the debutante

Can the secrets of one woman’s past change another woman’s future?


Endsleigh House stands, crumbling and gracious, on the southwest coast of England, its rooms shut up and dusty. But what secrets do they hold?


Cate, an exile from New York, is spending the summer working at a London based auction house, trying to get her life together after an affair badly gone wrong. When she’s sent to help value the contents of the once-grand Georgian house, Endsleigh, it seems a perfect escape. However, when she comes across a hidden shoebox, Endsleigh’s secrets begin to unfold. Containing an exquisite pair of dancing shoes from the 1930s, it also hides a mysterious collection of objects, including a photograph, a dance card and a Tiffany bracelet.


Returning to London, Cate immerses herself in piecing together the clues contained in the box. What she uncovers is the scandalous history of Irene Blythe and her sister Diana - two of the most famous debutantes of their generation; a tale of rivalry and glamour, wound through with the thread of tragic, addictive love. It’s a story that sadly mirrors Cate’s too closely.  But can the secrets of the Blythe sister's change Cate's own ability to live and love again?

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'As in typical Tessaro style, the characters are intriguing and classy and definitely the protagonist is the kind of person you want to befriend.  Totally relatable, Cate will win you over straightaway especially if you once escaped New York for England.'


Whom You Know


'It's an elegant and glamorous plot …'



‘Kathleen Tessaro has dissolved the boundaries of time, privilege, age, and gender in her witty but wonderfully perceptive story ... Endlessly surprising and often deeply moving’

 JULIET NICOLSON, author of A Perfect Summer


‘The reigning queen of classy chick lit has produced anther fabulous read’



‘A suspenseful, romantic story with compelling characters’



‘Tessaro nudges this colorful story of scandal, heartbreak, and second chances towards and appropriately sweet conclusion’



‘A smart book with an interesting historical vein that will charm and engage the reader’ BOOKLIST


‘The latest from the author of bestseller Elegance. New Yorker Cate immerses herself in the mystery of the Mitford-esque 1920’s London debutante’



‘A shoebox filled with mementos sets artist Cate on a hunt for the truth behind the disappearance of a dazzling 1920’s ‘it’ girl in Kathleen Tessaro’s The Debutante’  GOOD HOUSEKEEPING


‘Tessaro gets her story-weaving wand out with a gloriously rich story of past and present love’



‘Reading The Debutante was the most delicious treat. Engrossing, romantic, wise and witty – the perfect read. I could not put it down’

GILLIAN GREENWOOD, author of Satisfaction and The Ghost Lover