The Luxe

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The Luxe
The Luxe bookcover2.jpg
Cover of The Luxe
Author Anna Godbersen
Cover artist Karen Pearson
Country United States
Language English
Series The Luxe series
Genre Young adult, Drama, Romance
Publisher HarperCollinsPublishers
Publication date
November 20, 2007
Media type Print (Hardcover)
Pages 433
ISBN 978-0-06-134568-5
Followed by Rumors: A Luxe Novel

The Luxe is a young adult novel by author Anna Godbersen. It follows the lives of Manhattan's upper class in 1899. The introduction centers around two sisters, one of whom is said to have died after being thrown from her friend's carriage into the Hudson. It was published in 2007. There are four books in the Luxe series including Luxe, Rumors, Envy, and Splendor.[1]


Elizabeth and Diana Holland rule Manhattan's social scene. But when the girls discover their family's status is far from secure, suddenly everyone is a threat to their golden future. Set in a world of luxury and deception, this thrilling trip to the age of innocence is anything but innocent.


The Socialites[edit]

  • Elizabeth Holland must choose between the family duty of an arranged marriage and true love. Elizabeth, 18 years old, is described as angelic, with ash blond hair and brown eyes. She does everything she is told, and obeys her mother. She secretly spends long passionate nights with her stable boy, Will, but she has to marry Henry Schoonmaker to save her family from becoming poor.
  • Diana Holland considers herself the romantic Holland sister. Diana is a 16-year-old with a rebellious streak that, Elizabeth believes, stems from the fact that she did not have a very refined coming out party. Diana has wild, chestnut brown curls and features similar to her sister, pale skin and brown eyes. Not one to follow rules,but she is often seen with her nose in a book, her only getaway from what she thinks is a dull and ridiculous life. She falls in love with her sister's fiance, Henry Schoonmaker.
  • Penelope Hayes is beautiful, talented, and conceited. Penelope has dramatic blue eyes, full red lips, pale skin, and dark black hair. Her only real feelings for Henry Schoonmaker are for his money, prestige, and his impeccable handsomness, which she covets for her own. His decision to marry Elizabeth shocks her, but she quickly recovers and schemes to get him back; as she tells it, she would rather see Elizabeth dead before she marries Henry.[2] Determined to look out for her own welfare, her schemes are for her personal gain.
  • Henry Schoonmaker is the most well-known bachelor on New York's social scene. He is exceedingly handsome and charming, with dark hair that is always neatly pomaded to the right, golden skin, an elegant aristocratic jawline, and dark, worldy eyes. His father, who wants to run for mayor, decides that Henry needs to marry, arranging for him to wed Elizabeth Holland. While at the Hollands' house he becomes infatuated with Diana Holland. Known for his trouble maker's lilt, free spirited, and often spotted with a drink in hand, he has had relationships with many women in New York, including Penelope Hayes.
  • Teddy Cutting is a kind, wealthy young man who has had a crush on Elizabeth for many years. He's light-hearted and proposed to Elizabeth twice without being taken seriously. He is the good friend of Henry Shoonmaker and the more sensible of the two.Teddy has blonde hair and serious gray eyes.

The Lower Society[edit]

  • William Keller is Elizabeth's secret lover who works for the Holland family as their coachman and valet. He loves her and wants her to come away with him to California. Elizabeth isn't sure about leaving her life and running away. He is also very handsome with dark hair, blue eyes, and a crooked nose.
  • Lina Broud is Elizabeth Holland's maid. Lina has served Elizabeth for years, but the friendship they used to cherish as children has disappeared since Elizabeth's arrival on the social scene. She is desperately in love with Will, and when Lina discovers Elizabeth's engagement to Henry, she soon harbors hatred for her because Lina also knows of Elizabeth's secret love affair with Will. Lina has plain brown hair, sage green eyes and freckled skin. She later is fired by Elizabeth.
  • Claire Broud is Lina's older sister. Claire is a proper maid who relishes the gossip of the upper class and is truly fond of Diana, her mistress. Despite her love of gossip, she is very loyal to the Hollands. Claire has red hair.


Having been on the New York Times Bestsellers list in December 2007 for four weeks,[3] The Luxe has had an overall positive response from readers. However, there have been various opposing opinions stating the book has many flaws.[4]

In 2011, it was announced that Gossip Girl producers are in the process of developing the series into a motion picture. "The producers see the movie as a young Moulin Rouge, a music-driven story featuring contemporary artists and fashion set against a period backdrop."[5]


Godbersen, Anna. The Luxe. HarperCollinsPublishers: New York, 2007. ISBN 978-0-06-134568-5


  1. ^ Official Luxe Website
  2. ^ Godbersen, p. 375
  3. ^ Children's Best Sellers: Paperback Books: Sunday, November 2nd 2008." New York Times. Retrieved March 30, 2010.
  4. ^ Wood, Sarah A. "Review: The Luxe." Teen Reads. Retrieved March 30, 2010
  5. ^ Schwartz, Josh (13 July 2011). "'Gossip Girl' Team Heading Back in Time With Feature 'The Luxe' (Exclusive)". Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 3 November 2012. 

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