Envy: A Luxe Novel by Anna Godbersen


Envy, the third book in the Luxe series by Anna Godbersen, picks up shortly after where Rumors left off. I’d prefer not to give much of a description about the plot as it would reveal details from the first two and if you haven’t read those yet, you need to! I love these books! They are set in New York City at the turn of the century and center around four young women and their life in the upper class. The cover of the first book, The Luxe, is what drew me in to the first one, and I expected it to be a historical fiction version of Gossip Girl, but it is so much more! The girls must manuver their way through love and betrayal, all while trying to not bring shame to their family name. Godbersen does an excellent job of developing each individual character, and even when I don’t like a character, I remain invested in their storyline. Godbersen is descriptive with her settings, characters, and clothing, although there is only so many times I can read about a character’s clavicles before I feel like she’s trying to bash me over the head to remind me how slender said character is.

The plot speeds along and the twists will surprise you. There is one particular character whom I can’t wait to catch up with in the fourth and final novel, Splendor. Her actions right at the end leave an enormous cliffhanger. I am also intrigued by something mentioned in the prologue that was never resolved, unless I totally missed it. Godberson’s Luxe prologues tend to describe the end of the book, but then you have to read the whole book to figure out how everyone gets to that point and what exactly is going on. In this prologue, it is mentioned that a female character is removing her corset in front of a man who is not her husband, and I don’t remember this couple’s identity being revealed. I have my suspicions, but if I missed the reveal, please tell me!

If you are at all interested in reading these, Harper Collins currently has the first book, The Luxe, available free as an ebook. You have to pay to download it, I believe, but if you don’t mind reading it on your computer screen, it’s free!

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10 responses to “Envy: A Luxe Novel by Anna Godbersen

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  2. Leena

    I just read your comment on the prologue in Envy. I think the girl removing her corset is Penelope. Maybe her plan to make Henry come back is by actually getting pregnant. And since Henry isn’t there anymore…I think you get the picture. I’m sure of this because what other girl married into a well-off Manhattan family? It has to be about Penelope. And earlier in the book she says something about never having off her corset by herself.

  3. dogearedandwellread

    Leena, I’m so glad to hear that you think that! I was thinking it was Penelope but was questioning that since usually the prologue is revealed by the end and every scene in the prologue was pretty much answered except that one. Any idea who she’s with?

  4. Leena

    Yeah, I was confused too but who else can possibly fit that description? No idea, I’m gonna say that that person will hopefully be introduced in Splendor. The funny thing is, Lina isn’t mentioned in the prologue at all. Or did I miss something?
    The only thing that irks me is the fact that Diana and Henry have always been in this kind of “hidden” relationship. So far I feel they’re only attracted to each other because they can’t be with each other. And now she’s going to the army? The same thing all over again. I’ll only be satisfied with their relationship if and when they go out in the open with it. What do you think?

  5. Leena

    Never mind. I have a strong feeling it is Lina. Her last lines in the book have her refer to Tristan as some foreign man no one knows about. This makes much more sense than it being Penelope.

  6. Maddy

    Lina was mentioned in the prologue. She was the woman who just inherited fortune.

    The girl having her corset removed could be Penelope, but what about the husband with his wife who is waiting for her clothes from Paris? Who are they then?

    • I think the one who is awaiting her clothes from Paris is Diana. At the end of Envy, she goes to find Henry and well, at the beginning of Splendor, we find out that they are saying instead that she is in Paris at finishing school as a cover-up.

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  8. Scarlett

    I am also confused about the lady “recently married into one of New York’s great families – unhooking her corset in the company of a man who looked nothing like her husband.” It certainly COULD be Penelope, but it doesn’t seem like she would be mentioned twice, since the prologue is written as if everything is happening at the same time.

    I’m absolutely positive that it is Penelope “whose spring wardrobe had not yet arrived from Paris and was still dressed in a heavy winter velvet, without a dance partner in a very grand room.” This is first because Penelope’s not receiving her new wardrobe yet was mentioned towards the end of the book, right before she finds out Henry is going to war. Which brings me to it mentioning that this woman’s husband was “gazing at the city’s receding reflection in the Hudson River.” This is obviously Henry leaving for war, which is why Penelope is without a dance partner.

    Diana is obviously the one cutting her hair, because it not only mentions her name but details this account in the last chapter of the book. Elizabeth is obviously the girl “known for her family’s reputation and for her family’s address and for one very grand engagement (Henry)” who is in the “new, stylish apartment houses for the wealthy” with her new husband, Snowden. And Carolina must be the “heiress whose new wealth (from Longhorn) did nothing to prevent her from unrolling her stockings in the company of a man whom no one had ever heard of (almost definitely Tristan).”

    So… This still brings me to who is the woman undoing her corset? My suspicion is that it may be Isabelle Schoonmaker, who did somewhat recently marry into the Schoonmaker family, who lives on Fifth Avenue, and whose “cheeks were flushed from the champagne she had drunk at dinner” the night of the Hayes/Schoonmaker dinner. Other than that I’m not sure who it could be. I flipped through the book again multiple times, and it definitely isn’t covered. Guess I’ll just have to read Splendor and find out!

  9. Sandra

    The girl on the cover looks too much like Olivia Hussey when she was 15 its scary …..

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