Splendor: a Luxe Novel by Anna Godberson

Splendor: a Luxe Novel by Anna Godberson: read in November, 2009; copy purchased for my school library

Description from Goodreads:

New beginnings.

Shocking revelations.

Unexpected endings.

A spring turns into summer, Elizabeth relishes her new role as a young wife, while her sister, Diana, searches for adventure abroad. But when a surprising clue about their father’s death comes to light, the Holland girls wonder at what cost a life of splendor comes.

Carolina Broad, society’s newest darling, fans a flame from her past, oblivious to how it might burn her future. Penelope Schoonmaker is finally Manhattan royalty—but when a real prince visits the city, she covets a title that comes with a crown. Her husband, Henry, bravely went to war, only to discover that his father’s rule extends well beyond New York’s shores and that fighting for love may prove a losing battle.

In the dramatic conclusion to the bestselling Luxe series, New York’s most dazzling socialites chase dreams, cling to promises, and tempt fate. As society watches what will become of the city’s oldest families and newest fortunes, one question remains: Will its stars fade away or will they shine ever brighter?

I don’t want to reveal too much about this final book in the series to avoid spoilers.  The Luxe series centers around four young ladies in early 1900’s Manhattan: two are sisters from old money, one is from a new money family, and the fourth girl started as a maid for one of the two sisters before finding her way into the upper class.  The novels follow their trials and tribulations in love, family, friendship, and proper society.

I love the way Splendor wraps up the series.  I like the way Ms. Godberson lets the reader see the changes coming in the 20th century – changes in class and gender roles – without making it unrealistic (I say this not as a scholar of the period so maybe someone with greater historical knowledge would argue).  I was very happy with the resolutions to the different relationships and how true it is to each character.  I also appreciated the growth each girl makes, Diana in particular.  The epilogue is perfect – Ms. Godberson lets you see the future of the characters in a beautifully crafted way.  I think I went back and read these five pages three times just because I wanted to digest each word and reflect on each glimpse into the future.

For a teenage reader, I feel like the final line will hold a lot of weight.  In the midst of adolescence, life away from high school and the town one lives in and the social structure of said town and school can feel so far away.  One may feel like she might never know anything else.  Ms. Godberson’s reference to the bigger world that awaits everyone out there is very hopeful.  I also appreciate that despite the girls being in a society that centers around money and fashion and superficial things, the most likeable character in the book understands that there is more to life than these things and yearns for more.

I’m a big fan of this series and can’t wait to see what Ms. Godberson publishes next.

 

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3 Comments

Filed under review, young adult lit

3 responses to “Splendor: a Luxe Novel by Anna Godberson

  1. sounds really terrific for teens- and adults, too. thanks for the great review.

  2. Pingback: Waiting on Wednesday – Bright Young Things « Dog-eared and Well-read

  3. Pingback: Book Catch-Up Part 2 | Dog-eared and Well-read

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