Author: Kathleen Tessaro
Source: TLC Book Tours
Can the secrets of one woman's past change another woman's future? Cate is a gifted young artist who survives in New York by producing remarkable copies of Old Masters.She arrives in London to stay with her aunt Rachel who owns an auction house, determined to leave the pain of her past behind. Cate is sent to Devon with Rachel's colleague Jack to value the contents of Endsleigh, the grand Georgian home of a former socialite. But inside, its once elegant interiors are now worn with age and dust. Then Cate discovers hidden in the back of one of the bookshelves, an old shoebox containing an exquisite pair of silk dancing shoes from the 1930's along with a mysterious collection of objects - a diamond brooch, a photograph of a handsome young sailor, a dance card, and a beautiful pearl and emerald bracelet from Tiffany's. Unable to solve the questions in her own life, Cate quickly becomes engaged in solving the mystery of the shoe box and begins to unravel the story of Baby Blythe; bright, beautiful and reckless, she was the most famous debutante of her generation. The clues in the box reveal a tale of a dark, addictive love, a tale that will lead Cate to uncover some secrets of her own. [via GoodReads]
I truly love stories that have alternating sub-stories taking place within them. And The Debutante is the perfect example of that. With Cate's tale taking place in the present and Baby's story taking place in the past - I loved how both interwove and came together. When Cate is asked by her aunt to assist Jack in cataloguing the contents of Endsleigh House for an upcoming auction - she didn't expect to find a box full of treasures and a mystery that was just too irresistible to pass.
Although at first I had some trouble getting into the story - I even put it down for a while, when I picked the book back up I was taken by surprise by how wonderful this story really was. I enjoyed reading of Cate and Jack and how they both begin to accept their pasts and eventually heal using one another for support. But I must confess that my favorite parts were the letters between the Blythe sisters. I could not help but find myself captivated by that treasure box myself. I wanted to know what happened to the missing debutante. I loved the mystery elements of the story and more than once I thought I had it figured out before I was thrown for a loop and had to start the guessing game again.
I found Ms. Tessaro's writing enjoyable and her descriptions of London (past and present) were a treat. I especially loved reading of the run-down Endsleigh - as well as the glimpses of its former glory you get from the letters.
This was a bittersweet, charming, and mysterious story that, although it had its ups and downs, in the end I found it very enjoyable.