Author of The Luxe, Anna Godberson, has brought another amazing novel to the world with Bright Young Things. Never a disappointment, she entertained with adventure and society gossip, plus whatever was “all the rage” in the early twentieth century.
The year is 1929. New York is ruled by the Bright Young Things: flappers and socialites seeking thrills and chasing dreams in the anything-goes era of the roaring twenties.
Letty Larkspur and Cordelia Grey escaped their small Midwestern town for New York’s glittering metropolis. All Letty want is to see her name in lights, but she quickly discovers Manhattan is filled with pretty grils who will do anything to be a star…
Cordelia is searching for the father she’s never known, a man as infamous for his wild parties as he is for his shadowy schemes. Overnight, she enters a world more thrilling and glamorous than she ever could have imagined – and more dangerous. It’s a life anyone would kill fore … and someone will.
The only person Cordelia can trust is Astrid Donal, a flapper who seems to have it all: money, looks, and the love of Cordelia’s brother, Charlie. But Astrid’s perfect veneer hides a score of family secrets.
Across the vast lawns of Long Island, in the illicit speakeasies of Manhattan, and on the blindingly lit stages of Broadway, the three girls’ fortunes will rise and fall – together and apart.
This book was captivating. It was a little too quick in the beginning, which made it a little difficult to get to know the characters and what was going on at all, especially between the varying viewpoints despite the fact that it was all third person. However, as soon as I got oriented as to who was who and wanted what, I was sucked in. Literally. I feel as though I was in the speakeasies, on top of the Chrysler building (before it was built!), and shooting my own pistol. To say the least, this book explored the twenties from so many different angles, looking back I can’t see how the stories of each character meshed with the others, but they did, and that’s what is so amazing about this book, and about Anna Godberson. She makes separate scenarios come together to common ground and has her readers connect the dots about the plot and setting that the characters never do.
I liked the obscurity of Cord and Letty’s Ohio life. Even though they came to New York together, they both left the other so far behind so quickly that their country life seemed a lifetime away even to the reader because we know so little about it anyway. I wondered about John when Cordelia thought back to him, I felt myself forgetting about Letty’s family when she doesn’t allow herself to miss them. I also liked how the characters left behind in Ohio were characterized quickly but very accurately and detailed in the beginning that I felt like I was forgetting an actual person, not just a character.
My favorite part about the book as opposed to Anna’s other series is that BYT contains more action, more feminine rights, since it takes place in the Roaring Twenties instead of the nineteenth century. There was less gossip, although it was there, than the Victorian era, when everything centered around who was doing what with who, and who was attending which party, etc, etc. Instead, it was an adventure, a few girls finding their city selves, plus a little extra intrigue/romance/betrayal/excitement on the side.
All in all, a great read. The only disappointment to me is that Beautiful Days contains the next part, and it only just came out last month. I’ll get a copy soon, though! Up next for review will be Amy and Roger’s Epic Detour.