****If you havn’t read The Luxe by Anna Godbersen, then this review will contain some spoilers!!****
At the end of The Luxe, we were left with the following scenario:
1. Diana Holland is in love with Henry Schoonmaker, who used to date Penelope Hayes, but was forced into an engagement with Elizabeth Holland at their parents urging.
2. Penelope still is in love with Henry, if only for the sake of keeping appearances and her status as an elite New York socialite.
3. Elizabeth Holland faked her own death, with the aide of Penelope, so that she could run away with her true love, Will Keller (the Holland’s coachman, and therefore a a man in a lower class than Elizabeth.)
In Rumors, aptly named by the way, rumors float endlessly over who loves who, if Elizabeth is still alive, and what is going on behind the closed doors of the New York elite. This sounds like any normal tabloid filler that you would see in US Weekly, or OK magazine, but the thrill of this series, is that it is set in 1899, when gossip and rumors were more exciting and less jaded. In Rumors, Elizabeth tries to start a new life in California with Will, but is called back to New York at her sister’s urging, due to her mother’s ailing health, and Diana’s confusion and distress at her new social status. Henry’s stepmother and Penelope are in co-hoots to win Henry over to Penelope’s side by constantly blocking his visiting to Diana. Add to all this Lina’s struggling climb to the top of the social ladder, and this book is ripe with girlish power plays backstabbing and manipulation.
As in the first book, I would have liked to see more of evil, scheming Penelope (who in my mind is quite like Blair from Gossip Girl, and I guess that would make Elizabeth into Serena, Lina into Jenny and Will Keller as Dan). I did take longer reading this book than the first, only because it seems more of the same. Although I have the third book in the series at my house, I’m not sure if I want to jump right into it. I do however, keep browsing the etiquette books at the library because it seems like fun to try to be proper and elite even though I come home to a messy apartment and a very, very casual and home-body lifestyle.Rumors (The Luxe series; bk 2)
Anna Godbersen HarperCollins, 2008 ISBN 9780061345715 423 pages