Splendor: A Luxe Novel by Anna Godbersen (Published by HarperTeen, October 27, 2009)
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.