In a gently ironic style aimed at the bookish young adult, author Anna Godberson offers The Luxe, a romantic drama of manners that is a cross between Jane Austen, Edith Wharton, and Stephanie Meyer. Performed by Nina Siemaszko with sophistication and elegance, the story is set in New York City at the turn of the 20th century and follows a beautiful set of "socialites" - including the sisters Elizabeth and Diana Holland - and their run-ins and love affairs with "the lower society", especially the handsome coachman William Keller and his blue eyes. Heavy with physical descriptions, The Luxe is the first of a tetralogy and has been optioned by Gossip Girl producers for a film adaptation.
Beautiful sisters Elizabeth and Diana Holland rule Manhattan's social scene. Or so it appears. When the girls discover their status among New York City's elite is far from secure, suddenly everyone from the backstabbing socialite Penelope Hayes, to the debonair bachelor Henry Schoonmaker, to the spiteful maid Lina Broud threatens Elizabeth's and Diana's golden future.
With the fate of the Hollands resting on her shoulders, Elizabeth must choose between family duty and true love. But when her carriage overturns near the East River, the girl whose glittering life lit up the city's gossip pages is swallowed by the rough current. As all of New York grieves, some begin to wonder whether life at the top proved too much for this ethereal beauty, or if, perhaps, someone wanted to see Manhattan's most celebrated daughter disappear...
In a world of luxury and deception, where appearance matters above everything and breaking the social code means running the risk of being ostracized forever, five teenagers lead dangerously scandalous lives. This thrilling trip to the age of innocence is anything but innocent.
©2007 Alloy Entertainment and Anna Godbersen; (P)2008 HarperCollins Publishers
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"Good story, but. . ."
The story is good, if you like period romances. It's well written, and I like the characters. But the recording is so chocked full of mispronunciations, it's hard to keep the serious tone of the story. Where there is a three syllable word, get ready for a laugh. Unfortunately, I can't give anyone full benefit of the humor. Think of the phrase: "Her feelings were annihilated and she sank into a deep sense of ennui." And let your imagination run wild.
"Beautiful Historical Story"
This book was a lovely soap opera style story packed full of excitement, romance, and drama. I loved the characters and the writing and narration were great. I've already spent a credit on the next one in the series.
I thought i was going to like this book more, I'm not sure if is the narrator that made me dislike it or if is the story that feels repetitive. Not planning to read the next book.
"Magnificent! Simply Magnificent!!!"
This was such an excellent book! Well done in audio form! The ONLY reason it is listed in YA is because it does not have explicit sex scenes, but the steamy romance is there! As is the plot and intrigue! I cannot give this book and the entire series enough stars! Amazing! Do yourself a favor and try this one out!
The characters are wonderful. You almost love to hate some of them. It's just a great story and it really shows how it is with the "rich and famous"
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