If you like all the glitz and the glam, New York, the 19th century, the scandals, the charming irresistible boys and the manipulative and glamorous girls, then this is the book for you. It takes you into the world of all that, and you want to scream, cry and hug the characters all at once.

by Natacha


‘The Luxe’ (Luxe #1)


Anna Godbersen



Reading Level:



20th November, 2007



Feelings Thermometer:

It is 1899 in Manhattan, New York. Elizabeth Holland and Diana Holland are among the most respectable and perfect girls in society’s elite, or at least, that’s what people think. After having lost their father the girls and their mother soon finds themselves in a great deal of trouble, the family have gone poor.

Elizabeth know have to marry a wealthy man, but what her mother does not know, is that Elizabeth is already in love with a man who is not worthy of her. In the meantime, her younger sister Diana Holland falls in love with her sister’s fiancé. Both girls now have to make life-changing decisions: Will they follow the norms and help their family or will they follow their hearts and find their true love?

An old fashion Gossip Girl and I identified with who?!

The Luxe is like Gossip Girl in 1899. It has New York’s elite with the popular girls, irresistible boys and scandals. It is no secret, that I am obsessed with America, therefore it was ten times more special, when I was taken through the streets of New York, into the five star hotels and into the fancy Lord and Taylor store, where all the rich people had their clothes custom made.

What made the story unique was that it took place in the late 1800. The rich and respectable girls could not just ruin each other with a text message, and they could not just marry anyone or kiss anyone they liked. The last mentioned did of course not mean, that they did not do it. 😉

One thing that was very different from other Young adult novels is, that I did not identify with the perfect main character Elizabeth the entire way. At one point, I changed sides and cheered for her enemy. It was a whole other experience, because normally you always feel and root for the main character. It was nice for a change, because honestly, sometimes you do not even identify with yourself. 😉

Excerpt from ‘The Luxe’

‘Oh… I know you,’ she said, and then smiled, because she was surprised at herself for thinking that he was actually delicious-looking even though everyone else thought so too.

‘You’re Henry Schoonmaker.’

‘Yes,’ he said, glancing at her head, and then meeting her eyes again.

‘Do you like my hat?’ she asked, touching the brim and watching him. She had heard all about the wild young Schoonmaker while she was in Saratoga. Even Aunt Edith had gossiped about him. Apparently, he raced those dangerous four-in-hand carriages and drove motorcars and moved restlessly from place to place and girl to girl. It had sounded to Diana like he lived the sort of far-ranging life she would lead if only the world would let her.

‘I do like the hat, although I would question your use of the word my,’ Henry said sharply. Then he winked, which made Diana even more aware of her heart’s rapid tempo. ‘What are you going to do?’ she asked, putting a hand on her hip and lifting her chin proudly. ‘Call the police on me for trying on your hat?’

Henry’s mouth opened with a rejoinder, but he was cut off by the sound of approaching footsteps within the parlour, which reminded Diana that despite the quiet there were still people all over the house, listening and breathing and thinking in rules. And, according to the rules, she was not at all where she was supposed to be.

Diana was about to slip quickly away when she looked at Henry and decided that she wasn’t done with him. She grabbed his hand and pulled him into the parlour on the east side of the house.