Mar 11, 2010
Series : #1 Luxe
Author : Anna Godbersen
Rating : * * * *
Characters : Elizabeth Holland is 18 and she knows her proper place in society—at the top. She is the epitome of flawless; well, aside from her deepest desire she fights desperately to conceal. Diana Holland is little sister to Elizabeth at the age of 16. She is more outwardly rebellious than her sister. Penelope Hayes comes from younger money than the Hollands’, but isn’t the slightest bit concerned about that. Henry Schoonmaker is the playboy. Will Keller is the carriage boy who grows up with Elizabeth and Diana. Carolina Broud was born to serve, but carries a burning crush in her heart and a chip on her shoulder.
Setting : 1899 Manhattan
Basic Plot : Elizabeth and Diana Holland rule Manhattan society. Unfortunately, as with all types of social status, nothing is secure and invisible lines one class are constantly being overstepped and violated. These sisters and their dichotomy play a central role in the plot. The girls’ future is threatened by socialites, bachelors, and servants alike. The story kicks off with the death and funeral of Elizabeth and the buzz continues throughout the plot of who will take her elite place in the upper class. She was the young lady every man wanted to be with, every girl wanted to claw, and the type of woman who no one really knew at all.
Comments : Admittedly the first thing that grabbed me about this book was the cover. It is simply stunning and I could not resist such a beautiful marketing technique. Sorry if this disappoints anyone. I know you cant judge a book by its cover, but it can certainly catch your eye if the cover is done well. Luckily the writing inside the novel lived up to my expectations. This novel is girly to the ‘enth degree and combines the best of Gossip Girl and historical fiction. It really is a glittering start to a “luxe”-urious series. Beware of stereotypes that make the plot drag a bit. Otherwise, enjoy the scene of near eighteenth century Manhattan.
Similar : A Great and Terrible Beauty (Libba Bray) The Season (Sarah MacLean) The Everafter (Amy Huntley)