by Anna Godbersen


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Gossip Girl meets the Gilded Age in this delicious and compelling novel, the fourth and final book in the New York Times bestselling series from author Anna Godbersen.

In the dramatic conclusion to the New York Times bestselling Luxe series, Manhattan’s most dazzling socialites chase dreams, cling to promises, and tempt fate. Only one question remains: Will they fade away or will they shine ever brighter?

New beginnings. Shocking revelations. Unexpected endings. This is Manhattan, 1899.

As spring turns into summer, Elizabeth relishes her new role as a young wife, while her sister, Diana, searches for adventure abroad. But when a surprising clue about their father’s death comes to light, the Holland girls wonder at what cost a life of splendor comes.

Carolina Broad, society’s newest darling fans a flame from her past, oblivious to how it might burn her future. Penelope Schoonmaker is finally Manhattan royalty—but when a real prince visits the city, she covets a title that comes with a crown. Her husband, Henry, bravely went to war, only to discover that his father’s rule extends well beyond New York’s shores and that fighting for love may prove a losing battle.

“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

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780062852199
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 07/03/2018
Series: Luxe Series , #4
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 432
Sales rank: 141,021
Product dimensions: 5.30(w) x 7.90(h) x 1.10(d)
Age Range: 14 Years

About the Author

Anna Godbersen is the author of the New York Times bestselling Luxe series. She was born in Berkeley, California, and educated at Barnard College. She currently lives in Brooklyn.

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Splendor 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 285 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I don't want to spoil the book for anyone, so I will just leave out any details. The Luxe series is one of my FAVORITE series. This was the series that I would bite my nails while reading it. However, Splendor left me wanting more when there is no more to be had. It was very well done for the most part, except for the ending. The ending was rushed, not detailed and confusing. Things happened that left me asking myself what the heck was going on! It was not the ending that I wanted, first off, and secondly, some of the things seemed very unrealistic. I was expecting something brilliant, and it came off as the author seeming sick of writing the series so just kind of jumbling everything together for a rushed ending. I did enjoy the book up until the ending. Maybe it's because it wasn't the ending I wanted, but I do believe it could have been written in a better format.
prince_1 More than 1 year ago
Now i know that not everything can end perfect, but it's a book, and it felt that the first three books were a waste with the way Splendor ended. The characters seemed changed, they weren't the same characters i fell in love with. Diana made me so mad in the ending. And i actually felt bad for Lina. My heart was broken for Henry, and i still can't get over it. Even Penolope's story ended awful (although she deserved it). It seems the only person who got what they wanted was Elizabeth, and she was hardly in the book at all! I still refuse to believe that's the real ending. It felt like Anna Godbersen tried to end it too quickly, and it left you dying for more. I was so connected to the characters, and so upset with how it ended, that i cried and was depressed for days, i even threw my book at my wall. Anna should have sucked it up and wrote at least another 50-100 pages to finish it properly. The end is heart breaking and it takes days to get over. Please, please don't read this book, it ruins the Luxe series.
jechastain More than 1 year ago
I loved the first three books in this series and I could not wait for Splender. I was terribly upset by the ending of this book. I do not want to give the ending away but I will say I am a romantic at heart and this book breaks your heart into pieces. I love to read and I believe I do enjoy it so much because most books take you away from everyday life and the hardships of reality and put you in a fantasy world of happy ending romances but when I read a series and it ends like this I am haunted for days because it feels like you personally just had your heart broken and it brings you back to reality.
LizTea More than 1 year ago
Thank God that's over with. I have finally finished the Luxe series, and I'm so happy I don't have to suffer through all these characters' depressing lives a second more. I found Splendor to be a very weak installment of the series, though not quite as rage-inducing as Rumors. It seemed slow, and yet rushed, all at the same time. It was a whole lot of muck to sift through for a very lackluster, unsatisfying ending. Even the prologue, which I've always found to be one of the best of it's predecessors, wasn't as good. It didn't hook me like the others - I didn't feel compelled to keep reading until I found out all about the cryptic beginning. At least the dresses didn't disappoint. As always, Diana is the closest to my heart. If I lived in 1900 New York, I would want her as my BFF. Her confidence is admirable, as is her courage. When she finally stood up to her mother, I was cheering (probably along with Aunt Edith in the background), because I've always disliked their mother. Her reunion with Henry was everything I wanted it to be - sweet, nervous, exciting. I wanted them to bask in the sunlight in Cuba forever. But alas, as always, these two just cannot catch a break no matter what. I was thoroughly disappointed with how their story arch ended, though I do applaud Diana for her remarkable independence and self-reliance. It's a wonderful trait in a character, especially one who exists in the society turmoil of the 1900s. I loved also seeing some true strength from Elizabeth in this one. However, the blurb led me to believe there was going to be a little murder mystery intrigue, but it was sadly lacking. Diana didn't even know about it! But, whatever. I'm just glad that at least one character ended up mostly happy. As for Penelope and Carolina - well, what else needs to be said about them? I was relieved to have Penelope drop her Henry-obsession for a while since it was getting a little old. In my opinion, she got what she deserved - to be used and left behind like she did so many others. And Carolina? She deserved everything to, mostly because I just didn't like her. At least she finally let her sister into her wealth, something she should have done so much sooner. But then, when did Lina ever really think about anyone else but herself until the very end? One of the most lackluster conclusions to a series I've ever read. I was thoroughly disappointed that I had to wade through all this depression and longing for almost nothing to work out the way it should. It you want a happy ending, read Luxe, the first novel, and imagine your own ending. While still beautifully written, it was just too much of a letdown to really enjoy it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book wasn't as amazing and captivating as the first three. I do not want to give it away, but I did not like the ending of Diana and Henry at all, nor Penelope(though how much she irked me throughout the series), and Elizabeth seemed to have the only happy ending, and I did not even like her that much. It was one of theose books that, after you finish, leaves you feeling empty inside for the next few days upon finding out that your favorite characters, who began to seem somewhat real, all changed and didn't go the way you wanted. As I said, the first three were absolutely truly amazing, but this book left me wondering and wanting to read more from her, and left me feeling upset on a certain level.
loves_a_good_bookKM More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed all four of the Luxe series book untill I hit the end of Splendor. There was a huge three and a half build of what everyone held their breathe for, and when the time came, it ended with a dissapointing ending. The author says she was happy the way it ended, but be prepared to go against the author at the end. Other than that, the book was just a wonderful to read as the other three. The writing of details made the scenes come to life were you feel you are sitting in on 1899 Manhattan.
CallieNoelle More than 1 year ago
I wish the ending was totally different!! Very disappointed
TahnecRose More than 1 year ago
I read this series. Hooked onto it from day one. But, then I read the last book. I felt like it wasn't right. I felt like it was a waste to read, everyone including the readers ended up not happy. I felt like I was waiting for a happy ending, but in the end they all lived miserable lives. I was close to Diana. She was similar to me. Would I have done what she did in the end. Maybe. But, a book is where your suppose to escape to, no realize this is whats happening everyday, and now I'm even more depressed then I was before reading this series.
NombreDePlume More than 1 year ago
I'm a big fan of the series and I must be honest when I say that what first drew me to the books were the covers. I've always been told by countless teachers to never judge a book by its cover even though that's exactly what I did with the Luxe series. And fortunately, I'm glad I did. The whole series tells the story of four glamorous socialites living in New York during the early 1900s. This sounds like a shallow and superficial series but let me assure you, it is not. Splendor is the captivating last installment of the Luxe series filled with unexpected and devious twists, new love and more decadence than ever before. The female leads range from cunning, adventurous Diana Holland and soft-spoken, proper Elizabeth Holland to calculating ruthless Penelope Schoonmaker (nee Hayes) and the scheming but innocent Carolina Broud (or Broad). The male leads are Henry Schoonmaker, Teddy Cuttings, Leland Bouchard, Snowden Cairns, and the Prince of Bavaria. While the ladies of the series command more of the reader's attention, the male leads cannot be overlooked. It is ultimately the gentleman's attention that these young ladies compete for and that drives them to deeds such as murder, adultery, and even leaving ones home forever. The main thing that brought me back to this series was the reality of the plot and the characters. I could perfectly imagine the characters coming to life and going about their daily lives in old Manhattan. I could easily see Penelope and Carolina vying for the most attention by wearing "scandalous" dresses at the Opera and Elizabeth carefully planning out a life for her unborn child before accidentally uncovering chilling secrets regarding her father and the one person she ever truly loved. I could even see young Diana longing to be with the man she belonged with and Henry hating everyday he let his wife and family name influence the choices made for him. While I loved the majority of the book, I must say that I was very disappointed with the ending. Compared to the luscious details and intricate plot of the rest of the book, the ending felt rather rushed and incomplete. I felt as if the author (Godbersen) had simply run out of ideas or just didn't know how to top off such a great series. I was expecting a romantic ending for Diana and Carolina but was left on the verge of tears (and not in a good way). The only character who got an even remotely satisfying ending was Elizabeth but it surely could have been elaborated on. I enjoyed this book overall but felt like the conclusion did absolutely nothing to wrap up a great series and left me with more questions than I started out with.
Beretta4ever More than 1 year ago
The fourth installment to the Luxe series creates a wonderful ending to the four book series. If you have read any of the first three books, you should deffinitely pick this one up as well.
mjmbecky on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is a fun series and one that I found myself falling into pretty easily. Having always loved Edith Wharton's The Age of Innocence, this felt reminiscent of that era and style. Godbersen's writing style and descriptions are delicious and keep the story moving, not to mention the list of characters that you readily care about and want to continue following. In some ways it becomes obvious what direction the story is heading in, but there is still a chance that it might take a different turn. In this case, it did take a slight turn at the end that had me floundering. Okay, I'll be honest. I was a little angry. The final decision that some of the characters' make is understandable, as they come to realize what will make them happy, but I can't say that after four books that I was quite as happy. I'm still not really sure how I'm feeling about it all, but can say I liked the series as a whole. Overall, I really enjoyed the entire Luxe series and would recommend them to readers of YA or historical fiction. In the past I've mentioned that I lack imagination for things such as Science Fiction, so I'm thinking that where my imagination lacks with Sci Fi, it makes up for in historical pieces such as in this series. There is a lot of implied beauty, crazy drama, and masked emotion to behold. For high drama and plot twists, this series fits the bill.
iwriteinbooks on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I haven¿t read too many books in series and those I have, generally disappoint when everything is all said and done. I¿d like to send a big ¿thank you¿ to Anna Godberson for not falling into the trap of a luke warm ending. Her fourth and final book in the Luxe series threatened to fit into the expected but found every way around it possible. Like many books reviewed as second, third, or fourth in a line of a story, it¿s incredibly hard, as a reader, to explain enough about the story without giving all of the prior details away.That said, there is much to be commended, ambiguously. Godberson managed to change the tone of her story in relation to the time and place with ease. What started as the nineteenth century in the first book transitioned to the new century with the easy and energy of the incoming decade. As the story took root for the final act, our fair characters were flung to the literal four corners of the world, in all places, maintaining their past energy while ramping up the drama for their new whereabouts. Although it is briefly discussed, the old cliche of class and war is looked into both in the upper class finding privilege even in the barracks and in the wealthy struggling to find a deeper meaning in ¿it all¿ by throwing themselves headlong into battle.Characters I had heretofore written off came back with a vengeance (and a backbone) for the final hour. I was incredibly pleased with the way Elizabeth, the prized centerpiece of a fading era, developed through the series, especially in the final volume. She teetered on the edge of superfluity and boredom for a good deal of the story but truly came into a three dimensional person in Splendor. Diana, the younger, rougher, albeit more interesting sister of the aforementioned belle of the ball, only became more flamboyantly fun and engaging. She held her own until the last drop, never losing her insecurities but always maintaining the life and love she added to the story. As for the men involved, they were always slightly less dimensional than their female counterparts but did mange to squeak in a little bit of heart and depth around the edges.I found the final book the most enjoyable, which, as I said, rarely happens. The entire series was a little lighter than my usual fare but it proved entertaining and alluring enough to keep me engaged to the last moment.
rebecca191 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
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.
meeps1031 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Easy read but a fantastic story. More of Gossip Girl 100 years ago, Penelope and Henry are now married. Elizabeth is too although her husband is not as nice as he seems. Lots of drama, Carolina finds love. The ending was not what the readers were hoping for but it was still good.
AnneWeaver on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Plot is getting very tired. Many of the characters are unpleasant, but they do not get what they deserve.
fyrefly98 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Summary: As Splendor opens, all of the characters are adjusting to the changes that life had thrust upon them by the end of Envy. Henry has enlisted as a soldier in order to prove himself a man, not realizing that there are some battles in that war that can only be fought at home. Diana has slipped the shackles of high society to follow her heart towards the man she loves. Elizabeth is still grieving for Will, but is adjusting to the thought of her life as a society wife and young mother. Carolina is now a legitimate heiress, but money on its own does not guarantee acceptance into the glittering world she covets. And Penelope, having obtained the title of Mrs. Henry Schoonmaker through deception and manipulation, has now set her sights on an even higher tier of the social ladder. Review: Pure literary candy, plain and simple. I feel like I got tired of the antics of the teenaged socialite set of the Luxe novels about a book and a half ago, and yet something about them keeps me reading. I don't know whether I was interested to see how Godbersen was going to wrap things up, in need of a little escapism into a world of high society and fancy dress balls and scandalous behavior, or just looking for a book that didn't require too much higher cognitive functioning on my part. Probably all three. It's been a while since I've read The Luxe, so I can't say for sure, but I have the impression that Godbersen's language has gotten more and more overblown with each subsequent book. The abundance of frothy description of every dress and piece of furnishing has been there since the beginning, but the narrative seems to have become more self-important and serious. At least the "lichen-colored eyes" and "bee-stung lips" only made one or two appearances this time around, although it drove me a little crazy that the characters tended to be thinking about *themselves* in that way. I wasn't aware of this when I started out, but Splendor is the last book in the Luxe series, and Godbersen does a good job of wrapping up threads that she's been juggling since the beginning. Either she planned out her characters' fates well in advance, or she made it seem as though she did, and to maneuver everyone into an ending that is satisfactory without seeming overly contrived is no mean feat. I also want to applaud her for not taking the easy way out with some of her plotting choices - the directions she took made things much more interesting and less predictable, which I appreciated. Overall, I'm left content - not bowled over, and not clammoring to start re-reading from the beginning, but content. In truth, I don't ask for much more than fluffy, easy-to-read entertainment out of books like these, and on that scale, I got what I came for. 3.5 out of 5 stars.Recommendation: Splendor doesn't stand on its own, but it is a satisfying conclusion to the series. I'd recommend the Luxe books in general to anyone whose taste in guilty-pleasure escapist fluff tends towards silks and scandalous secrets.
Awesomeness1 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This entire series has always been just okay for me. Each book was interesting enough to have me buy the next one, but not enough to rave about them. What originally got me drawn into the series was the gorgeous covers and guilty-pleasure premise. Unfortunatley, I found the first book disappointing, and while the rest of the series did improve slightly, I still don't love them. This book was probably my favorite. It was not completely shallow, and all the characters seemed to have grown up a little. This was a nice conclusion. While not fairy-tale perfect, it retained a hopeful and semi-ambiguous ending. Some of the characters got what they wanted, and some of them didn't. The last chapter was particularly memorable, and I liked the whole "change" concept. I'm not telling you to go run out and buy this series, but I certainly won't discourage it.
SandSing7 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
At the beginning of Splendor, I admit that I thought Ms. Godberson had lost her touch. If ever a book proved to me that setting is important to good literature, this would be it - New York socialites in Cuba? It didn't work for me. However, I for one adored the ending. Elizabeth needed to be with Teddy, Carolina discovered what really matters and was consequently really happy, Henry and Penelope got what they deserved - eachother, and Diana found herself and the world. Finally a book for teens that has some female characters with a backbone!
cablesclasses on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I loved the whole series, especially this one! But I was personally disappointed with the ending--it is feasible but I wanted and wished for another ending. Love to tell you more, but you'll just have to read it to find out.
Ozma333 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A novel in which, as its predecessors, New York is a primary character. The history and lush descriptions are captivating, transforming the room around you into the hazy afternoons of Havana and the crisp, cool evenings of Manhattan. A novel of beauty, with thrilling highs and devastating lows. The best of the series by far with resolutions so clear, concise, and yet unpredictable that readers are kept in suspension throughout. It was with a resounding sense of finality that I read the last words, bringing a closure to a fine series that is so rare - in the best way possible, I am satisfied. I'm not sorry to see it end because I know, there could be no better ending than this. Wonderfully worth the time.
abbylibrarian on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This fourth (and final?) book in the Luxe series finds all our favorite society girls (and boys) up to their old tricks. It's over-written and a little too long, but it's still a scrumptious diversion. Recommended for fans of the series. Consider the Luxe books for Twilight fans - their romantic (and dramatic) escapades are similarly escapist.
alyson on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Not a fabulous ending, but somewhat satisfying for fans of the earlier books.
callmecayce on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The Luxe series is basically Gossip Girl for the 1900s. And while Gossip Girl has never appealed to me, this series, somehow, did. I'm neither a fan of frivolous teen girly fiction nor historical fiction, and yet I truly enjoyed this series. Splendor, the fourth and probably final novel, was by far and away the best of the series. Much to my surprise, while things were neatly sorted at the end -- the manner in which they were fixed was not at all what I expected. I had fun reading this book, much more than some of the earlier ones. I look forward to reading Godbersen's new series and find I'll probably change my opinions on what kind of books I do enjoy. This light reading is sometimes just the thing.
millett23 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
What a disappointing end to this series. I was so looking forward to Henry and Diana finally spending their lives together. Yet, Diana wouldn't be Diana if she didn't go off and live an exciting life. I was happy to see Elizabeth finally get her love in the end. I also liked how Penelope finally got what she deserved.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago