The Luxe

October 31, 2008
By Emmarose John, Vancouver, WA

The Luxe begins in Manhattan in 1899 with the beautiful Holland sisters Elizabeth and Diana. Elizabeth and Diana could be more thrilled about how they were these amazingly beautiful, mysterious, and spontaneous socialites of New York who were adored by the men, and envied by there peers.

Everything naturally begins with a party. Social status is among top priority for an 18-year-old such as Elizabeth. After a long day of preparations, Elizabeth, Diana, and their mother arrived accordingly to the invitation to be swept away by the mind-blowing scene. Since the dress code required a costume to be worn by all, the grand ballroom at the new residence of the Richmond Hayes family was filled with picturesque masquerade dancers and wonderful music playing. In the middle of all this fuss, Elizabeth found herself caught in a dance with no one other then Henry Schoonmaker, the most eligible bachelor in the entirety of Manhattan. Elizabeth herself was considered one of the most beautiful women among the crowd of familiar faces, and when her best friend Penelope Hayes sees the two dancing she suddenly becomes madly jealous of Elizabeth and decides to fight her for Henry's love.

Elizabeth doesn't think much of this because she in insanely in love with her carriage boy Will, who tends to the horses, and deals with anything of the equine nature.

Their mother then confronts Elizabeth and Diana on a Sunday afternoon. She tells them that the family is in dire need of money. Elizabeth starts taking serious measures and is really thinking deeply about this. On the other hand, Diana couldn't be more thrilled about the fact that she would have to be a hostess at any more fancy parties, she wouldn't have to squeeze into her constraining dresses just to look presentable. She just got to do whatever she wanted, regardless of what her mother had advised her.

A little further on, Henry Schoonmaker inquires Elizabeth about her future. After a discussion he asks for her hand in marriage. She carefully considers his offer while she thinks about the life that she and Will could have had together. She then accepts his offer after taking in to consideration what her mother had spoke to her earlier about.

All of this happens within the first two hundred pages of the book. Personally, I liked how the author keeps you suspenseful right before she reviles a main part of the story to you. I liked the main idea of the story, a 18 year old in Manhattan trying to figure out what to do with her life. The descriptive writing that the author uses is very intriguing.

Usually, for me at least, I don't enjoy 18th century books just because the content is boring to me. In this book, I though it was a good read because the author took the historical content, and turned it into a modern version of a great love story. The style of writing was interesting to me because she wrote in a way that was interesting to younger readers, that got an adult concept to be interesting. I very much enjoyed reading The Luxe.

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