It is now Manhattan in 1900 and a few months have passed by since we left the story of the Holland family in Rumours. Once again, the simplicity of the title Envy explains the theme of the book. However, it hides the complexity of the lives of the troubled characters revealed within its pages.

Elizabeth Holland, once the envy of all young ladies of society, is now a grieving widow of a secret marriage. Her health, her spirits and her future prospects are equally bleak. Her younger sister, Diana, is also nursing a broken heart. Meanwhile, Mrs Penelope Schoonmaker has everything she wants except the love and company of her husband Henry. Miss Carolina Broad has the trinkets and lifestyle she craved, one beyond her own birthright, but lacks the freedom to enjoy it. Together they go on a journey that will change fortunes, affect each character’s destiny and leave many unanswered questions.

This series has the ability to hook the reader. Gossip can kill a reputation and ostracise a person and their family from the society they so tentatively cling to. The lifestyle is shallow and fickle. However, the characters are believable, intricate and deep. Whether good or bad, or just trying to survive within a world they crave but have no right to, they are all engaging. The reader wants to know what is going to happen – who will find happiness and who will stay in despair?

The plot is full of interesting twists and turns and as usual the ending is far from predictable. This is another very enjoyable and well written Luxe novel. Young Adult.

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Buy "The Beggar at the Gate & Other Stories" for £2.05 (Kindle edition)

12 of the best stories selected from the 2012 Historical Novel Society Short Story Award







(US) $17.99
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(US) 9780061345722
(UK) 9780141323381




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