Saturday, September 15, 2012

The Debutante

The Debutante: A NovelThe Debutante: A Novel by Kathleen Tessaro
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Can I call this the best book I've read this year?! This book was fun, interesting, detailed, historical... everything my inner nerd requires in a good book. I'm always slightly skeptical of books that deal with stories on two (or more) timelines. Flashback narratives annoy me - Which, my friends, is why I'm so happy to say this book... might have a few. A FEW. The past timeline of the story is played out through letters, just enough info to put the reader in "the know" while the characters in the contemporary timeline are still running around like headless chickens. I loved it! I even loved the little "mystery solved but nobody knew it" at the end. I thought the characters were great, quirky, sophisticated and oh so vulnerable. The story grabbed me from the start, although I did wonder if I had accidentally wandered into something 50 Shades of Gray - like. Fortunately, not. I felt the graphic language was applied where needed and was tastefully done. Loved loved loved this book! And now, I'm off to find another book by Kathleen Tessaro.

Synopsis: Can the secrets of one woman's past change another woman's future?

A gifted artist, Cate has come to London from New York to escape her recent past. Working for her aunt's auction house, she is sent down to Devon to value the contents of Endsleigh House, the once gracious but now crumbling estate of a former socialite. There, hidden in the back of a dusty bookshelf, Cate discovers an old shoebox. Inside is a strange assortment of objects: an exquisite pair of dancing shoes circa 1930; a diamond brooch; a photograph of a young sailor; a dance card; and a pearl and emerald Tiffanys bracelet.

Intrigued by her find, Cate sets out to solve the mystery of the box, becoming immersed in the story of its owner, Baby Blythe. Bright, beautiful, and reckless, Baby was the most famous debutante of her generation . . . and the most dangerous. As the clues begin to reveal a shocking tale of destructive, addictive love, Cate finds herself being drawn deeper into Baby's tragic life story--a story that will force Cate to face some dark truths about her own.

Recommended Reading:
Elegance by Kathleen Tessaro
The Recipe Club by Andrea Israel
The Love Goddess' Cooking School by Melissa Senate
The Overnight Socialite by Bridie Clark
Friday Mornings at Nine by Marilyn Brant
Take A Chance on Me by Jill Mansell

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