Monday, October 4, 2010

The Luxe By Anna Godbersen

Pretty girls in pretty dresses, partying until dawn.
Irresistible boys, with mischievous smiles, and dangerous intentions.
White lies, dark secrets, and scandalous hookups.
This is Manhattan, 1899.
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...
It never ceases to amaze me how such amazing books go under the radar for so long. The Luxe, the first in the series, is most definitely one of the best historical fiction books written in a long while. Writers now have seemed to become more intimidated with the genre, maybe because of the effort it takes to maintain the air of sophistication lacking in many historical fiction novels. The characters, though sometimes a tad overdone, reflect teenagers that aren't too far from teens today. The story was full of intrigue, and despite the overall superficial tones, it manages to suck you in and make you feel as affected by the circumstances as the characters themselves are. The book was well-written and well-developed, leaving me craving for more. Even the sort-of-a-giveaway beginning was vague enough to make the ending a surprise. A great beginning of a series, and a beautiful portrait of the nineteenth century's high society.

My rating is 5 stars with a definite recommendation to any lover of the nineteenth century.


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