Review : The Luxe
The Luxe by Anna Godbersen
Pages : 433
Genre : YA, Historical Fiction
Series : The Luxe, Book 1
My Rating :
In a few words :
Welcome to New York! The year is 1899 and gossip is in fashion. Beautiful Elizabeth Holland, daughter of a well established family, is to be married to Henry Schoonmaker, one of the most wanted young man of society. The sudden union is causing numerous reactions in New York’s society : Penelope Hayes, Elizabeth’s ambitious best friend, will stop at nothing to take Elizabeth’s place. Henry, on his part, has fallen for none other than Diana Holland, his promised’s sister.
But before the marriage happens, Elizabeth drowns and dies, leading to the inevitable question : what really happened on that terrible morning of her death?
I read many reviews of The Luxe before reading the book, and most agreed that this was light, fun, bubbly reading, perfect after a difficult day when your brain needs to take a break. With that in mind, I started reading it with absolutely no expectations and was in the end pleasantly surprised.
Sure, this isn’t the most true-to-the-facts historical fiction I have ever read; the girls act more like 1999 girls than 1899 young women, and the descriptions of the time period were, at times, a bit blurry. On the other hand, Godbersen perfectly writes the balls and the social occasions, all in lights and dresses and gossips, giving you the impression to really be there.
I didn’t like most of the characters in this book (though I came to appreciate them later in the next ones), but it didn’t keep me from enjoying the story. I curious to see where this was going, and Penelope was specially fun to watch.
I thought the ending was a bit predictable, and honestly I’m not sure it’s supposed to be such a big surprised anyway. Still, I enjoyed how the author brought us to the end, following the different characters in turns and adding small notes and extracts of newspapers in between the chapters. In the end, The Luxe was like a big lollipop : it doesn’t have much nutriments, but you can’t help getting all of it!
Series Reading Order :
- The Luxe