Gr 8 Up-In this deliciously soapy novel, privileged teens in Manhattan conduct forbidden romances, betray their so-called friends, and generally indulge in bad behavior. The twist is that it's 1899, and they do so in corsets, silk gowns, and horse-drawn carriages rather than designer labels and sports cars. Eighteen-year-old Elizabeth Holland, daughter of a prominent but secretly impoverished family, is in love with Will, the family's young, handsome carriage driver. When wealthy Henry Schoonmaker proposes, however, her mother pushes her to accept, since Elizabeth's marriage is their only chance to maintain their luxurious lifestyle. Henry, an irresponsible playboy also forced into the loveless engagement, finds himself falling for Elizabeth's rebellious younger sister. To complicate matters further, Henry has been having an affair with Penelope Hayes, Elizabeth's supposed best friend, and Penelope will do absolutely anything to get him back. It's all scandalous, steamy-though never graphic-fun, with just enough period detail to make the Gilded Age come alive. The dialogue and attitudes sometimes seem suspiciously modern, but readers will enjoy the story too much to object.-Miranda Doyle, San Francisco Public Library Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.
"Mystery, romance, jealousy, betrayal, humor, and gorgeous, historically accurate details. I couldn't put The Luxe down!" -- Cecily von Ziegesar, author of the #1 New York Times bestselling Gossip Girl series