Pretty girls in pretty dresses, partying until dawn. Irresistible boys with mischievous smiles and dangerous intentions. White lies, dark secrets, and scandalous hookups. This is Manhattan, 1899.
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.
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.
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- Rita Book