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The Luxe (Luxe (Paperback))

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About the Author

Anna Godbersen is the author of the New York Times bestselling Luxe series. She was born in Berkeley, California, and educated at Barnard College. She currently lives in Brooklyn.


With a quote from The Age of Innocence as an epigraph and an enthusiastic blurb from the creator of Gossip Girl on its back cover, this lavishly produced debut makes no secret of its twin influences. The story opens in 1899 with the funeral of Elizabeth Holland, a well-bred beauty said to have plunged to her death in the Hudson River. The narrative then travels back several weeks, tracing the relationships and events that have led to the somber assembly. This tangled web includes not one but two sets of star-crossed lovers; an upstairs/downstairs romance; a scheming social climber; a bitter servant girl; and oodles of money, all set in a Edith Wharton via Hollywood vision of Old New York. The dialogue has its clunky moments, and the plot twist that drives the tale is telegraphed from the very start, but readers caught up in the fancy dress intrigue are unlikely to mind much: it's all part of the dishy fun. Needless to say, the ending paves the way for at least one sequel. Ages 14-up. (Dec.) Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.

Gr 8 Up-In this deliciously soapy novel, privileged teens in Manhattan conduct forbidden romances, betray their so-called friends, and generally indulge in bad behavior. The twist is that it's 1899, and they do so in corsets, silk gowns, and horse-drawn carriages rather than designer labels and sports cars. Eighteen-year-old Elizabeth Holland, daughter of a prominent but secretly impoverished family, is in love with Will, the family's young, handsome carriage driver. When wealthy Henry Schoonmaker proposes, however, her mother pushes her to accept, since Elizabeth's marriage is their only chance to maintain their luxurious lifestyle. Henry, an irresponsible playboy also forced into the loveless engagement, finds himself falling for Elizabeth's rebellious younger sister. To complicate matters further, Henry has been having an affair with Penelope Hayes, Elizabeth's supposed best friend, and Penelope will do absolutely anything to get him back. It's all scandalous, steamy-though never graphic-fun, with just enough period detail to make the Gilded Age come alive. The dialogue and attitudes sometimes seem suspiciously modern, but readers will enjoy the story too much to object.-Miranda Doyle, San Francisco Public Library Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.

The Gilded Age was never so yummily tarnished. Elizabeth and Diana are the beautiful and (unbeknownst to their circle) recently impoverished offspring of the well-heeled Holland family. Opening at Elizabeth's funeral, the story unfolds in a taffeta whirlwind of social engagements, secret lovers, and startling betrayals. Elizabeth enjoys a hot affair with the stable boy, while her younger sister pines for Elizabeth's fiance, the roguish Henry Schoonmaker. For fans of The Age of Innocence (starring Daniel Day-Lewis, Michelle Pfeiffer, and Winona Ryder, 1993) and the Gossip Girl TV series (launched in 2007). Why It Is for Us: The parties, the dresses, the bitchery. With well-developed characters and surprising plot twists, Godbersen's series is better than most adult romances, minus the spicier bits. [Also in the series: Rumors (ISBN 978-0-06-134569-2. 2008) and Envy (ISBN 978-0-06-134572-2. 2009).] Copyright 2009 Reed Business Information.

"Mystery, romance, jealousy, betrayal, humor, and gorgeous, historically accurate details. I couldn't put The Luxe down!"--Cecily von Ziegesar, author of the #1 New York Times bestselling Gossip Girl series

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