Monday, February 23, 2009
Envy: a Luxe novel by Anna Godbersen
Reasons for reading: I love this series; Young Adult Challenge
Description: "Two months after Elizabeth Holland's dramatic homecoming, Manhattan eagerly awaits her return to the pinnacle of society. When Elizabeth refuses to rejoin her sister Diana's side, however, those watching New York's favorite family begin to suspect that all is not as it seems behind the stately doors of No. 17 Gramercy Park South. Farther uptown, Henry and Penelope Schoonmaker are the city's most celebrated couple. But despite the glittering diamond ring on Penelope's finger, the newlyweds share little more than scorn for each other. And while the newspapers call Penelope's social-climbing best friend, Carolina Broad, an heiress, her fortune—and her fame—are anything but secure, especially now that one of society's darlings is slipping tales to the eager press."
First line: "For a certain kind of New York girl, everything must be always in its place."
My thoughts: I keep loving this series! Normally by book 3 of a series, I'm starting to get a bit bored, but I have to say I enjoyed this one even more than the previous book, Rumors, because it was less predictable than the first two. Godbersen starts each book with a prologue describing the final scene, which you'd think would give things away, but its doesn't, it just makes you even more curious. In this one, I figured that our heroine, Diana Holland, was cutting off her hair in despair (it's all there in the prologue, I'm not spoiling it) but it was much more than that! And, oh the gorgeous covers - I almost want to frame the 3 of them and use them as wall art. (Since we can't wear the actual dresses in this day and age, and I couldn't fit into them even if we could!).
I really enjoyed seeing more of what the rich and fabulous did at the turn of the last century - in this installment, the Schoonmakers take a party of "friends" to Palm Beach on the family's personal train car. They basically do all the same things - gossip, drink, dance, change clothes 5 times a day, but they do it with even more abandon thanks to the sunshine and feeling of being away from home. I also enjoyed the description of the head-to-toe bathing costumes and the beach censors who were on the lookout for an inch of female bare skin.
Elizabeth continues to be a tragic heroine, but she's eclipsed by Diana, who has had her heart broken time and again by Henry Schoonmaker and is at the end of her rope. Carolina Broad's rise in society looks to be coming to a quick drop and Penelope's scheming may not be enough to save her this time.
The verdict: I can't wait for the next book!!