The Luxe

The Luxe
Author: Anna Godbersen
Young Adult Fiction

 Soap Opera junkies will love this one!  Me...not so much...
My Recommended Age: 16 and up

Have you ever finished a book that you loved and then looked at your stack of books and couldn't find one that matched up?  That is exactly what happened to me! I read Edenbrooke in a little over four hours and then went to my ever growing pile of books and realized that none of them would do.  So I did what anyone suffering from "good book syndrome" would do, I searched the internet.  Unfortunately, Google didn't have any great suggestions, (probably because Google hadn't ever heard of Edenbrooke) so I visited the library and came across The Luxe.  Originally published in 2007, this book was on the best seller list for several weeks and had obviously been a one time favorite as their were multiple copies awaiting my anxious eyes.

Set in 1899, Elizabeth Holland is Manhattan's "Golden Child".  Her perfect life glitters the gossip pages of the city's papers and she is known not only for her loveliness but also for her moral character.  That is until the fateful day when her carriage over turns near the East River and  Elizabeth is killed, leaving all of New York to mourn the loss of their most celebrated daughter.  However, as the story unfolds many begin to question whether Elizabeth's death was truly an accident or perhaps someone wanted to see New York's most famous heiress disappear. 

The book's cover promises mystery, romance, jealousy, betrayal, and humor all wrapped in a historically accurate scene...yeah, well that is a gross overstatement.  If I were writing the back cover it would say something like:
 Immorality, drunkeness, lying, scandals, partying, and immorality (yes, I put that in twice on purpose) all in the first 100 pages! 

If you can plow through all of the scandalous hook-ups and make it past the filth, the story does get better, but still feels like an uncomfortable PG-13 movie.  While none of the inappropriate material is described in detail, it is still there.  These vague scenes are probably the reason the story sits in the Young Adult section rather than the Adult section, however, that doesn't mean I want my teenage daughter reading about them.

So to sum up, if your daughter absolutely loves As the World Turns and Days of our Lives, and you don't mind her reading it...then maybe this is a good book.  Otherwise, there are many better choices, and I will be finding them.

Happy Reading

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