Manhattan in 1899 was known to many as the “age of innocence.” However, in the world Anna Godberson portrays in her novel ‘The Luxe’ the main characters are anything but innocent.
Elizabeth and Dianna Holland are important socialites in New York City. But what happens when Elizabeth is engaged to the most eligible bad-boy bachelor, Henry Shoonmaker, the object of her best friend’s desire? Putting feelings for her best friend aside Elizabeth has another problem; she is in love with a family stablehand, a man her family would never approve of.
The plot may sound complicated but it is not. It is intricate, but everything is clearly defined and explained throughout the novel.One of the best things about the book is the way the chapters are outlined.
I loved the fact that Godberson used fake gossip stories as if these people were real celebrities. I found character development in the novel amazing, but it became over-detailed. The descriptions of a ball gown can only go so far before you have to reach the point that says “I get it. It’s a red dress and she’s the villain”.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, some characters are completely flat. I found myself wanting to know more about the parents and why they were so desperate to marry their children off into good families. A lot goes on at parties and behind closed doors, so the characters are out of sync with each other and always need to be filled in, which led to annoying repetition.
Overall the plot was solid and the characters were interesting. The time period was of drama and theatrics, which is prominently displayed in the novel. This novel seems to appeal to a narrow audience, guys may be bored with the story but I think girls will enjoy it. Think Gossip Girl in the early 1900’s. Even though this book is part of a four book series, I didn’t feel the desire to read the others.