Wednesday 26 April 2017

Book Club: The Debutante

Book The Debutante by Kathleen Tessaro
Image Via Chapters Indigo
Book: The Debutante
Author: Kathleen Tessaro

Cate, an exile from New York, is sent to help value the contents of a once-grand Georgian house on the southwest coast of England. 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, along with a mysterious collection of objects from the 1930s: 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. In doing so, she uncovers the story of Irene Blythe and her sister Diana, known as “Baby” -- two of the most famous debutantes of their generation.
The tale that unfolds is one of addictive love, and it leads Cate to address secrets of her own. Can the dark events of Baby Blythe’s past change Cate’s own ability to live and love again?

What I Have To Say:
Where to begin? My copy of the book has a different design then the one above, which is what originally made me pick up this book. The description on the back of the book sounded appealing. The price ($5.00) was right. I bought the book. I was able to get into the book fairly quickly and I wanted to know what happened to Baby Blythe! Letters from Baby are sprinkled throughout the book and reveal what the items in the shoebox mean. Cate's journey to uncover the meanings of the items was also enjoyable. The main plot was original and engaging.

Not enjoyable? All the secondary plot lines. Cate's backstory as to why she is in London, I would say, is necessary to the overall plot. The back story of her parents, her aunt, and Jack? Not so much. There was a lot going on and it was hard to follow. I struggled with keeping characters and their story straight, Even Cate's own back story...bouncing back between her life in New York and life in England was hard to remember at times.

At the end of the book, you know the meaning behind all of the items in the shoebox, but you still don't know what happens to Baby. I like the author's note at the end of the book, which discusses her writing process, some historical information on England during the time the Blythe Sisters story was set, and even provided some insight on what could have happened to Baby, without actually clarifying.

Final Verdict:
The different plots were too much for me, but I did enjoy the Blythe Sisters plot, so I will likely re-read this book, but only the parts related to the sisters- and skip the rest- just to make sure that I full understood this story. While it was well written, all of the 'extra' plots and the filler and confusion they caused makes me not want to recommend this book. Give it a pass.

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