Envy, by Anna Godbersen

Envy, by Anna Godbersen (HarperCollins, February 1, 2009)

When one of the characters in Envy refers to “…mistakes festered behind fine window dressings”, she might have been describing this novel. It prettily published, but utterly boring, simplistic and pointless, without wit, meaningful historical detail or plausible characters. Assuming that readers would like more novels that read like daytime soaps, it is part of a series of called Luxe.

It consists mainly of detailed descriptions of gowns, hairstyles and vapid conversations. If you want to get an authentic impression of high society, matchmaking, old money and politics in New York in the 1900s, read Edith Wharton’s The Age of Innocence that won the 1921 Pulitzer Prize for literature, and avoid this one altogether. Least said, soonest forgotten.

Preceded by: Rumors: A Luxe Novel
Followed by: Splendor: A Luxe Novel

About M. Bijman

Avid reader, longtime writer of book reviews and literary analyses. Interested in literature, creativity and cognition, language and linguistics, musicology, and technology. Occasionally writes poems and bits of music.

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