The Luxe By Anna Godbersen

Sunday, 13 January 2013

The Luxe (Luxe, #1)Series: Luxe #1
Genre: Young Adult, Historical Fiction
Release Date: November 20th 2007
Source: Library 
Overall Rating: 4/5 Stars
Cover Rating: 4.5/5 Stars
Synopsis: Beautiful sisters Elizabeth and Diana Holland rule Manhattan’s social scene. Or so it appears. When the girls discover their status among New York City’s elite is far from secure, suddenly everyone—from the backstabbing socialite Penelope Hayes, to the debonair bachelor Henry Schoonmaker, to the spiteful maid Lina Broud—threatens Elizabeth’s and Diana’s golden future. With the fate of the Hollands resting on her shoulders, Elizabeth must choose between family duty and true love. But when her carriage overturns near the East River, the girl whose glittering life lit up the city’s gossip pages is swallowed by the rough current. As all of New York grieves, some begin to wonder whether life at the top proved too much for this ethereal beauty, or if, perhaps, someone wanted to see Manhattan’s most celebrated daughter disappear... 

I enjoyed this book a lot more than I originally thought I would. The book is set in 1899 so as you would suspect it focuses on class, balls and finding the perfect husband but there's a twist. The book begins with Elizabeth Holland's funeral and the rest of the book charts her life up until that point. We get to see what life is like being some of the most privileged people on New York plus the people who serve them due to the alternating narrators. We see just how catty people became when climbing to the top of the social ladder was concerned.

Because of the alternating narrators we got to see a lot of each character which I loved. The main character, Elizabeth, I found to be quite naive and a little too prim and proper for my liking. Everyone loved her because she was so lovely and kind but frankly I didn't see it. I didn't like how she treated people but throughout the book she grew on me. Her sister, Diana, was a much better character. She was brave, confident and reckless but also loving and kind. I liked how she treated her servants as friends and opposed her obligations to be just like her perfect sister. Penelope Haye's, Elizabeth's frienemy I found to be quite entertaining. I loved her little plots which may sound strange since in a way she's the villain of the story. I also loved Henry Shoonmaker, he was just as high as the Holland's on the social ladder but he was also the bad boy of New York - with a new scandal every week. He also seemed, like Diana, a lot more down to earth than any of the others. One character I hated was the maid Lina, I get that she was angry with Elizabeth for dumping her but I found her personality to be so clingy and irritating - I just didn't like her at all.

The detail and the story building in The Luxe was stunning, with the kind of description that you only find in historical fiction. I found the story to be thoroughly entertaining and very true to the historical facts which is always good. The story line was filled with that many scandals that I wondered how there were any respectable families left - not that it was a bad thing. I also enjoyed how each chapter was divided by a note, poem or extract from a book or newspaper, it made even the chapter headings just as flwaless as the book it's self. I will most definitely be reading the rest of the series and taking a look at Godbersen's other books.

My Favorite Quote:
“Don't go looking for boys in the dark 
They will say pretty things then leave you with scars. 
Do go looking for boys in the park 
For that is where the true gentlemen are.”

Email me at: confessionsofabookaholic@LIVE.CO.UK

3 People dared to comment.:

Elisa said...

I was wondering about this book, for some reason I thought no, not for me...but you are turning me around. I might have to pick it up...lovely review!

Amber Bardan said...

I have heard so much about this book. Now seeing your review I think I might have to try it :)

I found you on goodreads group my blog is :)

Eustacia Tan said...

I remember reading this book! I enjoyed it, but somehow, I don't think I ever got round to reading the later books :/

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