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The Debutante

The Debutante [Kindle Edition]

Kathleen Tessaro
3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (48 customer reviews)

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Product Description


Praise for The Debutante:

'It's an elegant and glamorous plot …which means lots of mouth-watering descriptions of decaying stately homes by the sea' Daily Mail

‘The latest from the author of bestseller Elegance. New Yorker Cate immerses herself in the mystery of the Mitford-esque 1920’s London debutante’ Red

‘A shoebox filled with momentos sets artist Cate on a hunt for the truth behind the disappearance of a dazzling 1920’s ‘it’ girl in Kathleen Tessaro’s The Debutante’ Good Housekeeping

‘Tessaro gets her story-weaving wand out with a gloriously rich story of past and present love’ InStyle

‘Reading The Debutante was the most delicious treat. Engrossing, romantic, wise and witty – the perfect read. I could not put it down’ Gillian Greenwood, author of Satisfaction and The Ghost Lover

Praise for Kathleen Tessaro:

‘Ultra-smart and classily edgy, this is the glitz novel brought up to date’ Sunday Times

‘This is a book all women will identify with’ Glamour

Product Description

Can the secrets of one woman’s past change another woman’s future?

Endsleigh House stands, crumbling and gracious, on the south-west coast of England, its rooms shut up and dusty. But what secrets do they hold?

Cate, an exile from New York, is sent to help value the contents of the once-grand Georgian house. Cataloguing its' contents with Jack - a man with his own dark past, she comes across a hidden shoebox containing an exquisite pair of dancing shoes from the 1930s, along with a mysterious collection of objects: a photograph, a dance card and a Tiffany bracelet.

Returning to London, rather than face the questions lingering in her own life, Cate immerses herself in piecing together the clues contained in the box to uncover a story, that of Irene Blythe and her sister Diana - two of the most famous debutantes of their generation.

The tale that unfolds is one of dark, addictive love, and leads Cate to face up to secrets of her own. Can the secrets of Baby Blythe's past change Cate's own ability to live and love again?

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 519 KB
  • Print Length: 384 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins (5 April 2010)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B003DX0IEY
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (48 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #34,198 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Born in Pittsburgh, Kathleen Tessaro studied drama before emigrating to London. After ten years working as an actress in films, television, and theatre, she left the profession and spent several years working for the English National Opera, while training in the evenings as a drama teacher and voice coach. During this time, she began to write. Working on short stories during her lunch hour, she soon became a regular member of a writers workshop. All of her novels have been Sunday Times Bestsellers.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Nice story, recommended 11 May 2010
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This book is about two people, Cate and Jack, struggling to put their unhappy pasts behind them, and immersing themselves in the task of sorting all the antiques etc for auction from an old mansion by the sea after its elderly owner dies. Whilst there they discover that the house was once home to two famous sisters, Irene and Baby Blythe who were debutantes in the 1920s, and Cate finds an old shoebox full of memories. She is fascinated by their story, especially when she discovers that Baby, the wilder of the two, went missing and was never found, and she sets out to discover all she can.
It was a little slow in the beginning but turns into a nice story with a gentle mystery, it's not an exciting thriller but it is a pleasant read and I enjoyed it, and was eager to turn the pages as I got further into it.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A lovely read 6 Jun 2010
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I wasn't at all sure about reading this book. I'd loved Kathleen Tessaro's first book, Elegance, but didn't think her second book was up to much at all. I'm glad to say that The Debutante is a return to form for this author.

It has all the aspects I love in a novel: two linked stories, set in two different times, a mystery and a love story. Cate, a troubled woman who has returned from a turbulent stay in New York, and Jack, a man who is trying to cope with his grief, are sent to make an inventory of items in a grand house in Devon. Cate discovers a shoebox containing some random objects which she sets out to find out more about. Interlinked with this story is the story from the past of the Blythe sisters, debutantes from the 1930s.

I loved how both stories (the Blythe one is only told in letter form) intertwined and how the stories unfolded. And near the end there was a moment when a key part of the story dawned on me and I had to stop reading for a minute to take stock of what it meant for the characters.

This is a really lovely read and I enjoyed every second I spent reading it. Kathleen Tessaro would do well to stick to this kind of book, as she really does it well. Highly recommended.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Oh dear. 1 April 2012
By Juice
The reviews from newspapers promised an unforgettable read. I found it boring and patchy with underdeveloped characters, a lack of chemistry between the modern-day love interests and a complete absence of character development of Baby's possible suitors.While the ending is poignant and the description of the old house evocative I wish Tessaro had spent more time on the book: It felt as if she wrote it because her publisher was bugging her.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing 28 May 2011
Quite disappointed with this book. It was more of a character study, and very lacking in an actual plot. I guess this could be classified as contemporary literature. I couldn't see where it was going, and kept reading to find out. It seemed to go nowhere, though I suppose it was interesting. It involved 2 separate story lines, one set in modern times, and one historical. I felt in the end, that the historical part was used more as a padding to make this into book length. If it was intended for anything else, it didn't end up going there. There was no actual joining up of the parts, it would have been better if there had been. There was some clever convenience at the end, where you are convinced that you may have just met the historical character - but nothing is conclusive.
I think she was trying to make a point about injustices, and heart-breaks with this story - which I suppose that came across. However, I found it amusing that having wanted to set the original story in the V&A, she found that too big a canvas. An author friend gave her a shoebox with random objects inside to inspire her story. She literally used that... To be fair, it was very readable, she's a good writer - but I was left at the end wondering the point of it all? This was the first book of hers that I've read. I won't be looking at any more... Sorry.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Debutante 16 May 2010
By Candi Says VINE VOICE
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Cate/Katie is trying to escape her past by moving to London and starts working alongside her aunt in her business of valuing antiques. She is sent to value the contents of Endsleigh House, home of the famous debutantes Irene and Baby Blythe, along with her aunt's colleague, the handsome Jack.

Whilst valuing the antiques, Cate finds a shoebox of treasures hidden in a locked room and is determined to find out what happened to Baby Blythe, the prettiest and most popular rebel of the Blythe sisters. Jack and Cate are drawn to each other but their pasts drive them apart. For them to be together, they need to put aside their pasts.

The story is divided up and features the letters of correspondence between the Blythe sisters and Baby's lover, Nicholas Warburton.

The story is enjoyable along with Kathleen Tessaro's previous books which I have also enjoyed. The ending does feel a bit of an anti-climax though. Who is the old lady at the home as she has implications? And I would hope that Jack would fill Cate in with his discovery of the letters? I would recommend this book to others.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pictures and Words reveal the past 27 Dec 2012
Big houses invariably have their secrets and Endsleigh is one of them. Everything is now being sold as there is no longer anyone who is alive to inherit. Enter Cate and Jack who are tasked to catalogue all the items for auction.

Cate has her secrets as she arrives back from New York and goes to help her aunt, the owner of an auctioneers and valuers. Retreating into work and another world, the world of Endsleigh to escape her thoughts. They are suddenly all exposed for everyone to see and the glimmer of happiness may be lost forever.

Jack, faithful employee of Cate's aunt is also using work to escape his thoughts. That the woman he loved was not being honest even down to the day she was tragically killed. Can Jack let his barriers down and think about loving someone else, even if they have a past which is too close to home for him to deal with?

As Cate and Jack set about their work, a discovery by Cate means that the mystery of the house is carried on a lot longer. It belonged to Irene Blythe, debutante of the nineteen thirties who had an even more famous sister - Diana `Baby' Blythe who made a mark on society and whose mysterious disappearance has never been solved. Will Cate discover the truth and perhaps find her true self? Or will past secrets never be buried and remain a problem for all those left?

This is an excellent book which built slowly on the story of both the Blythe sisters, (very much in the ilk of the Mitfords) and also the friendship between Cate and Jack. It deals with some rather raw subjects, death, bereavement, unrequited love, forbidden love and forced love in both the present story and the past.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars Average
really good story, well written. but the ending is abrupt and very predictable. leaves you feeling cheated and spoils the story.
Published 7 days ago by tricia weller
4.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant!
I truly enjoyed this book and my only critisism (which is true of The Perfume Collector too) is that it ended rather abruptly. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Dorcas
4.0 out of 5 stars Lovely.
I re read this again recently and found it a more interesting story secone time around. Present day, Cate and Jack are sent to catalogue the contents of a crumbling house,... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Wendy McFarlane
5.0 out of 5 stars Arrived on time
I was very pleased with my purchase. The book is in excellent condition and well packaged.
I will certainly order from you again. I know I will enjoy reading The Debutante. Read more
Published 5 months ago by margot hewson
3.0 out of 5 stars book
I found this a book which was not easy to read, but sometimes Im like this. This style of author to me does not have the flow of writing
Published 6 months ago by sarah
5.0 out of 5 stars Book
Another excellent read from this author and grips you fro the word go. I must read more of this author
Published 6 months ago by Mrs Wendy E Barker
3.0 out of 5 stars meh
This book was pretty good although i noticed that the book finished at about 80%? I hate it when books just kind of end in the air...
That's why it gets 3 starts from me.
Published 7 months ago by lucy d
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing in the extreme
I found it boring. Pedestrian. Not at all of the quality of, The Perfume Collector. Was disappointed and didn't even finish it.
Published 10 months ago by Mrs. P A Swift
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful
The story was lovely I couldn't put the book down. I think once you read it you will enjoy it just as much
Published 10 months ago by Mrs G A Kennedy
3.0 out of 5 stars Good story rubbish end
I have never read any of this author's books before but the reviews looked good so I gave it a go. The story is just what I enjoy not too taxing on the brain, with a bit of... Read more
Published 11 months ago by Kate martin
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