Alexandria resident Kaaren Christopherson’s first novel, set in New York City in the 1890s, will remind you of Edith Wharton and an earlier-era Downton Abbey. The extensive background research that she undertook in writing the book is reflected in her collection of fascinating characters and her descriptions of the environment in which they live. The organizing theme of the book came from an etiquette guide written in 1881 that belonged to her great-grandmother; well-chosen excerpts from the guide at the beginning of each chapter add authenticity and amusement. The tagline “There’s nothing polite about society…” says it all. — Melynda Wilcox, Port City Notebook Blogspot
“A story of discovery, entitlement and love.” – Northern Virginia Magazine
“Beautiful heiress Francesca Lund must figure out how to assert her ideas within the confines of 1890’s New York high society.” – Library Journal
“Decorum is a beautifully written book of love, revenge and acceptance. Kaaren Christopherson has given us a story that is not easily forgotten and want to keep reading….Thank you, Ms. Christopherson for writing this very poignant book. I devoured every page.” – Kendal Stegmann, Kinx’s Book Nook Blogspot
Within a few chapters, this novel captivates the reader into the alluring world of golden society circles of Old New York in the 1890’s and introduces us to a set of characters that range from those born with silver spoons in their mouths to those on the outside looking in…. I found this read impressive and exciting as the author transports us back to an era that I absolutely adore and can’t stop reading about. – Debbie DeVita,Bookish Lifestyle Blogspot
Kaaren Christopherson does a fantastic job of weaving a tale that had me enraptured. This book wasn’t exactly what I expected when I started reading, but it was so much more. Francesca’s naivete and Edmund’s cunning had me on the edge of my seat. I couldn’t wait to find out the whole background story with Edmund. Blanche also was a formidable character to be dealt with. It was like a soap opera, but only like a really good soap opera. – To Read or Not to Read Blogspot
Delightful Romp in 1890s NYC — perfect! In this remarkable first novel, Christopherson takes us back to 1890s New York — to tell a tale so pitch perfect it hurts. Bridging the divide between historical fiction and literary fiction, the story of the rising immigrant Connor and the unlikely pairing with orphaned socialite/settlement house worker Francesca is beset with conflict from her devious fiance Tracy, Connor’s lover the scandalous Blanche and Francesca’s meddling guardians the Jeromes. Some of the most gorgeous scenes are set in an art warehouse examining paintings that have just arrived from Paris, a hat shop, a delightful tea house and of course, tangled in the bedsheets! Between murder, trials, and lies, this tale takes us to Argentina and Louisiana, Ireland and Chicago, the lower east side to the upper west side and finally to a real resort in Banff Canada where our unlikely pair will finally get a chance. Or will they? – Booksmart, Amazon
”A fantastically engaging book with everything you need for a really good read, probably best summed up as the American Downton Abbey meets Jane Austen. It starts a little slowly, but when it gets going, it really is difficult to put down.
“The plot and the various subplots are fascinating, with so many twists and turns, it never stops weaving a new thread. You constantly feel that the story will be coming to an end, but then there is more… and more… and more.
“The characters are well-developed, credible and, though not always likeable, possessing some magical quality that makes us feel like we know them so well. The central character manages to make herself someone to admire and someone we almost want to dismiss at the same time, whilst she metamorphoses throughout the novel, constantly changing on her journey of discovery. She presents a sense of strength and courage as she is faced with the most heart-wrenching and, often, downright embarrassing situations, yet she wins through in the end, despite overwhelming odds against a woman at this time.
“Throughout the novel, there is a quality that makes it feel like a movie—and this would make an excellent movie, without a doubt. The pace is just right and it keeps you gripped until the end. Excellently written and a thoroughly enjoyable read.” – Annemarie Macken, Goodreads
A story about New York’s gilded age
“New York, 1890, and the glitz and glamor of the time and setting, are the backdrop for this novel about a young heiress who suddenly finds herself alone in the world. I loved how each chapter began with a rule of etiquette based upon the societal norms of the time. The story gave me a glimpse of what it would have been like to live among the wealthiest and most prominent citizens. Of course, all is not perfect, for the heroine must maneuver her way through treachery, greed, and scandal to find which of the two men in her life is her true love. I thoroughly enjoyed how the characters interacted, and how authentic they felt to me. Lots of wonderfully rich descriptions of places and gowns really brought the era to life. … I definitely recommend this book to anyone who enjoys New York in the Gilded Age. A good historical read!” – Mirella Patzer, The Historical Novel Blogspot
“…the novel is remarkable in its similarities to the work of Edith Wharton. The reader feels drawn into a world of glamour, glitz, and supreme hypocrisy. Everything is permissible as long as one does not get caught. It is a drama of manners and the stakes are high—one misstep could mean social oblivion. … This novel will appeal to a wide range of readers, particularly those who enjoy period novels such as Age of Innocence and The Portrait of a Lady.” – The Historical Novel Society
“Christopherson provides the reader with a fully-realized world of brazen and aspiring women, ambitious men and strict expectations regarding how to conduct one’s private and/or social life. The characters are so beautifully drawn that I felt like I could start casting the mini-series the minute I put the book down. And, this book would make a wonderful TV series with settings ranging from early New York City to the Canadian Rockies. …I loved every minute.” – Nancy, Goodreads
“Reminiscent of Washington Square but with a more modern heroine, Decorum illuminates the dark world beneath New York society. Christopherson incorporates a clever mystery and populates the novel with a large cast of characters so entwined that readers may need a chart to sort them out. However, it’s well worth the effort to reach the conclusion.” – RT Book Reviews, 4 Stars
This half-page display ad appears in the March/April 2015 issue of Victoria Magazine.