Wednesday, 2 July 2008

The Luxe, by Anna Godbersen

The Luxe
By Anna Godbersen

As you can see from my current Book of the Week, I thoroughly enjoyed The Luxe. It tells the story of rich families living in New York, in 1899. It mainly centres around the Holland, Hayes and Schoonmaker families; society's elite, if you will.
Before each chapter is a cutting from a newspaper, extract from a book or diary, or even a private letter, and the chapter will be centered around what was in that extract/cutting/letter. I liked that idea, and made the book even better, I think.
The prologue tells of the death of an Elizabeth Holland, loved by all who knew her, and thought perfect and beautiful by everyone. The book tells of the events leading up to her death, but on the very last page there is a sudden twist.
The book is set in New York, and nearly all the chapters/scenes take place in a mansion or a ballroom, or the frequently visited Lord and Taylor, the dressmaker.
There are plenty of 'scandals' in the book, such as the love that Elizabeth Holland and her coachman, Will, share, even though she is engaged to Henry Schoonmaker because her family is losing their fortune because of their dead father's debts that are slowly emerging, one by one, and Henry Schoonmaker is the richest there is.
And how Penelope Hayes, Elizabeth's greatest rival, and therefore her best friend, was sure to marry the young Schoonmaker, were it not for his father forcing him to cruelly abandon her and propose to Elizabeth so the elder Schoonmaker could run for mayor of 1900, then president.
Also the schemes that Penelope thinks up so she can try and win Henry back.
Lina, Elizabeth's childhood friend and maid, loves Will, who Elizabeth is having a secret affair with, so becomes 'evil' and seeks out Penelope so she can reveal all Elizabeth's secrets when she is fired from her position as Elizabeth's maid because she spills hot tea over Miss Holland.
Also, Will, Lina's crush, and Elizabeth's lover, wants to move to California because seeing Liz marry Henry would break his heart. He is trying to get Elizabeth to elope with him.
And how Diana Holland, Elizabeth's younger sister, loves Henry Schoonmaker, even though his sister is engaged to marry him, and he loves her back, but cannot say as he will lose his inheritance if he doesn't marry Elizabeth.
There is so much going on in this book, but it all ties together. It is a mix between a love story, and a murder mystery, but as I said, there is a big plot twist at the end.

Title: The Luxe
Author: Anna Godbersen
First Published: In the USA 2007, by Harper Collins Children's Books
Be seen with the most sumptuous book of the season.
Every girl must own one.
Imagine, if you will, New Y0rk City, 1899...
Society's elite; the glamour, the grandeur, the glittering parties, the most handsome beaux, the most beautiful debutantes... the rich girl, the humble boy, the forbidden love, the stolen glances, the whispers, the scandal, the mystery, the revenge.
You are cordially invited to step into
where the secrets are dark and the sins are delicious...
Buy It Now From: Amazon

Rating 5/5

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