It’s 1958 and life in England is approaching a new era. Over a decade has past since the end of WWII and the role of women is slowly evolving. Music and fashion is changing. But the role of the upper class and the traditions of society is still in place. One important part is the Season. It is an annual period from April to August when British society attends grand balls, dinner parties and cocktail events. The highlight of the pomp and circumstances is being presented to the Queen. In what has been announced as the last year such a presentation will take place, 18-year-old Lily Nichols would prefer to study and read books but is told by her mother and grandmother that she will take part as a debutante and will be formally presented to society so she can meet the right people and ultimately marry well. A young man with wealth and a title is preferred. As the Season starts, she is befriended by Leana, the most popular girl entering society and Katherine, the wealthiest. The competitive nature of the Season causes much drama and the discovery of a family secret threatens Lily’s potential for happiness.
Author Julia Kelly has a great talent for transporting the reader into whatever era she is writing about and creates characters that are very real. In The Last Dance of the Debutante, she has again succeeded. This is a thoroughly entertaining book with vivid descriptions of the lavish homes, the gowns, the jewelry and the struggles of these interesting young women, some who want to follow tradition and those who ache to break out on their own and forge their own paths.
Many thanks to Gallery Books, NetGalley and Ms. Kelly for the opportunity to read this wonderful book in advance of its publication date.
Rated 4.5 out of 5 stars.
Publication Date: January 4, 2022.
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