Tuesday, May 26, 2009
The Luxe : a review
I will freely admit that what first drew me to The Luxe by Anna Godbersen was the cover. The story takes place in 1899 Manhatten, and as the lavish cover suggests, it centers around some young society girls who are always dressing up to attend fancy balls and charm the available young men. But it's not quite the easy life we might imagine, as evidenced by the first pages of the book, which describes the funeral of main character Elizabeth Holland. The story then backs up, describing events leading up to the funeral.
Elizabeth and her younger sister Diana find that their family is in financial trouble and a marriage is quickly arranged with the wealthy Henry Schoonmaker. The match is unappealing to pretty much everyone except the parents of the bride- and groom-to-be. There are various romantic twists and entanglements, peppered with a healthy dose of teenage backstabbing and even a servant girl gone wild.
I loved the details about life during that period, and the way that each chapter began with a news item from the newspaper society pages or a tidbit from an etiquette book. I'm happy to see that there are already two more books in this series (both with similar and equally appealing covers) and I will be reading those in the very near future. It's a great premise and the well-developed cast of characters is sure to keep things interesting. Highly recommended!