You know when you know you should sleep but are still feeling quite awake? So you go and get a book that’s so boring you’ll immediately fall asleep? Well, I tried doing that last night and failed miserably.
I bought this book mostly because it has a girl with a really huge dress on the cover, and even though I dislike covers with real pictures on them, this one seems to fit – it’s got nice texture and nice flow, I just hoped her face wouldn’t be so visible, but I’m trying to get pass that by not relating her to any character in particular (really hate it when they spoil my chance of picturing my own characters). It’s called “The Luxe” and it’s the first novel of a series by Anna Godbersen.
It had been on the local bookstore for what seemed like ages and I’d always notice it and read a page or two until it got yellow-ish and I finally decided to buy it. Some chapters later I began feeling so bad about Elizabeth Holland, the main character – whose family’s future seems to depend solely on her getting married rich, very rich – that I gave up on it. And then proceeded to ignore it in my bookshelf for months. Until last night.
Last night I remembered why I’d bought the book in the first place. Aside from the overall prettiness of the edition, it’s set in 1899 New York City. People brought intricately elaborated cards to meet one another, ladies sat and patiently waited for their male visitors on visiting day (Sunday? Saturday? I forget), rude and non-rude were very defined concepts. I like that. It’s one of my favourite aspects from Jane Austen books.
Of course liking Jane Austen also may be the reason I stopped reading it – as the plot quickly reveals, none of these ladies are quite ladies, and I was rather shocked. I realise they are in quite a different atmosphere as Jane’s, the world is changing and they all feel suffocated and men pretty much suck, but Jane Austen’s characters would never ever waver. They knew what was proper and pretty much stuck to it, as ladies should do. I mean, if one of them fell inlove with the coachman they may have been torn apart, share looks and smiles – innocent, ladylike actions. They wouldn’t roll around in hay with them.
I guess I just grew accustomed to semi-perfect characters. But am adjusting to the flawed ones. With several “You idiot!” markings on the margins. Especially for Diana, Elizabeth’s sister, who’s so friggin’ self-centered she doesn’t notice her sister isn’t overjoyed about her wedding to Mr Smooth. No, she’s not crying of happiness, you idiot!
The boys also get their fair share of commentary. After this book is over I’ll definitely need to find a nice, girly book filled with gentlemen. Detox.