Friday, 28 June 2013

Review: Debutantes - Cora Harrison

Title: Debutantes
Author: Cora Harrison
Format: Uncorrected Proof
Pages: 320
Genre: Historical Fiction
Published (UK): 2nd August 2012 (McMillan Childrens)

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.

Having read mixed reviews of this book before starting it, I was unsure as to what to expect. If I'm honest, I wasn't expecting much from the book. A lot of the things brought up as issues with the book were pet hates of mine. Still, I tried to stay open minded.

While not the greatest of books, it wasn't actually as bad as I was expecting. It's probably suited more to a younger audience than it is marketed to, as the language and style is more simple than most YA books. The prose is a little too descriptive at times (there's only so much I need to know about what someone is wearing) and at times I got a bit confused between the four sisters because the only real distinguishable difference between them is their hair colour and their hobby. However, somehow, I kind of liked it. It kind of reminded me of things such as Downton Abbey and Ballet Shoes and while there's not a whole lot in the way of plot, it's a nice easy story to pass a couple of hours with.

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