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The Debutante: A Novel by Kathleen Tessaro

The Debutante: A Novel (edition 2010)

by Kathleen Tessaro

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Title:The Debutante: A Novel
Authors:Kathleen Tessaro
Info:William Morrow Paperbacks (2010), Edition: Original, Paperback, 400 pages
Collections:Your library

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The Debutante by Kathleen Tessaro



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A widowed antique dealer and a young artist are brought together over the sale of a country house and the secrets of two enigmatic sisters. The blurb, once again, tempted me into downloading this novel, while the mystery of the beautiful Blythe sisters (who smack of the Mitfords) kept me reading. Jack and Cate's angst and attraction added nothing to the mix, the pair of them thrown together on the rebound. Cate's amateur detection, alongside 'Baby' Blythe's letters from the past, could have carried the story quite successfully without the need to pair Cate off with Jack. The ending also confused me, with the old woman in the home, but I might have stopped paying attention by that point. An atmospheric sense of history and credible, if none too likeable characters, but I would preferred to read more about the Blythe sisters than Cate and Jack. ( )
  AdonisGuilfoyle | Feb 7, 2015 |
Disappointing - as often it is when I enjoy one book by the author and then try to read earlier books that she/he wrote. ( )
  MargaretdeBuhr | Dec 28, 2013 |
Deeply absorbing ( )
  applessixeleven | Oct 12, 2013 |
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?

My Thoughts:

This is what I would call a comfort book. A heartwarming story that is perfect to curl up with.

The story is told in the present with snippets to the past told in the form of letters. I found that there was enough in the book to hold my interest to the end and I wanted to turn the pages to see what was going to happen. I did find the ending quite sweet and one could say a little predictable but in this type of book I wouldn’t have wanted an ending any other way.

A pleasant, enjoyable read which I would recommend if you want something not too taxing. ( )
  tina1969 | May 14, 2012 |
This was another $5 bookshop buy. Would it be too harsh to say I’m glad I only spent $5 on it?

This book seemed like it had so much going for it. The plot, while not 100% original, could be so good! Let me just summarise it quickly for you: Cate, troubled by the ending of a previous romance, goes to work for her aunt’s auction business. There, she meets Jack, who is moody with secrets of his own. As they catalogue Endsleigh, the estate of one of the famed Blythe sisters, sexual tension flares. Cate becomes caught up in the mystery of what happened to the younger Blythe sister. Will she realise Jack’s interest and solve the mystery? There are many books that follow this kind of plot - Kate Morton has written some very good (okay, and one not so good) books about the modern and historic, involving big houses and decades old mysteries. Unfortunately, this one is not so good.

Why do I think this? The prose is dreary. I had to force myself to continue to read this, setting myself a page target each day (all for the benefit of you, dear reader – your life is too short for bad books!) The tension between Cate and Jack felt forced and clichéd – like the characters themselves were begrudgingly acting out the part for the sake of the reader. The prose really didn’t evoke an atmosphere either – it felt stilted and restrained. Cate’s love affair lacked love, regret and the anger of betrayal – it really felt like she was just going through the motions. No passion at all!

The mystery was quite interesting though and although the ‘discovery’ is somewhat clichéd (I won’t spoil it for you if you intend to read the book), at least it is solved. The way that Cate got interested in Baby Blythe’s disappearance through a hidden shoebox of memorabilia was unique and one of the more interesting parts of the book to me. The way the ‘historic’ side of the plot was revealed through letters mainly between the Blythe sisters was interesting too, but at times it left more questions than answers for me.

I cared about this book enough to finish, but I’m sorry, not enough to recommend it. It may be an okay beach or plane read at a pinch.

http://samstillreading.wordpress.com ( )
  birdsam0610 | Apr 13, 2012 |
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There is a dangerous silence in that hour
A stillness, which leaves room for the full soul
To open all itself, without the power
Of calling wholly back its self-control:
The silver light which, hallowing tree and tower,
Sheds beauty and deep softness o'er the whole,
Breathes also to the heart, and o'er it throws
A loving languor, which is not repose.
For Annabel
First words
In the heart of the City of London, tucked into one of the winding streets behind Gray's Inn Square and Holborn Station, there's a narrow passage known as Jockey's Fields.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Cate, an artist who abandoned her talent, heart, and self-respect in New York, takes a temporary gig as an antiques appraiser in London, and is soon drawn into the mystery of the beautiful Blythe sisters, recently deceased aristocrat Irene and long-missing Diana, both of whom shocked and fascinated London in the 1930s.… (more)

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