano are romantic, but each for a different reason. Which scenes do you think are more convincing? What qualities make up the perfect romantic scene?

5. Sophie and Theresa are alter egos of a sort. Do you identify with one over the other? Who were you rooting for to win Octavian’s heart? Did your opinion of him change throughout the course of the novel?

6. What a suspenseful ending! Did you piece any of the mystery together before the truth was revealed? What clues gave the ending away?

7. Theresa makes two choices at the end of the novel. Does it fit her character, and what does it say about the way she’s evolved? Would you have made the same choice if you were in her shoes? Why or why not?