At beginning The Debutante, I thought this book was all chick lit cliches, and in some respects it is. The basics of the love story between Cate and Jack are text book love story. She just ran away from a lover in New York and keeps everything about her recent past a secret, even from her beloved aunt. He, slightly older than Cate, was widowed and has developed a hard shell and organized life. Of course the beginning of their relationship is nothing but cantankerous with a little sexual tension. Again, very cliche.
But Tessaro mixes in an almost century old mystery of the beautiful debutante Baby Blythe whose sister lived in the home that Jack and Cate must inventory. Baby Blythe lived her formative years on the upper echelon of London society between the World Wars. She came from a humble background but after her mother’s remarriage, Baby Blythe’s life was filled with parties. That is, it was filled with parties until her mysterious disappearance.
During Cate’s burgeoning romance, Cate has found a hidden shoebox of someone’s personal effects, she believes to be Baby’s. All while dealing with her own past and current romance, Cate delves into the story of a beautiful, yet very misunderstood, lonely woman who lived a similar life as Cate.
It was a cute book. Not grand writing and I needed to get past my initial opinion of the triteness of the story to get to Baby Blyth’s life. Tessaro could have rid the story of the contemporary romance and only focused on the past and it would have made the book more interesting. The only characters that I liked were those that lived between the World Wars. That story was interesting and deserved more time.
Read October 2013