Manhattan 1899 is the setting for Rumours, the sequel to The Luxe. The name aptly reflects the tone of the society about which the book is written. When the beautiful, leading socialite, Miss Elizabeth Holland, is reported to have died in a terrible accident, speculation is rife. No body has been found, giving rise to rumours that she may have been abducted or even captured by white slave traders.
This novel engages the reader from the onset, drawing you into a thoroughly researched world where ‘nothing is more precious than a secret… or more dangerous than a scandal’.
Lives are governed by rules and ethics. Morals are thin but have to be seen to be strong, and naivety is soon lost to the reality of a world where etiquette and material wealth can count for little if scandal is linked to a family’s good name. Following one’s heart to experience genuine love is no rival to the importance of forming a suitable match. Breaking the rules can have disastrous consequences for the individuals and the families of those who dare.
The novel explores the fickleness of human nature in a world where choosing your friends wisely is an important lesson to learn early. Gossip is a currency in itself, which can be used to improve your standing or wealth.
We follow the believable characters of the naive Elizabeth and her lover Will, her mischievous sister Diana, the devious and seductive Penelope, and Henry, a reformed cad, on a journey which intertwines and delights with increasing pace.
The ending is unpredictable, leaving the reader wanting more — very enjoyable. For young adults.