Customer Reviews


86 Reviews
5 star:
 (36)
4 star:
 (22)
3 star:
 (15)
2 star:
 (11)
1 star:
 (2)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favorable review
The most helpful critical review


26 of 27 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Splendid Conclusion
I was very satisfied with the final installment of the Luxe saga. While some readers may be disappointed, I believe that the fate of all the characters was very appropriate. Sometimes living happily ever after and getting the girl/guy are mutually exclusive. Godbersen managed to deliver the romance and intrigue we've come to expect from this series, along with...
Published on November 4, 2009 by Francophilex

versus
12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars What Happened!!!
**Ending Spoiler enclosed**

The first three books in this series were excellent. I could not wait for the forth book to finally come out so I could read about Diana and Henry finally being together! For almost four books they fought to be together...Then in the last few chapters of the final book, Henry finally gets down on one knee and purposes and Diana says...
Published on November 5, 2009 by Kindle Customer


‹ Previous | 1 29 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

26 of 27 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Splendid Conclusion, November 4, 2009
This review is from: Splendor: A Luxe Novel (Hardcover)
I was very satisfied with the final installment of the Luxe saga. While some readers may be disappointed, I believe that the fate of all the characters was very appropriate. Sometimes living happily ever after and getting the girl/guy are mutually exclusive. Godbersen managed to deliver the romance and intrigue we've come to expect from this series, along with historically accurate details. The pace of the book kept me up all night to finish it, and I loved that the author managed to give us a glimpse far into the future in a way that was very natural and unobtrusive - no awkward epilogue. I loved how vivid the author's prose became at the end of the book when she was describing Diana's future. The reader really senses that there is a blossoming going on, a new and exciting adventure about to begin, without giving us too much or too little.

***Spoilers*** - Meant for people who've already read it!

I know that some readers may have been disappointed that Henry and Diana did not end up together. However, Diana had a greater destiny in store for her that New York simply couldn't contain. Her future just couldn't have included New York drawing rooms and personal fulfillment, and that's what she really deserved. Likewise, Henry would not have been content in Paris, nor could Diana have reached her full potential as an artist with Henry there. Left at the helm of the family business, Henry was too old fashioned to leave New York behind, and with his father gone he had nothing left to rebel against and run from. The characters were very young, and Diana deserves her fantastic future, filled with more adventure. I always felt that Henry wasn't the right choice for her to spend the rest of her life with. He seemed spineless at times because he was just too conventional at heart.

Yes, Penelope and Henry do end up together, which doesn't seem fair - after all her scheming Penelope keeps her money and her title as Mrs. Schoonmaker. However, the book makes it clear that neither are really happy. Their marriage and even their infidelity is a convention neither of them can stand to be without.

(Seriously, major spoiler in next paragraph - do not read if you haven't read the book!)

However, Elizabeth finds true happiness, that is, what happiness means to her. For her sister, marriage to a nice guy, kids, and parties wouldn't work, but Elizabeth is completely content. She followed her heart to Will, and after again having to trust and rely on herself with Snowden, she follows her heart again to Teddy. It seems to be that one of the themes of the book is that characters that are true to themselves succeed. Elizabeth shows great strength, and she is finally rewarded. The news that Will was murdered comes as quite a shock and re-opens wounds, but Teddy's generous presence soothes things over. She was lucky to find (yet another) guy willing to raise another man's child as his own, and we're glad to see them happy.

Speaking of truth, while Carolina loses Leland, she finally has to face the truth and in doing so corrects the wrongs she's committed against Claire. I always thought it was deplorable that Carolina never provided for her sister, but once she has nothing left to hide, she can make it up to her. She may not have her husband, but the author makes it clear that Carolina and Claire have a happy future.

I only had a few problems with the book, the main one being that I simply didn't understand how Teddy could have perceived that Elizabeth was in danger but still waited several days to act. I also have never understood how Carolina justified to herself coming into millions and not providing for her sister.

***End Spoilers***

Overall, this was an excellent end to the series, with poetic justice meted out all around. It was happy without sparing the characters, which is hard for an author to accomplish.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars What Happened!!!, November 5, 2009
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Splendor: A Luxe Novel (Hardcover)
**Ending Spoiler enclosed**

The first three books in this series were excellent. I could not wait for the forth book to finally come out so I could read about Diana and Henry finally being together! For almost four books they fought to be together...Then in the last few chapters of the final book, Henry finally gets down on one knee and purposes and Diana says NO!.....What!...Wait!...NO!!!!.... This is NOT how I envisioned the story ending. It was a huge disappointment! How can you end such a great series with such a letdown? What a terrible ending!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The book ending is just cruel., November 1, 2009
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Splendor: A Luxe Novel (Hardcover)
I was so thrilled to read the conclusion of the Luxe series... I just had this feeling that somehow, some way, Diana and Henry would be together, Penelope and Carolina would get what they deserve, and Elizabeth, who never had very much luck, would find some kind of happiness without Will. Instead, Diana ends up completely alone, Elizabeth suddenly is in love with Teddy (what?!), Carolina ends up as herself but still fitting perfectly into society, and Henry and Penelope end up still together in somewhat of an open marriage. This was not the way I envisioned this series ending... and especially not as rushed as it was. We spent 3.5 books rooting on Diana and Henry just for Diana to end their relationship with some silly "It's not you, it's me" kind of talk and Henry returning to the denseness he showed in the first book (pre-Diana). The epilogue was vague and the whole series was sloppily wrapped up. This book was such a terrible ending to such a great series... and was good, right up until the end. Sigh. I guess we can't always get our happy ending.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The conclusion to the Luxe series., October 27, 2009
This review is from: Splendor: A Luxe Novel (Hardcover)
Spoiler warning - I don't give away the ending of this book in my review, but there are many spoilers for the previous three books in the series. So if you haven't read them yet and don't want what happens in them to be spoiled for you, I suggest not reading this review at this time!

It is summer 1900, a few month after the events of Envy, the third book in The Luxe series. Elizabeth is adjusting to her life after a marriage of convenience to Snowden Cairns, her late father's business associate, and awaiting the birth of her child by Will Keller, her first love who was tragically killed shortly after their secret marriage, a marriage she must keep secret from the rest of New York society. Diana has left New York to search for Henry, who has gone to war, leaving behind his scheming wife Penelope. And Lina is enjoying her newfound wealth and being a part of the wealthy elite she always longed to join.

However, as always, their lives are soon further complicated by more secrets, schemes, and lies. Elizabeth begins to suspect that her husband is not being entirely honest with her, and may in fact be up to something unsavory. Diana and Henry reunite and long to build a life together, but the far-reaching influence of his wealthy and powerful father complicates matters. Penelope, furious with Henry, begins to look for attention and love elsewhere. And Lina finds herself at risk of losing everything she has gained if her dishonesty about her past is uncovered.

The final book in The Luxe series, Splendor does a good job of concluding the series and resolving most of the plotlines while still leaving some future events to the imagination of the readers. I suspect readers will be divided in opinion over the ending - personally I liked the conclusions for most of the characters, but I wish there had been a little more resolution for others. Whether you end up loving or hating the choices Anna Godbersen ended up making for her characters, ultimately I think she mostly wrote the ending the way it should be. It's certainly not the ending I imagined or hoped for when I first started reading the series, but it fits considering the events that have taken place since the first book. Readers who read and enjoyed the previous three books in the series and want to know what happens to the characters will definitely want to read this book to judge the conclusion for themselves.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Ending......, November 8, 2009
This review is from: Splendor: A Luxe Novel (Hardcover)
I agree with others in that the end seemed rushed. I am not upset about the "no happy ending" with Diana and Henry. I am upset to the fact that it's not right. I understand from previous books that Diana is free spirited and so on. But how do you have a character go off in the end by herself when she had just gotten back from traveling all over to try and find Henry in the war? It just doesn't make sense to me. I can see how the author would have ended it that way but I truly think it should have been something more than "whispers" that would send her away without Henry.

The other ends are meh. Lina got what she deserved, be brought back down to earth. Penelope did not at all (what a shame). Elizabeth, Teddy coming in to rescue her (couple of days later??) was nice because he always did have a thing in the other books but that seemed rushed too.

Overall the book was okay but I did not enjoy this one as much as the other ones.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Lost its Splendor, January 10, 2010
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Splendor: A Luxe Novel (Hardcover)
After reading the entire series I have to say I'm thoroughly disappointed. The first book was fresh and surprising and seemed to have a purpose. Over the course of the series the characters become obnoxious, selfish, and incoherent. The whole plot seems to be about how magnificent it is to be shallow and important in high society, to end with a total rejection for this lifestyle. While I can understand that the characters needed to be teached a lesson in humility and empathy, the ending of the series destroys the whole purpose of what seemed to be the initial message. Elisabeth seems weak from the beginning of the series till the end, Diana is pictured as a volatile adventure-seeker who in her unpredictableness seems stupid, Lina is shallow, spiteful and never sees that in her, without mentioning how stupid her sister Claire is choosing to remain as a maid instead of looking for protection in her sister's wing till the very end, Henry is whiney and not that bright or always drunk, and seems to not have a clue of what is going on around him thrpugh the entire series until the end only to be rejected where he goes back to being confused, Penelope proved to be the most entertaining character and at least a little bit more coherent, but still won in the end.
Also secondary characters like Teddy (the "hero" who came days later?), Leland, even Mr. Cairnes seem to lack strength. Even the mother and Aunt Edith seem to melt in the background when their reactions where most expected and needed in the story. The only character that I liked was Will, and we all know what happened to him.
The series started strong but lost its "splendor" in the end. The ending is messy and rushed and probably one of the worse I've ever read.
So if you are in desperate need of entertainment, do read them, they are entertaining, but not expect to get the happy fuzzy feeling one gets after reading a good book at the end.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Quite possibly the worst ending of a book I've ever read!, January 12, 2010
This review is from: Splendor: A Luxe Novel (Hardcover)
I enjoyed all the books in the series, and loved the first 2/3 of this book, and then it's like the author lost her mind! It doesn't bother me that the ending isn't happy- I actually enjoy a surprise ending- it's that the ending makes NO SENSE WHATSOEVER in the context of the rest of the story. Diana, who is madly in love with Henry, chases him all over the world, says she'd be happy even being his mistress, but then says no to his marriage proposal? I feel like I wasted my time on an author who didn't even take the time to create a cohesive ending to this otherwise good series... (BTW, I am writing this review under my husband's account, so this is a female reviewer, if you were curious!)
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Savory book with a rushed ending, November 1, 2009
This review is from: Splendor: A Luxe Novel (Hardcover)
SPOILER ALERT

Like many readers I was excited to read the last installment of the Luxe series. Though I must say that the book is filled with lots of excitement I found the ending to be a complete letdown. Throughout the book I was angry that Liz began to feel comfortable with her marriage. I mean really!!!!!!!!!!!?!! I was quite surprised though with the change in events with Mr. Cairns. I found it interesting how Diana, went off in search of Henry, went through trial and tribulation to only to go off at the end. I was even more disappointed in Henry. He could of set up his estate with Mr. Laurence and left with Diana whilst being the trustee of the estate abroad. The fact that he ended up with Penelope I found infuriating. I mean REALLY!! It makes hims seem like another frivolous member of New York society. I'm proud of Lina, she finally gets what she wants and shares it with her sister. Though I wish that there was another book that can delve deeper into her life after with Claire. She finally got what she deserved. Penelope got only a piece of what she deserved. I mean she remained the same person she was. The fact that she got duped by a prince did not change her position in society. I was happy that Liz finally ended up with Teddy (i think it is because it makes me think of Little Women and Jo) and that they lived happily ever after with Will's child. Though it would have been better if Will just never died. But that was books ago. *sigh* I agree with other readers. The ending was anticlimactic and rushed. I feel as if each character demanded its own separate epilogue that could really satiate my hunger. But my feelings may have just been exacerbated by the fact that the series is over.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Almost happy..., October 29, 2009
This review is from: Splendor: A Luxe Novel (Hardcover)
I was really excited about this book, but was slightly disappointed at the end! The book itself was a good read, but the end seemed very rushed. On a more personal note, I am a sucker for happy endings, so I was a little crushed to see how the series ends. It was like being worked up for a huge let down. Books are great, ending... not so much.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Ending to a Great Series, November 28, 2009
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Splendor: A Luxe Novel (Hardcover)
Splendor brings Anna Godbersen's Luxe series to a close, and what a tremendous ending it is! All the loose threads are tied up, but not always so neatly; the four main young women find that life doesn't always give you what you thought you wanted, but you've got to make peace with yourself no matter what. Splendor is told in alternating chapters that focus on each of the young women and takes them through the trials that will ultimately lead them to that peace, whatever it is.

The book opens with Diana Holland having traveled (alone in 1900!) to Havana in search of love Henry Schoonmaker, who has joined the army in order to escape his shrew of a wife, Penelope. While the young lovers are reunited, Penelope herself starts to realize that maybe she was too hasty in marrying Henry, and sets her eye on on a Bavarian prince who is looking lustfully back at her. Meanwhile, both Elizabeth Holland and Carolina Broad have achieved contentment: Elizabeth has married her father's business partner in order to give her unborn child a name, and Carolina's past as a maid is firmly behind her as she falls in love with the handsome Leland. Of course none of this flows smoothly, and all of the young women are subjected to tragedies of varying degrees.

In this final installment, Ms. Godbersen does the remarkable: she allows her characters to achieve a sense of maturity without being preachy or giving them fairy tale endings. The deceit that all of them have practiced is dealt with, but there is no moral high ground. Instead, I felt they were all so identifiable, because let's face it: pretty young women do have faults and some conquer those faults while others do not. It's all about what you are willing to live with.

Ms. Godbersen filled Splendor with fashion and romance, betrayal and reconciliation, and it could not have been a more fitting ending to this series. My one problem with the storyline applies to Diana, and it is only because of her previous infatuation that I have a hard time believing she wasn't up to the task. However, I could still see her achieving something far more exciting with her life, so even though I found her decision out of character, I can let it go, and even give kudos to Ms. Godbersen for not being pat in wrapping up my favorite storyline of the four. I would actually rate Splendor 4.5 stars, but my enjoyment of the series as a whole prompts me to round up to the full five. Truly an enjoyable ride.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 29 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

Details

Splendor: A Luxe Novel
Splendor: A Luxe Novel by Anna Godbersen (Paperback - June 29, 2010)
$9.99
In Stock
Add to cart Add to wishlist
Search these reviews only
Send us feedback How can we make Amazon Customer Reviews better for you? Let us know here.