“Kitty Tessler, a headstrong glamour girl determined to move up in the world, steals the spotlight in Amber Brock’s latest, a tour-de-force filled with intrigue and surprises.”
–Fiona Davis, nationally bestselling author of The Address and The Dollhouse
Set in the 1950s, Lady Be Good marks Amber Brock’s mesmerizing return, sweeping readers into the world of the mischievous, status-obsessed daughter of a hotel magnate and the electric nightlife of three iconic cities: New York, Miami, and Havana.
Kitty Tessler is the winsome and clever only child of self-made hotel and nightclub tycoon Nicolas Tessler. Kitty may not have the same pedigree as the tennis club set she admires, but she still sees herself as every inch the socialite–spending her days perfecting her “look” and her nights charming all the blue-blooded boys who frequent her father’s clubs. It seems like the fun will never end until Kitty’s father issues a terrible ultimatum: she may no longer date the idle rich. Instead, Kitty must marry Andre, her father’s second-in-command, and take her place as the First Lady of his hotel empire. Kitty is forced to come up with a wily and elaborate plan to protect her own lofty ideas for the future, as well as to save her best friend, Henrietta Bancroft, from a doomed engagement; Kitty will steal Henrietta’s fiancé, a fabulously wealthy but terribly unkind man from a powerful family–thereby delivering the one-two punch of securing her now-fragile place on the social ladder and keeping her friend from a miserable marriage.
Set in the glamorous 1920s, A Fine Imitation is an intoxicating debut that sweeps readers into a privileged Manhattan socialite’s restless life and the affair with a mysterious painter that upends her world, flashing back to her years at Vassar and the friendship that brought her to the brink of ruin.
Vera Bellington has beauty, pedigree, and a penthouse at The Angelus–the most coveted address on Park Avenue. But behind the sparkling social whirl, Vera is living a life of quiet desperation. Her days are an unbroken loop of empty, champagne-soaked socializing, while her nights are silent and cold, spent waiting alone in her cavernous apartment for a husband who seldom comes home.
Then Emil Hallan arrives at The Angelus to paint a mural above its glittering subterranean pool. The handsome French artist moves into the building, shrouds his work in secrecy, and piques Vera’s curiosity, especially when the painter keeps dodging questions about his past. Is he the man he claims to be? Even as she finds herself increasingly drawn to Hallan’s warmth and passion, Vera can’t suppress her suspicions. After all, she has plenty of secrets, too–and some of them involve art forgers like her bold, artistically talented former friend, Bea, who years ago, at Vassar, brought Vera to the brink of catastrophe and social exile.
When the dangerous mysteries of Emil’s past are revealed, Vera faces an impossible choice–whether to cling to her familiar world of privilege and propriety or to risk her future with the enigmatic man who has taken her heart. A Fine Imitation explores what happens when we realize that the life we’ve always led is not the life we want to have.
“Money. Sex. Intrigue. Amber Brock’s debut has all the trappings of a page-turning work of historical fiction.”
“Brock’s introspective characters, satisfying sub-plots, and unexpected—but justified—twists elevate the novel from a period romance to a suspenseful peek inside high society’s gilded cage.”
— Historical Novels Review
“If you love The Great Gatsby, this is your read.”
“There’s never a dull moment in this debut novel centered on an intriguing and tightly woven story line. Vera’s struggles are highly relatable, and the anguish she feels will resonate with countless readers. This surefire hit is certain to be beloved by fans of Beatriz Williams’s Along the Infinite Sea and Anton DiSclafani’s The After Party.”
— Library Journal, starred
“An absorbing tale of art, deception, romance, and forbidden desire.”
— Publishers Weekly
“Told from the inside of the gilded cage, A Fine Imitation explores one Manhattan socialite’s growing realization that who she’s been brought up to be is increasingly at odds with who she is. Although set in a rarified corner of the early twentieth century, this lush, incisive debut novel explores the universal choice between doing what is right versus what is expected.”
— Miranda Beverly-Whittemore, New York Times bestselling author of Bittersweet
“In A Fine Imitation, Amber Brock gives us a portrait of a woman and her times that shines with authenticity and charm. Women especially must read it–here we are, ladies, each and every one of us.”
— Anne Rivers Siddons, New York Times bestselling author of Low Country
“Rich in color and drama, A Fine Imitation is a sharp and absorbing period piece that skillfully portrays the tensions of social class and love. Fans of Amor Towles and Laura Moriarty will adore Amber Brock—a spellbinding new voice in historical fiction.”
— Erika Robuck, national bestselling author of Hemingway’s Girl
AMBER BROCK teaches British literature at an all-girls’ school in Atlanta. She holds an MA from the University of Georgia and lives in Smyrna with her husband, also an English teacher, and their three rescue dogs.