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The Debutante

3.33  ·  Rating details ·  1,853 Ratings  ·  233 Reviews
Wonderful literary fiction, fun and relaxing read.
Hardcover, 386 pages
Published March 1st 2010 by HarperCollins Publishers (first published January 1st 2010)
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Overall I enjoyed this book. I'm a sucker for chick lit books set in England. However, at the end of it, I wanted more. I wanted more closure to the historical story than what I ultimately got.
Aug 15, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
An easy read, like most of other reviews I preferred this historical part of the story and would have like more of that. The modern day characters were in comparison pretty boring.
May 07, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A shameful secret: I am prone to violent literary crushes.

Every once in a while - every two-three years, perhaps? - I put Respectful Reading aside to hunt down and read every last Murakami novel, every Chabon novel, every (horribile dictu!) John Green novel, every Mohsin Hamid novel. (There also are near-crushes: Sarah Waters had the potential, and we nearly hit it off, but no.) It always has to be a living writer, never what would be called ambitious literature in GR circles (I blame my usual
May 22, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Kathleen Tessaro is highly underrated in the literature genre; especially in the sub-genre arena for chick-lit/women's fiction. All of her novels have a depth most authors fail to capture, with unforgettable plots that are emotionally impacting. The Debutante is Tessaro's latest novel.

Jack is a handsome, though humble antique cataloguing expert sent to the empty Endsleigh House, an estate at its liveliest throughout the 1920s-1930s -- and the home of the famous debutante Blythe sisters. Accompan
Lydia Presley
This book was delicious. It had a bitter bite here or there (due to my somewhat prudish nature when it comes to certain words) but overall.. such a delicious story.

This is the recipe for a delicious story.

One part modern romance.
One part mysterious débutante.
One part old, sad home.
One part insanity.
Mix all those up together, put a beautiful pink cover on the book and you have the makings of a fun, interesting, sad, heart-warming, intriguing story.

What I loved most about The Débutante by Kathleen
Julia Flaherty
I thought this book would be a sunnier beach read than it turned out to be. At first, I had a hard time caring about the characters, who are all wealthy, extremely self-absorbed, and kind of prone to obsessive behavior. It's kind of like Sex In The City but since the characters are mostly grieving over some kind of loss or betrayal, it has a much darker quality to it.

The story moves back and forth between modern London and 1930's London. The Modern London part features a widowed man and a young
Nov 23, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2013
I think I would have liked this book better if it had concentrated more on the Blythe sisters. I found their story more interesting than I did Cate's or Jack's. If this book had just been about Cate and Jack I don't think I could have continued reading. What made me keep reading was the mystery surrounding the Blythe sisters, mainly, Baby Blythe. They had more depth to them. Cate and Jack just fell flat for me.
Sep 03, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2013-books
After reading The Perfume Collector I wanted to read more by this author. This was a little disappointing... too many confusing subplots... One story is told through letters and I got mixed up on what character was writing and receiving.... ok read....
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 socia
Jul 20, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition

This book would have been wonderful f it had just been the tale of the sisters. I found myself phasing out during the, at times vulgar and disgusting, aspects of the "main" story. I hated the modern day characters, and unlike other readers, still didn't care at the end.
Nov 11, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: for-review
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
Lydia Laceby
Originally Reviewed at Novel Escapes

The Debutante was the first novel by Kathleen Tessaro that I’ve read and I really enjoyed it. It was full of intrigue and mystery that kept me entertained and flipping pages until the very end wondering how the story would unfold.

After a bit of a slow start, I became immersed in this story and loved the rich, but not overwhelming detail. Initially, I wasn’t sure about Kate, but grew to like her and care about her story as much as I was interested in finding ou
Apr 14, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I'm not quite sure what attracted me to this-possibly the "old house being a character in its' own right." However this time, it really wasn't executed terribly well.

One of the sisters who were debutantes many years ago, disappeared without trace. The novel revolves around the two valuers who are sent to catalogue the contents of the house, and one of them (Cate), becomes intrigued by this mystery, and resolves to discover the truth behind her disappearance. It sounds as if there's hould be a l
Mar 01, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
In the beginning I wasn't sure about this book but I wanted to give it a chance and I'm glad I did. The reason for my hesitation is that though I found her first novel "Elegance" to be charming and funny, her last book "Flirt" seemed a bit forced. I didn't dislike "Flirt" I just didn't care that much about the main characters. Inspite of all that I enjoy her writing overall and took a chance on this one.

The characters are so human, so vulnerable, so stuck. Watching the characters develop, see t
Berkshire Blue Pencil
Feb 14, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mehs
Yet another badly written best seller.
If the story revealed by the items in the shoebox were to be handled any other way, it would have been a rewarding read.

Nothing remotely likeable about Cate or Jack (get over yourselves, peeps, you've got everything going for you!), too little about the really interesting characters in 1930s England, profanities handed out like loose change early on to get the reader into the mood... of what; eroticism?
And then there was the cigarette (and why does it have
Oct 31, 2010 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Albeit the author's best intent, and despite the being a fan of the author's earlier works, this book was disappointing. Her experiment with a mystery with an unbelievable romantic angle that seems more like an unnecessary garnish added as an afterthought made the resolution of both the mystery and protagonist's relationship unsatisfying.
Patty Abarno
Oct 08, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the same author as The Perfume Collector. While I didn't love this novel quite as much, I still found it to be a great read. I definitely recommend this book.
Oct 27, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Ugh. Pretty bland. More Blythe sisters and less Cate, Jack and Rachel
Oct 08, 2014 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: gave-up-on
Four chapters into it, just couldn't bring myself to read anymore.
Oct 07, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Marian Keyes was right - Kathleen Tessaro does write very beautifully. ^.^ 'The Debutante' is overall a story about adults making mistakes, the impact it makes on the ones around them, and what they make of their life afterwards - whether they be the ones impacted or the wrongdoers. It's a mystery the main character, Cate Albion, brings among herself to see through. And through her search, she is indeed forced to face the darkness of her own life.
What I liked the most about this book is how gre
Mary Ellen
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Phooey. Disappointing.

This is the third bok from this author that I've read and while I thoroughly enjoyed the first two, this one was a disappointment. It seemed to ramble quite a bit, and there were many pieces left hanging that didn't seem to fit. The letter writers were frequently confusing and references didn't connect. The present day story line seemed full of depression, anger and sadness, but again was very disjointed. After finishing this (and frankly I had to make myself finish it) I f
I did enjoy this book. It was shallow and predictable, but easy to pick up and put down. Sometimes you don't want a heavy read, just a simple one where you don't need to think about a complicated plot, and this book was it.
Jun 06, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Clever, delightful, beguiling.
Janet Dillard
Aug 07, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Intriguing story that kept me guessing until the end.
Jul 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
History, antiques and romance with a mystery thrown in. Good read - I enjoyed it.
Rajashri Saphia Singh
They're all different. We are the ones who stay the same.
Bj Travis Thomas
this author's books are easy to read. I like the historical connections and stories behind them and The Debutante did not disappoint!
Neha S
Feb 14, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Not enough of either story to be satisfying. Completely disjointed - the premise was good, but not fully developed.
Oct 22, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Some of the writing was overdone- but I liked it. Read it one day and would recommend reading the authors note as well
Meghan Thompson
Jun 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is just a simple, intriguing story... great beach read. Loved it!
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Born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Kathleen attended the University of Pittsburgh before entering the drama program of Carnegie Mellon University. In the middle of her sophomore year, she went to study in London for three months and stayed for the next twenty-three years. She began writing at the suggestion of a friend and was an early member of the Wimpole Street Writer’s Workshop. Her debut novel ...more
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“We forgive not because it’s easy or the right thing to do, but that the choice to forgive is in itself powerful. It’s an affirmation, a willingness to take life on life’s terms. And a privilege that no one can take from you. It” 1 likes
“The family that had once welcomed him and been his as well, especially after his father deteriorated, took a step back. And he found he was instantly isolated, separated by their loyalty to Julia. No one ever said anything directly; no acknowledgement was ever made of how she was found. They were grieving the loss of their sister, their child. He was alone in grieving the loss of his marriage as well. The gap widened. An unspoken hostility grew between them, built from the unsaid words; a kind of defensiveness on both sides, which gradually hardened into a wall. Had they believed he had something to do with her infidelity? That he’d driven her to it through some neglect or unfaithfulness of his own? Had she confided in them about her lack of marital satisfaction? And so it spread outwards like a kind of web; extending to embrace her friends – friends he’d thought of as belonging to him too until they struggled to make eye contact with him at the funeral or no longer bothered to ring. He hadn’t been the one who’d cheated. But he was the one who felt punished for the affair. The one who was left. ‘It’s time you moved on,’ people began to say, as little as six months later. ‘You need to let go of that now.’ Yes, he needed to let go of it, accept it, and endure the increasing indifference of those he thought had loved him. He needed to grow up, get on. Life wasn’t fair. Who ever said life was fair? So she cheated. Time to get a girlfriend; buy a house…start again. Yet” 0 likes
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