The Luxe by Anna Godbersen:
O.K. liking this book was like the biggest surprise of my summer!! Last week after finishing The Kingdom of Shadows by Barbara Erskine I felt emotionally drained and wanted a good light read, but not silly. I thought maybe The Luxe would fit the bill. What a delightful surprise to find myself getting caught up in the story. I actually liked it so much that I found myself at Border's Books last night buying the sequel Rumors and can't wait to get into it.
The Luxe is about 1899 high society girls in Manhattan. You may say they are the aristocrats of American society. Their lives revolve around parties, secrets, forbidden rendezvous's and the false fronts they portray to the public. Just when you think you know a character you are completely surprised. My two favorite characters ended up being the two I really didn't like in the beginning. Anna Godbersen is a very young author and has done an excellent job of portraying the inner turmoil of young women and the fact that you cannot judge a book by it's cover. Nor can you assume that money and status is a cure all, it can be very confining and miserable.
Being a mother of 4 daughters I read this thinking of one of my favorite Shakespeare quotes Oh what a tangled web we weave when at first we practice to deceive. Also you can't help but be happy when someone gets their just desserts.
Ms. Godbersen does a great job covering the landed gentry, Nouveau Riche, and the peasant through the different young women.
The story line is pretty predictable and not very intricate, but does have some thought provoking moments. It's a fun book, an easy fast read. Don't expect literature here. Go into expecting to be entertained and you won't be disappointed.
I give this book 4 out of 5 royal crowns. I would put the crowns on, but haven't figured out how to do that yet.