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Wednesday, October 20, 2010

The Debutante by Kathleen Tessaro

The Debutante: A NovelPublisher: Avon
ISBN: 0061125784
Pages: 400 pgs
Genre: Fiction/Contemporary
Challenges-Read’n’Review Challenge, 100+ Reading Challenge

Summary from Publisher:
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.

My Review:
This could easily be mistaken for chick lit. Look at that cover. It would be difficult to see  this book as anything but chick lit. would be wrong. The Debutante does have some elements of chick lit but it so much much more (not to take anything away from the great genre that is chick lit).  It has romance, mystery, a bit of intrigue. All good things.

I loved all of the various elements of this book. I always love the romance. Cate and Jack had this subdued chemistry that I found really appealing. It's not romance novel type of chemistry but it's still chemistry. I also loved the mystery. Mysterious houses, people and places are always interesting. The mystery of Endsleigh and Baby Blythe would have been enough to keep me interested even if there had been no romance at all.

The writing was also really great. The descriptions were detailed and clear and the dialogue was crisp and witty. The characters were also really well-developed and interesting. I love how the historical and contemporary periods mirror and complement each other. I love how the historical period is only represented through correspondence. It give you a view into the past but doesn't overwhelm the present.

If you are looking for a chick lit novel that is really not chick lit at all, pick this one up. It mixes many genres and does it well.

How many times can you say chick lit one review?

*A copy of this book was provided to me by the publisher for review. My opinion is my own and has not been influenced in any way and any monies made from associate or affiliate accounts are recycled back into the blog.


  1. This really does look like chick lit, and I'm glad to hear it isn't really! It sounds like a good read...great review :)

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  3. I'm glad that you point out that this is not your traditional chick lit, because the cover does tend to give that impression. Thanks for being on this tour - it's always a treat to know that the book was a great fit for the reader!



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