Sunday, September 26, 2010

Review: Splendor by Anna Godbersen

One good thing about losing your voice is that you get a chance to really sit in and read!  Well, to be quite honest, I've been grading papers like crazy.  It's not my favorite thing to do, but now is a great time to try to get caught up (which never happens). 

Last week I came home one night and picked up the fourth in the Luxe series, Splendor, by Anna Godbersen and couldn't put it down.  I've really liked this series, so it was good to wrap it up.  I'm not 100% sure exactly how I feel about the ending, but it was good to see it through to the end.

Synopsis:  In the final installment, we find Diana searching for Henry Schoonmaker in Cuba, Elizabeth is embracing her new position as wife and soon to be mother, and Carolina Broad has taken on her new role as a New York socialite.  In turn of the century New York City, the lives of the upper class make every paper, whether accurate or not.   For each of the women it's less a question of what is accurate and more a question of what is real.

Review:   This is a fun series and one that I found myself falling into pretty easily.  Having always loved Edith Wharton's The Age of Innocence, this felt reminiscent of that era and style.  Godbersen's writing style and descriptions are delicious and keep the story moving, not to mention the list of characters that you readily care about and want to continue following. 

In some ways it becomes obvious what direction the story is heading in, but there is still a chance that it might take a different turn.  In this case, it did take a slight turn at the end that had me floundering.  Okay, I'll be honest.  I was a little angry.  The final decision that some of the characters' make is understandable, as they come to realize what will make them happy, but I can't say that after four books that I was quite as happy.  I'm still not really sure how I'm feeling about it all, but can say I liked the series as a whole. 

Overall, I really enjoyed the entire Luxe series and would recommend them to readers of YA or historical fiction.  In the past I've mentioned that I lack imagination for things such as Science Fiction, so I'm thinking that where my imagination lacks with Sci Fi, it makes up for in historical pieces such as in this series.  There is a lot of implied beauty, crazy drama, and masked emotion to behold.  For high drama and plot twists, this series fits the bill.

*FTC Disclosure:  The review was based on a personal copy of the novel.   


  1. I have yet to read this series, and I've been hesitant to start, but since you enjoyed it, maybe I should just pick it up?

  2. I really liked them, but I also loved Edith Wharton's The Age of Innocence. They both feel similar. I think you should definitely give them a try! :)

  3. I have seen this series several times and have debated about reading the first one. My youngest (age 17) loves series books and I wondered if I bought it if she might reading it as well.

    Glad to hear that you thought it was worthy :)