Tuesday, July 31, 2012

REVIEW: Debutantes by Cora Harrison

Title: Debutantes by Cora Harrison
Pages: 320
Publisher: Macmillan Children's Books
Publication Date: 2nd August, 2012
Format: Paperback
Source: Publisher (for review)

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.

 --Goodreads summary

Everything about this book is just so PRETTY it HURTS. AHHHHHHH. It took me a while to really get hooked into the story, but I think that's just me and any historical novel really.

The relationship between the Derrington sisters was lovely. And the sisters themselves were fantastic! I think Rose in particular was my favourite, wanting to be a writer--I could totes relate to that. But the other three were also really awesome to read about, Daisy's budding-film-director self was captivating. I loved reading about how she created films and took all these amazing photographs on her camera. The addition of her godfather was a really great touch and the bond between them was touching. Violet's need to give her sisters a good life was admirable, though at times she came across as a little stuck-up, but it was actually quite funny. Poppy's interest in jazz was really fascinating and the girl was so romantic! Her relationship with Baz was so sweet and I loved how she wanted to get married because she was in love with somebody else, not just in it because of the money like some of the other girls. Too cute.

My favourite part of the novel though, by far, was the the detail that went into like, every single page. It's not hard to believe that Harrison did all her homework on the 1920s and it worked perfectly. I have to say that I'm a total sucker for pretty dresses and fashion and all of it in Debutantes left me with a huge smile on my face. The parts about latest fashion trends at the time paired with Violet's sewing skillz gave such a lovely vibe to the book.

The plot was a bit predictable at times, but I'm not terribly bothered because the execution was fabulous. I felt like I has been taken on a journey back to the roaring twenties and I never wanted to leave. If you like a bit of glitz and historical fiction, Debutantes will not disappoint you.

“And there on the top lay the most beautiful dress. It was made from pink satin, glossy and gleaming as though it were new and trimmed with snowy white lace. Violet bent down, picked it up and held it against Daisy.”



  1. ooh, I love the 1920s, so I may have to check this book out... and I absolutely adore that cover.

    great review, Iffath!

  2. I enjoyed this, but I thought there was a little spark missing. Glad you loved it though!

  3. This cover is very intriguing! Thanks for sharing your thoughts and bring this book to my attention.


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