Feb 2, 2010

Splendor by Anna Godbersen

This was the exciting conclusion to The Luxe series. It concludes the story following the life and times of Manhattan's socially elite. If you have missed any of the other installments talking about the first 3 books, then check them out: The Luxe (book 1), Rumors (book 2) and Envy (book 3). This review will contain series spoilers and the links will contain spoilers for any book previous to the one you're reading.

So now that you have been thoroughly warned, let the final review begin!

We start out following Elizabeth as she settles into her new role as the young, and expecting, wife of close family friend Snowden Cairns. While she is pregnant, Elizabeth is not to out in society much for fear of what the stress may due to her or her child. After having been cooped up in her banal home, her husband decides to take her for a carriage ride where she is given the wonderful surprise of a new home.

As the moving commences and Elizabeth is setting up her new home, she comes across some disturbing information. Not only was the land that she and Will stayed on in California rich with oil, but it was in their names. Also, a strange caller comes to collect payment for keeping a very important, and mysterious, secret quiet. She is no longer sure of who she married and will pay dearly for her mistake.

Diana managed to escape her humdrum life for traveling the world. While everyone back home believes her to be polishing herself up in Paris for her societal debut, she is really chasing after Henry, who joined the military to escape his wife, the manipulative Penelope Hayes. After months of working menial jobs while searching for Henry, her hard work pays off. They spend a few bliss-filled days in each others' arms until they are discovered and shipped back to New York. Unfortunately, after having seen the real world and all its workings, Diana is no longer suited to remain where she grew up. Her chance to escape comes, but with a price.

Penelope has adjusted well to her predicament. While a fake miscarriage from a fake pregnancy kept her out of the lime light for quite some time, she finds herself at the center of a growing scandal. During her first outing since "the unfortunate occurrence" she manages to snag the attention of none other than the Prince of Bavaria. She pursues him with the ardor that she once chased Henry with, but it backfires. Even with Henry's compliance, an unexpected event turns them all on their heads and changes their trajectories.

And poor Carolina Broad, formerly Lina Broud and a servant in the Holland household, just doesn't know what to do with herself. After the death of her kind supporter Carey Lewis Longhorn, Carolina became a very rich woman. She inherited all that he had and is living the life she always dreamed of. Fine dresses, gorgeous parties, and chasing the man of her dreams is no small task and Carolina completes them with grace and poise. That is, until a certain sales clerk walks back into her life and makes her think twice about who she really wants to be.

All of this is spun with the same fanfare and panasche as the other books. A truly delightful end to a fantastic series. Splendor wraps it all up and lets you move on with closure.


swiggett said...

Where do you find the time! I haven't read these reviews too carefully, so I don't spoil the first book, but thank you!

Lawral the Librarian said...

I loved these books. I'm glad you seemed to enjoy them too. You're right about closure though. I felt this book had a very satisfying ending (though there are some readers who are Very Upset about a certain couple's decision), but I'm still going to miss reading about these over-the-top ladies.

Bookalicious Ramblings said...

I'm afraid I haven't read your review yet as I don't want to be spoiled (I've just finished Envy), but I'll come back to it once I read the book! I just wanted to say I loooove this series! :D

loreleimarsh said...

They are incredible books and I hope more people decide to read them! Spread the love!