Tuesday, January 26, 2010
Splendor: a Luxe novel by Anna Godbersen
Reasons for reading: I've really enjoyed the series; Young Adult Challenge
Description: "As 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?"
First line: "Fifty years ago, every American girl wanted to be a European princess."
My thoughts: I didn't realize this was the last book in the series until I was almost finished. Prior to that I was thinking, "This series is getting to the point where it's gone on too long...." But happily this isn't going to be a series that lingers on past its sell-by date. I found it pretty darn hard to believe that Diana, spunky as she is, had managed to chase Henry around the country and all the way to Cuba, and manage to find (non-prostitutional) work there. So that part didn't grab me. And, of course, all kinds of things get in their way once again. There was some seriously creepy soap-opera-esque stuff with vastly pregnant Elizabeth. And annoying bitch Carolina Broad was a big focus. (I'm a bit harsh on her, she grew on me a bit by the end.) The ending seemed fairly rushed, with happy endings for some, non-endings for others, and not enough of a come-uppence for evil Penelope.
But overall, it was still an enjoyable read. The series was a good (if fluffy) look at how New York society started to include the nouveau riche as well as the grand old names changed and how people started being able to make their own fortunes and change their fates. I'd read another series by Godbersen, though I hope her next series has covers that are just as sumptuous - I've loved those dresses!!