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Splendor: A Luxe Novel – Anna Godbersen
Book Reviews
November 7, 2009 posted by Nikki

Splendor: A Luxe Novel – Anna Godbersen

As spring turns into summer, Elizabeth relishes her new role as a young wife, while her sister, Diana, searches for adventure abroad. But when a surprising clue about their father’s death comes to light, the Holland girls wonder at what cost a life of splendor comes.

Carolina Broad, society’s newest darling, fans a flame from her past, oblivious to how it might burn her future. Penelope Schoonmaker is finally Manhattan royalty—but when a real prince visits the city, she covets a title that comes with a crown. Her husband, Henry, bravely went to war, only to discover that his father’s rule extends well beyond New York’s shores and that fighting for love may prove a losing battle.

In the dramatic conclusion to the bestselling Luxe series, New York’s most dazzling socialites chase dreams, cling to promises, and tempt fate. As society watches what will become of the city’s oldest families and newest fortunes, one question remains: Will its stars fade away or will they shine ever brighter?

When the young Diana Holland follows Henry Schoonmaker, the love of her life, to war, what are the chances that she’ll actually find him? Diana isn’t concerned with chances, though. The whole world has been stacked against them right from the beginning, and they’ve managed to battle through it all. What’s stopping her this time? No, chances are not important. All that matters is that she finds Henry. She must, she will make sure he knows how she feels, propriety and marital conventions be damned.

Meanwhile, Diana’s sister, the newly married Elizabeth, is settling into life as the new Mrs Cairns. Newly weds are supposed to live out their days in blissed out harmony, shack up on cloud nine, and all that. So why does it feel like there is something missing between Mr and Mrs Cairns? And if we, the readers, can see it, what’s stopping the harsh and unforgiving New York City society from noticing as well?

Speaking of society, New York City’s newest society member, Carolina Broad, has just about reached her all of her goals. All she has ever wanted was money, status, and a man to call her own. With two of those three already checked off the list, there’s only one more thing left for her to chase. Will Lina land her man, or will she continue her days in bitter loneliness?

With Henry off at war, Mrs Penelope Schoonmaker is up to her old tricks. Penelope proves money can’t buy happiness, and it certainly can’t buy love. Not the love of her husband, anyway, so she tries out her charm on a new player in town. Will she get found out, or will anyone even care enough to notice that Mrs Schoonmaker is not making good on her wedding vows? But when does Penelope ever make good on anything she says?

Splendor is an exceptional ending to an exceptional series. Some get what they want, and some don’t. But that’s the way the cookie crumbles in life, so why not in fiction, too? Anna Godbersen’s characters remain true to themselves in every which way, and although the way things unfold may not occur exactly how you might want them to, they certainly happen how they’re supposed to. How could we possibly want anything more than that?

You’ll gasp, you’ll laugh, you’ll cry out in glee. Splendor does not disappoint. Reading this series has been a real pleasure and I can’t wait to see what Godbersen produces in the future.

Rating:: ★★★★☆