Debutantes

 

The perfect pink hues on the cover of the book captured the elegant and classical feel of the 1920’s. Her face looks almost like a porcelain china doll. I love stories about sisters and this book talks about four of them, and their names are all flowers! How cute is that?

This book is the best book that I have read based off of family dynamics this year.

These Derrington girls knew the true meaning of sisterhood. They shared everything together and even got along quite remarkably for four sisters who are all relatively around the same age I loved reading about each of the four girls: Violet, Daisy, Poppy, and Rose.

I also love how Cora Harrison was able to bond them over something as pivotal as an anonymous love letter and then turn right around and write each of their characters so differently. They each had their own individualistic likes, dislikes, qualities, and characteristics. They all have desires and goals as well. Rose wants to be a novelist and Poppy wants to be a famous jazz musician, and it is instances like these that really help to define a character and really made the family dynamics all the more exciting.

This was such a breezy read and truly captured the 1920’s as I have always envisioned them. I am all about a good setting too and I loved Cora’s, Beech Grove Manor, where the girls grew up. Harrison takes readers on an inside look at the servants and groundskeepers of the manor as well, and I find it very important that as reader I am introduced to even the smallest of characters. She instilled each of the Derrington girls with a desire, want, or a need to bring her family out of poverty and each girl would not lay to rest until she had secured the fate of her sisters. It was such a touching story highlighting one family of dreamers and their plans to get rich quick!! Such a romantic novel with totally inspiring and charming characters!


 

Cora Harrison’s new book features a charming set of characters – notably the three youngest of the Derrington sisters. Jazz musician Poppy, aspiring film director Daisy, and clever Rose, always making up stories, are absolutely lovely. Violet is less easy to warm to but definitely feels realistic, with her social climbing ambitions just what you’d expect for the time period – and to be fair, not completely selfish as one of the reasons she wants to find a husband is so that she’s able to help her sisters have their own seasons.

Add to this a really entertaining supporting cast – I particularly liked servants Maud and Morgan and brooding neighbour Justin, and the believable relationships the sisters had with each other and with the rest of the characters – and a rich eye for detail which captures the feel of the Twenties extremely well and you have a strong contender for one of the best teen historical novels of the year so far.


 

Overall, I loved the book. It reminded me of both the TV series Downton Abbey, created by Julian Fellowes, and the book I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith. Younger readers who are fans of Ballet Shoes will also adore Debutantes, as there are some similarities.


 

Cora Harrison has once again sucked me into the past with the worlds she creates in her novels. It was a stunning read, the writing was brilliant and the detail and fact were flawless!


 

 

The writing is gorgeous. Harrison knows how to please the mind, building a whole new timeframe in your mind, transporting back to the 20’s with the vivid description and beautiful prose. The writing really was a pleasure to read and I would love to see a sequel in the works.! I’m a stickler for a series. I just love them!


 

An enjoyable historical story that will transport you back in time to the 1920's. I'm looking forward to catching up with the four sisters when the next book is released.


Debutantes is a lighthearted, fun read set in a time where everything is changing and there is plenty of fashion, romance, fun and frolicking.


 

 

The thing that gripped me from when I first heard about this novel is the fact it's set in the 1920's but not the conventional 1920's America - oh no - London, England. I get the sense from reading various books set in the 1920's and nearly ALWAYS in America, that people tend to forget that the jazz, sparkle and glitz associated with the 1920's didn't only happen in America. So America had speakeasies, Prohibition, gang culture. London was the fashion capital. It had the young men of the Royal Family. The BBC. Dancing. Technology. And Debutantes.
 

The vivid descriptions that run through continually make this a pleasure to read and I could imagine the scenes perfectly in my head, especially Justin - their friend. The dresses, the rooms and the actions are presented in a way to make them incredibly clear. I can easily see this made into a movie.


 

 

I’m going to start by saying what I most enjoyed about this book and it was in fact the character, Rose. For a 12-year-old Harrison has portrayed her to be quite mature and already knows what she wants for a career. Although I admired this, the thing I most enjoyed was the personality of the character and the things she’d say, she seems very witty and opinionated and this made the book more enjoyable as it brought laughter to the story.

I also thoroughly enjoyed reading about the parties and the dresses the girls wore, the description given created a very real environment, and at one point I did lose myself in the book in a whirl of dresses, dancing and the party lifestyle.


 

The Hobbitsies wrote:

Let me count the ways in which The Debutantes by Cora Harrison is going to be THE book for me! First of all, London. I lived in London. I am a London fangirl for life. Second – the 19 freaking 20s. We ALWAYS hear about New York in the 1920s but nobody ever mentions London and FINALLY here comes The Debutantes set in London in the 1920s. SO IN. Not to mention Prince George and dancing and jazz and parties and SECRETS and I’m sorry – have I not convinced you yet that you need to read The Debutantes?

It’s 1923 and London is a whirl of jazz, dancing and parties. Violet, Daisy, Poppy and Rose Derrington are desperate to be part of it, but stuck in an enormous crumbling house in the country, with no money and no fashionable dresses, the excitement seems a lifetime away. Luckily the girls each have a plan for escaping their humdrum country life: Rose wants to be a novelist, Poppy a jazz musician and Daisy a famous film director. Violet, however, has only one ambition: to become the perfect Debutante, so that she can go to London and catch the eye of Prince George, the most eligible bachelor in the country. But a house as big and old as Beech Grove Manor hides many secrets, and Daisy is about to uncover one so huge it could ruin all their plans – ruin everything – forever.

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I mean, seriously. Doesn’t The Debutantes book look freaking awesome? What are you guys waiting for? Let me know!

 

Cora Harrison creates a delightful portrait of a bohemian family in an eccentric country house, as well as a lively 1920s London complete with jazz music and plenty of extravagant flapper frocks, in this charming novel. With shades of I Capture the Castle and Nancy Mitford's The Pursuit of Love, this is a light, fun and appealing story about family, friendship and following your dreams.

 

I have to start by saying that this book has a simply stunning cover! It’s so pretty that it’s sure to catch the eye when it’s on the shelves in bookshops. For those who love their cover art then this is definitely one for you...

I enjoyed all the description and detail of the period which gave me real insight into the type of lives that the characters led, from the servants to the rich and wealthy of society. The division between the two is quite stringent but there are some instances where the lines become blurred. I felt transported back to this particular era and particularly enjoyed all the wonderful passages about the fashions and dresses of the time.

‘Debutantes’ was a charming read which I really enjoyed. It’s light and summery and the perfect book to make you smile when you turn the final page. It is, I believe, the first in a new series by Cora Harrison so I shall look forward to seeing what the characters get up to next.

 

If you liked Downton Abbey, then you’ll love Cora Harrison’s teen romance set in the whirligig of London’s high society when the country was shaking off the shackles of the past and moving into a fresh and exciting future.

Debutantes is a big, beautiful story which puts fun, fashion, flappers, fluttering hearts and feisty females into a dazzling historical framework...

A sparkling pastiche of Downton Abbey, the House of Eliott, Pride and Prejudice and Little Women, Debutantes is a brilliant story for girls who yearn for that perfect combination of romance, history and mystery.