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As Envy begins, we rejoin New York City’s young, social elite in early 1900 as they continue their lives of opulence, secrecy, unrequited love, ruthless ambition, clandestine affairs, limitless elation and miserable despair. Penelope Schoonmaker (née Hayes), having achieved her most fervent and obsessive desire of ensnaring Henry Schoonmaker as her husband, is finding that the sport isn’t nearly as fun when her captured prey now pretends she doesn’t exist. When she hears of Henry’s plans for a fishing trip in Florida, Penelope immediately invites herself and orchestrates the train trip into a major social event of the season. Elizabeth Holland isn’t enthusiastic about traveling after her recent, heartbreaking ordeals, but is forced to accept and wear a brave face. Her sister Diana, on the other hand, is thrilled at the opportunity, for it means she may be able to steal some covert moments with Henry.
This series is so fast-paced that it’s surprising to be reminded that the first three books span only a few short months in the lives of these young adults. I’m still not certain what Diana sees in Henry, and the number of times she doubts him in this book, only to be reassured and mollified shortly thereafter, started to get tiresome after a while. It was nice to see some hope of happiness for Elizabeth, and I’m eager to begin turning the pages of the final book to find out just what Diana is getting up to.
posted Jun 23, 2014 at 2:15PM
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Prim and proper; from old money; faked her death to be with her true love; returned to New York to help her family; grieving the death of her husband.
Elizabeth's younger sister; helping the family financially by selling society scandal to newspaper columnists; still in love with Henry.
Penelope's husband; not in love with Penelope, but in love with Diane.
From new money; Henry's wife; envy of society; has everything she ever dreamed of.
Penelope's brother; interested in Diane.
Became an heiress with Penelope's help, but lost everything after the death of her benefactor.