Imagine it’s 1899 and you’re part of the cream of the crop in American society. You’re bound to be in a social whirlwind filled with intrigue, forbidden romances, and your best friend who is also your worst enemy. The Luxe is everything like that. With a lot of twists here and there.
I love the setting. In New York in the 1800’s where society and placement is everything, everybody sees what you wear, how you act, who you’re going out with, and who you’re eventually going to get married. It’s all so fun when their lives are placed under a microscope (provided it’s not you of course). The book provides a lot of how people used to act during that time period, and how society plays such a large role in their lives. You are introduced to the Hollands, the Schoonmakers, and the Hayes. They’re the main characters in this plot. It’s good. Too many families would make this confusing and hard to follow. Naturally in high society circles. Jealousy, love, backstabbing, and a lot of secrets are rampant in this novel.
The plot is good and moves at a steady pace. Elizabeth tends to be the whiny one and you do have to put up with passages with her being a moody whiny twit but there’s enough gossip and backstabbing in this book that you can let Elizabeth whine and just get to the good juicy parts. Plenty of scandal and secrecy that you’ll feel like one of those stuffy old ladies who do nothing but gossip. 😛
Character wise, I really can’t stand Elizabeth. Her propriety and do gooder personality just makes you want to wretch. I know she’s supposed to act this way because she’s socially pressured to do so but the way she treats Lina (a servant) makes you want to smack her upside the head because it just doesn’t suit her personality to be mean and harsh. Her propriety just doesn’t suit me well and I find her wooden and like a cookie cutter character. I love Penelope even though she’s a ruthless witch but she’s everything you want in a villain. I loved her tantrum featured near the end of the book it’s just something you would expect someone like Penelope to do. (It was very entertaining to read). I also love Diana (Elizabeth’s much cooler sister). I love the way she totally disregards social mores and does whatever she feels like doing. She has great personality and unlike Elizabeth, she is the exact opposite and doesn’t act like a proper lady. She does have a sharp wit and tongue which she uses to its’ full capacity towards the end of the novel and which makes her the most entertaining and strongest character in this book.
Overall a good quick read about the glamour and evils of high society America in the 1800’s. Plenty of intrigue and the plot does have a steady pace. If you’re into high society politics, this one is for you.
I give it a 7 out of 10.