I am usually not a fan of a book that starts at the end, but this one works. We meet Ms. Katey Kontent (yah) as she is admiring photographs at a gallery with her husband. This is the story of two friends Katey and Evie. This is also the story of a City, New York City. The choices we make and the roads we choose to take all lead us somewhere and we all have to live with those choices. What we do to stay alive. Not just in the physical sense of the word but what we do to stay alive in the metaphorical sense as well. Do we choose wealth over happiness? How we judge wealth and happiness?
At first I couldn’t help but feel as if Katey was an observer. At times it was as if she was allowing Evie to make all the decisions. However, the more I read and got to know both women the more I realized that, although it appeared as if Evie was in control, it was Katie who all along had control of the situation. She made the decisions whereas Evie although attempting to look in control allowed her circumstances to guide her decisions.
Amor Towles’ writing is hypnotic, poetic and raw. I found myself being transported to New York in 1938, and wondering what choices I would have made. Would I have been willing to put it all on the line and walk away would I have taken the easy and more comfortable road? It’s true that two roads diverge in a woods …… and whichever one you decide to take makes all the difference.
I had great time reading this book and it’s somewhat surprising to see how long it took me to read it but I think I know why. Finishing the book would have meant that I would have had to leave this characters in the past and move on….. Perhaps I was not ready for that. Now I am….. this could be telling as to what road I would have taken given enough time to assess my situation.
Five stars without hesitation.