The Luxe takes place in 1899 in Manhattan, and it was really fun to be taken back to the times when people "called" upon one another and attended fabulous parties. Not that people don't attend parties now, but back then the parties were different.
The main characters are Elizabeth and Diana Holland, two New York sisters who are very much at the center of the social scene in Manhattan. Elizabeth has been away in Europe, and her return starts the action of the story. She and her sister have to appear to have lots of money, when the truth is that they have none. Their father died and since then their mother has had to pay off his large debts, leaving the girls with nothing but their reputations....kind of reminds me of Rose and her mother in the movie Titanic. With this knowledge weighing on her, Elizabeth has to play her part well and try to find a good match. The wonderful and rich Henry Schoonmaker is single and a great catch that girls would die for. The only problem is that she sort of loves someone else...
Of course there must be a bad girl to add to this mix, and that's where Elizabeth's friend Penelope comes in. Penelope is the wild girl (reminds me of Blair on Gossip Girl) and she always makes sure things are stirred up.
So against this backdrop, the girls, the guys, and the parents all try to match each other up.
I like the writing style of this book. It was easy to read, but unique, too, because Godberson starts each chapter off with a little "real life snippet" of something: a letter, a newspaper article, a line from the gossip column of the paper...and then the chapter starts from there. Each chapter is focused on one of the girls, too, so you get to see things from each girls point of view.
I really enjoyed the book. I did sort of figure out how things would unfold before they did, but it was ok, and still a fun book to read. I did get the sequel, Rumors, and plan to read it soon. All in all a fun book with old school girl drama, which, really, isn't that different from the girl drama of today. I recommend this book to readers who are interested in drama, relationships, and love.