Wednesday, April 23, 2008

The Luxe by Anna Godbersen

This reminded me of so many things I couldn't name, "Classic" literature written around the time this novel is set (1899). Chopin's The Awakening? Something by Henry Miller? Classics that ended up being somewhat dry and boring, whereas this one certainly is not. After I finished, I felt rather as if I had gotten away with reading a book that looked like it should have been Important, but instead was Fun. I gave it immediately to my daughter (14), who adored it.

Liked Bookshelves of Doom review on this:

In short, this book starts with the death/disappearance of one Elizabeth Holland, socialite, beautiful person, kind soul. Or so it seems. It was painfully obvious from the beginning that more was going on here. Elizabeth's family is in straightened circumstances, due to the death of her father. The only way the family can make it is if she marries well, but of course the man her mother has chosen is a cad who prefers her headstrong sister. Elizabeth is no saint, but keeps her secrets well from her family... but not one of the servants who uses this information against her. The plot is a little contrived, but still compelling, and there are quite a number of characters, so it is not a surprise that they are not as developed as they should be.

This is more of a high school novel. There are some assignations depicted, but it is the heft of the book and the historical setting that would make it hard for me to find an audience in my school. Will I read the sequel? Absolutely. And it's not a bad way to get girls into some historical fiction.

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