The Luxe by Anna Godbersen

The Luxe appealed to my (long gone) 15 year old self. Historical fiction, pretty dresses, handsome boys, romance- plus the covers are gorgeous. I would have loved this book as a teenager- Gossip Girl in the 1800s. Sadly now, I have grown up and so has my reading taste. 

Don’t expect embellished, historical scenes- except for the horses and lack of mobile phones this series could have been set anywhere. There are some mentions of New York street names and hotels, but I could probably have done the same level of detail having watched Sex and the City. The characters also speak more like Gossip Girl than Edith Wharton characters and are a lot more openly scandalous.

The story (this is the first of a four book series) opens with a funeral, then traces back to the events leading up to the said funeral. I found the storyline quite pedestrian until the serious plotting and backstabbing begins about halfway through the book. There is a lot of jumping around between characters and fairly poor characterisation. What I do like is the letters/newspaper articles that start each chapter.

Will I read the rest of the series? I do want to find out what happens, so I most likely will. But I think The Age of Innocence would appeal more to the more mature reader.

6.5 out of 10.

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