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The Ex-Debutante by Linda Francis Lee
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The Ex-Debutante (edition 2008)

by Linda Francis Lee (Author)

Series: Willow Creek (2)

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19210144,452 (3.34)5
When Carlisle Wainwright Cushing left her native Texas for a new life in Boston, she felt like she'd finally found liberation. Until the day she gets an urgent call from her mother, reporting that: One, the Symphony Association Debutante Ball, which Carlisle's family sponsors, is about to be called off; Two, her mother's divorce has the whole town talking; And three, the family's good name is at stake and Carlisle is the only one who can fix it all. So Carlisle takes a leave of absence from her law firm and goes to Texas to help. Her fiancee has no idea that she's an heiress-- or about to come face to face once more with the true love of her life. Her trip home challenges Carlisle's sense of herself and brings the pieces of her past together, so that when she finally re-meets the man of her dreams, she's in a perfect place to tempt fate.… (more)
Member:Britcar
Title:The Ex-Debutante
Authors:Linda Francis Lee (Author)
Info:St. Martin's Press (2008), Edition: First Edition, 352 pages
Collections:fiction
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The Ex-Debutante by Linda Francis Lee

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Showing 1-5 of 10 (next | show all)
Rating: 4 1/2 stars

I picked this book up as a quick read the summer after my sophomore year at the University of Pittsburgh, one of many books that I figured might be enjoyable if I read it, but wasn’t super into starting. Once I did, though, I could hardly put it down! It’s not news that I’m driven towards books that are more character-driven than plot-driven and that I appreciate strong and independent female characters that think and speak for themselves and never turn down an opportunity for deliciously witty banter with a romantic interest. The Ex-Debutante fulfilled my expectations of Carlisle. Come to think of it, after I read it I was fairly certain that if I ever had a daughter, I would totally name her Carlisle.

There were many things that drew me towards the book – I’d been on a She’s the Man kick (which features debs), I’d entertained the idea of becoming a lawyer (at the time I still didn’t want to teach), and I was infatuated with a guy name Jack that’d just broken my heart. Connections abounded and reading about Carlisle and how she handled her life gave me the confidence to take a greater interest in shaping my own life to be what I wanted, not just what was expected of me as a 19-year-old-almost-college-junior.

The end of your sophomore year of college is when you’re supposed to have your mind made up (if you didn’t when you started) about what you want to be when you “grow up” and who you are as a person. Your days of finding yourself are supposed to be done – you were either supposed to take a year off to traipse through Europe before enrolling or have it all sorted by the time you’re done your first semester so that you can settle in and start working towards some nonexistent goal that is supposed to define the rest of your life.

But, as with many other things in life, we don’t all follow the same path, our development as human beings really isn’t mappable as some psychologists would try to lead us to believe. And in a time of great personal confusion, Carlisle personified that twisting, knotting, ineffable desire to be unique and individualistic to a tee. I’d spent the four months before reading The Ex-Debutante caring for family and supporting those around me. While I’m beyond glad that I took time off from college to do so, reading The Ex-Debutante was the first time I took a break that was just for me, that I took time out of the day to do something I enjoyed, even if it was just reading. So my review is less about the book, but more about what the book, and the protagonist, made me realize about myself. ( )
  smorton11 | Oct 29, 2022 |
ZERO stars

From the book jacket: Carlisle Wainwright Cushing – of the old-moneyed Willow Creek, Texas, Wainwrights, is the daughter of larger-than-life Ridgely Wainwright … Cushing-Jameson-Lackley-Harper-Ogden. Given her mother’s predilection for divorce, no one is surprised that Carlisle becomes a divorce lawyer and runs far away to Boston, where nobody, including her fiancé, knows she’s an heiress. But now, three years later, Carlisle is lured back to Texas to deal with her mother’s latest divorce and the family-sponsored hundredth annual debutante ball, which is on the verge of collapse.

My reactions
Where to start? Cardboard characters. Tortured dialogue. Ridiculous plot. “Clever” writing devices that aren’t. This is just a disaster.

I read another book by Lee which had some problems, but was far more coherent than this mess. ( )
  BookConcierge | Dec 2, 2016 |
Carlise Wainwright Cushing returns to Texas because her mother tells her there is an emergency. The emergency ends up being that she needs Carlisle to be her divorce lawyer. Carlisle also becoms involved in running the local debutante ball which her family has been involved with for a hundred years, The ball is near ruin after the last organiser, a male, was caught wearing one of the debutantes gowns. Carlisle also has to deal with Jack Blair, who she has had a crush on since high school, and who is representing her mother's husband in the divorce. A fun read, especially the parts involving the debutantes. ( )
  RachelNF | Jan 15, 2016 |
This book was a waste of time. ( )
  TeenieLee | Apr 3, 2013 |
A no nonsense lawyer/former deb from Texas, returns to her roots to help her mother through her umpteenth divorce and save her families Deb ball. There were times the book was good, times that it would make up for the cheesy dialogue and transparent plot. It kept me entertained anyway. ( )
  Kace | Jan 30, 2010 |
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When Carlisle Wainwright Cushing left her native Texas for a new life in Boston, she felt like she'd finally found liberation. Until the day she gets an urgent call from her mother, reporting that: One, the Symphony Association Debutante Ball, which Carlisle's family sponsors, is about to be called off; Two, her mother's divorce has the whole town talking; And three, the family's good name is at stake and Carlisle is the only one who can fix it all. So Carlisle takes a leave of absence from her law firm and goes to Texas to help. Her fiancee has no idea that she's an heiress-- or about to come face to face once more with the true love of her life. Her trip home challenges Carlisle's sense of herself and brings the pieces of her past together, so that when she finally re-meets the man of her dreams, she's in a perfect place to tempt fate.

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