What I’m reading this week: “A Gentleman in Moscow,” by Amor Towles. 😀📚 Imagine being a member of the wealthy aristocracy in a grand city in the early 20th century. Your days and nights are filled with social encounters and clever repartee in every breathing moment. Servants are all around you, never betraying any hint of resentment at their confinement to a lower station, nor anything but utter contentment and devotion to their task of tending to your every need. Even when confined to house arrest by the Bolsheviks after the revolution has wiped out the old social order and replaced it with a new one, your prison is a luxury hotel, as befits your station. And naturally, the hotel is filled with interesting characters from every slice of the social strata with whom you may engage in fascinating conversations to pass the time and reinforce your social mastery though your sterling wit and charm. This is the world of “A Gentleman in Moscow,” and like a dinner guest who is impeccably charming, cultivated and au courant, the novel is endlessly entertaining — though the endless part sometimes obscures the entertainment. A well-fashioned escape into a rose-colored fantasy of old-world high society, set against the backdrop of a people’s revolution to provide essential cover for the reader to indulge in the guilty pleasure of high society role-play. The writing, especially the dialogue, is first-class and the plot development, though predictable at times, is interesting and keeps the pages turning. A pleasant and lightly edifying read, tailor-made for a richly costumed historical fiction film adaptation.