Tuesday, 9 March 2010

The Luxe Series: Splendor - Anna Godbersen


First Sentence: Fifty years ago, every American girl wanted to be a European princess.

For those who have never heard of the Luxe Series, here is what it's about. It is a series of four (The Luxe, Rumours, Envy, Splendor) novels based about four debutante's in 1900 New York and what happens to them and who they fall in love with. That sort of thing. We have Elizabeth Holland (now married to Snowden Cairns). She got on my nerves in Book 2 & 3 but now in this one, I quite like her. Then, there is Diana Holland, Elizabeth's younger sister who is in love with Henry Schoonmaker. He is married to the bitchy, you-love-to-hate character Penelope Hayes. I've loved her the whole way through but she is written differently in this one and is a very minor character compared to her involvment in some of the other novels. Finally, there is Caroline Broad, an ex-servant of the Hollands that has made her fortune through a friend that died at the end of Envy. She is the focus in Splendor. I didn't like her in the other novels but I don't know why but I didn't mind her as much in this one. I think it's because she's settled down and not as much out of place. Diana has always been my favourite character and in this one, she still is and written incredibly well.

In this book, the beginning was...well, confusing and bad but the middle and ending were good as usual and there is a surprising twist of events at the end. Penelope was in it too little. We only caught snippets of her and loads of Caroline and Diana. I liked how Anna Godbersen added sections for Henry as well to make it more different. Elizabeth's sections were good but I think she should have been in it more as well. Overall, it's a good book but I think, and I don't say this that often, it should have been longer and more in depth. It felt a little rushed as points as if Anna Godbersen was trying to rush to the end.
It is a good book but it has much more flaws that the rest of the series ever had in my opinion. It wasn't the ending I was hoping for but it was still good.  Read the rest of the series before this one though.

I give it 4 out of 5

Author's Website: www.theluxebooks.com/


  1. I loved the Luxe series, i was really upset that there was only 4 books in the series. I think it could have gone a lot further and had more depth. I was a bit disappointed with the ending, but it was true to all the characters and well written. But overall i throughly enjoyed it. 5/5 :)

  2. I know! They could have had so many other stories about what happened AND she's left it on a bit of a cliffhanger...
    Yeah I guess so. I was hoping for Henry and Diana to go and marry each other but NOO...I'm glad that Elizabeth and Teddy got together though :)
    Thanks for the comment :D

  3. I think that the last three books were better because the ending was all messed up nobody had a happy ending excpet Elizabeth..

  4. i love the the series but i was't happy with the way it ended with Diana and Henry....Throughout the entire series they have this powerful love story and so many obstacles have stood in their way, but through everything their love for eachother has remained true. Finally in splendor we see them together and Henry shows strength in confronting his father, overcoming every obstacle and finally asking Diana to marry him and she refuses him beacuse she wants to go to paris and doesn't want to stay in New York and Henry doesn't even follow her, THIS IS WHAT KEEPS THEM APART!!!!. REALLY think about it after EVERYTHING, Diana ran after him when he left, worked in a bar ETC.and endures so much so they can be together....AND Henry has suffered sooo much and even allows himself to be blackmailed into marriage with Penelope, someone he hates, to protect her...Also in the end after every hateful, manipulative, and awful thing Penelope did.he stays with her and UNDERSTANDS HER!!!!....especially since his fathers death he basically is his own man and can decide for himself COME ON REALLY...very weak,horrible ending and totally off from the characters as people and their undying love for eachother throughout the series...WEAK hated it

  5. I too wasn't a total fan of the ending, especially like you say, after everything both Diana, Henry and I had gone through in the series. They were one of the couples that we were just waiting for them to be together...but it never happened.

    However, I do kind of like it. I think Diana had had enough of Henry not just divorcing Penelope and get on with it, scandal or no scandal. Go on for her. She wanted to travel the world and she IS about 18 years-old in it. To her, that is awfully young and Henry said he couldn't go anywhere. She wanted to travel more than her love for him. So she went for it.
    I don't blame her in a way. Also, Anna Godbersen MUST have known what readers would think would happen...so she did the opposite.

    I, too, wish they had got together but I can see why Anna Godbersen didn't and why Diana might have done it.
    Thanks for commenting anyway. I love hearing what other people have to say on endings that are a bit contraversal.

  6. I read these books a while ago! Admittedly I only bought them because I fell in love with the pink dress on the cover of Luxe ;) I really enjoyed these xx



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