The Compulsive Reader: Splendor by Anna Godbersen

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Splendor by Anna Godbersen

It's been a tumultuous year for some of New York's most fashionable young ladies. To hide her delicate condition, Elizabeth Holland has married her father's business partner for security and protection from scandal. Her sister Diana has cut her hair and quit New York to go after her love, Henry, who was forced into an unhappy marriage with the duplicitous Penelope Hayes. Meanwhile, Carolina Broad is steadily moving towards her happily ever after...if the truth about her humble origins can stay hidden. But if there's anything that these ladies have learned, it’s that life doesn't go the way you plan, and getting everything you wanted isn't the same thing as happily ever after.

Like Godbersen's previous books, Splendor has glamour, drama, and intrigue, but really feels more like an extended conclusion than an actual story. Elizabeth seems to take a more passive role in the book, and compared to her previous escapades, her journey from learning the truth about her husband's death and her current marriage to when she actually takes control of her own life is a little anti-climatic. Readers who love to hate Penelope will be indignant at her behavior but will be happy to see her finally get what's coming to her, even if her fate isn't at all what they expected. Lina struggles with the truth, but readers will be pleased when she finally succumbs to it and reconciles with her sister. Her happy ending is also unexpected, but a good one. Diana continues to stand out in this book as an adventurous, smart, and fiercely independent young lady. She's truly a woman of a new era, unyielding when it comes to her ideals and strong when it comes to life's challenges. Splendor is a novel about growing up, suffering the consequences of your actions, figuring out the truth, and taking control of your life. It's unexpected but very appropriate ending will please fans of the series.

Cover Comments: As always these covers are just magnificent! I love the dresses, the colors, everything!

Read the other books in the series: The Luxe, Rumors, and Envy! And the boxed set is only $16!

Review copy purchased.


jayme said...

This books are so pretty. I've only read the first one, but I've plans to finish the series.

Anonymous said...

Oh! I could never read this book... I read the first 2, and I just put it on hold because I wanted to know how Di/Henry ended and well, let's just say that what I heard of the ending made sense, but I was hoping for something else. :(

Love your review though.

Unknown said...

I read all of these last summer and I loved them! While I was a little disappointed in the ending for Diana, I found that it was a very well written ending and was one that I could appreciate. I am glad I saw this post because it reminded me that I want to buy the set :)

Also, weren't the dresses the most gorgeous creations!