I did a short and I mean short review of The Luxe back in June, so this is just a longer more formal version of the review.
The Luxe by Anna Godberson.It's 1899, and Elizabeth Holland and her sister Diana rule Manhattan's social scene. Elizabeth is every man's dream- beautiful, well-mannered everything a woman should be in 1899. Diana is the exact opposite of Elizabeth, though good looking, she wants nothing to do with the expectations of being a young woman in high society. But all is not perfect, the Holland sisters learn that their high status in New York's elite is threatened. Anyone- including Elizabeth's back stabbing friend Penelope Hayes, the handsome and oh so rich bachelor Henry Schoonmaker and the Holland's housemaid Lina Broud with aspirations much higher than being a housemaid- could ruin everything.
The fate of the Holland family is in Elizabeth's hands and she must choose true love or family duty. Then, Elizabeth's carriage overturns, throwing Elizabeth into the rough current of the East River. While of Manhattan mourns, some start to wonder was this accident really an accident or was this life too much for their beloved socialite or even worse, did someone want Elizabeth gone?
Where appearances matter more than anything, five teenagers lead exceptionally scandalous lives, luxury, scandal, false friendships, love and deception run amok in Manhattan.
This book was one of the best historical fiction books I have read. Many historical fiction novels drag and get boring because everything is so innocent and proper, that it seems fake. Of course, many people lived their lives exactly how it is described in those books, it just does not always make for good reading. But The Luxe was fast-paced and scandalous. Sometimes when telling people about the book, I say it is the Gossip Girl of 1899. It is a perfect combination of romance, suspense, scandal and historical detail. The characters are great as is the dialogue. The sequel to the book Rumors is equally as good, and I cannot wait until the third book, Envy, comes out later this month. This book receives 5 out of 5 stars.