Author: Cora Harrison
Publication date: 02/08/2012
Format: Paperback - 320 pages
Genre: YA | Historical
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.
This book was actually the first young adult historical fiction I've ever read. Even if it wasn't the best book I've ever read I wasn't disappointed and definitely want to read more of the historical genre - it was like Downton Abbey in a book (I love Downton Abbey).
The characters in this read was definitely the best thing about it in my opinion. I loved how unique all the sisters are in their own respect. Poppy with her jazz and outspoken personality was my favourite along with Daisy. Daisy had a little bit of an opposite personality to Poppy. She seemed to think about things a lot more and ways around them where Poppy would just dive head first and not care where she came up.
Rose, of course, was a sweetheart which I think is what her role was in the book. As the younger sister she was just there for support and to tag along whilst trying to achieve her own dream - to become a novelist. I loved how she would constantly come out with headlines or chapter titles with every single thing that happens to any of the sisters in the book. She was a refreshing character and I looked forward to her popping up in the story.Violet, however, was a little too self-centred for my liking. She had her moments but for the most part I didn't really like her considering the other sisters did their best to help her out, especially Daisy, she was seriously under appreciated.
I thought that it took a while for me to actually get into the story. It started off really slow but started to pick up towards the middle. My biggest problem though was the ending. I wasn't as satisfied as you should be when you finish a book. The ending felt rushed for a start and it didn't seem resolved enough. I would have liked each sister to have had something exciting happen to them not just one or two.
Cora Harrison's writing is lovely though. Debutantes has such gorgeous description of the houses, dresses and characters which I really adored.
All in all I found this to be an average read but I did enjoy the writing and reading about the characters.