The Debutante by Kathleen Tessaro

Title:  The Debutante
Author: Kathleen Tessaro
Pages:  400
Genre:  Fiction
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. 

My Rating:


Anonymous said...

That cover is gorggeous!! Im not sure if this would be one for me but It might look good on my shelf...yes I do decorate with books...:D

Anonymous said...

BTW what is gorggeous???

Anonymous said...

I have this waiting for me on my TBR from the library pile :D

Heather J. @ TLC Books said...

I love that you thought you had it figured out more than once but were continually proven wrong - that sounds like the perfect kind of mystery for me!

Thanks for being a part of the tour - I'm so happy you enjoyed the book. :)

carla said...

I'm curious about the Blythe sisters part of the story.
Have to keep my eyes open for this one.

The Bookworm said...

This one sounds good, and I do like the cover.
Great review.

Mrs. Q: Book Addict said...

I received this one this week. I'm excited to read it. I have the same cover as you.

trish said...

What a nice surprise to put it down because you weren't getting into it and then picking it back up and finding out you really liked it! So glad it worked out that way. :)

Cindy said...

It looks nice, but maybe not for me! Great review :)

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