Monday, June 14, 2010

Reading Rain-bow: Luxe by Anna Godbersen

Note: Today's Reading Rain-bow Rec is brought to you by our very own Dusty. I took pity on her and did NOT photoshop a picture of her with the Geordi visor.  *winks*


I'll admit it. I judge a book by its cover. So it is no wonder that I grabbed the first book in this series purely because of that dress on the cover. It's a good thing the story inside was just as gloriously 'pretty' as the cover.

Anna Godbersen set The Luxes series in the Gilded Age of New York with the Vanderbilt's, Carnagie's, and Rockefeller's of that time, and the series centers around the lives of four women. Think Gossip Girl meets The Age of Innocence and you pretty much have the idea behind the series. The story starts out with a funeral. The wealthy socialite Elizabeth Holland's funeral to be exact.

Elizabeth Holland is portrayed as a perfect, shining example of everything the upper crust holds dear; perfect manners, perfect dress, perfect marriage material to a member of New York's highest ranking family. Diana Holland is a rebel, a rebel who is trying to find her own place among the strict social rules of the elite class in New York. Penelope is a conniving beauty, her family is newly rich, which means her social status has only been attained by this new money and not her last name. She wants nothing more than to keep holding on to this newfound fame. Finally, there is Lina Broud, a maid in the Holland household. Lina only knows work, the fancy world of the Holland sisters is something she only sees from afar and she craves that lifestyle for herself and she is willing to do anything to get in that circle.

There is no shortage of hot, young men either. You may find yourself on Team Henry. Or Team Teddy. Or perhaps Team Will. The men in this series are all a match for the strong, independent and smart cast of women so it made reading about the loves found and lost quite refreshing and real. And you may find yourself surprised to have switched teams (and your whole thinking of each character) by the last book.

We have love and betrayal here, of course, and plenty of plot twists along the way to carry the story along. But the best thing about this series is the lush, descriptive and yes, LUXE storytelling. Gowns and parties are fully described in detail so that the reader is immersed in the story along with the characters. It gives a glorious view at an era long gone and an inside look at how the elite in New York played at the time. Anna Godbersen clearly did her research and it shows on every single page.

The Luxe series, by Anna Godbersen consists of 4 books: The Luxe, Rumors, Envy and Splendor.

It is the perfect series for a summer read.

Find the series here: The Luxe, The Official Site
Read the first book, The Luxe, for free on Harper-Collins site.

Be sure to let us know what you think! Happy reading!