I received this book for free from publisher unsolicited in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Series: Debutantes #1
Published by Pan Macmillan on August 2nd, 2012
Genres: Family, Historical, Love & Romance, Young Adult
Source: publisher unsolicited
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.
The Derrington sisters Violet, Daisy, Rose, and Poppy all live in London all longing to be part of the rich lifestyle they used to live in. A lot of their wealth has been depleted due to their father’s business decisions. Their only hope is for the eldest sister Violet to marry, and to debut her place in society as a dutiful wife to a wealthy man. The plot given to us is none other than Violet wanting to marry a rich man and her sisters trying to help her along the way.
I loved the gorgeous details about the girls dressing up. It was wonderful to picture London in the roaring ’20’s. So full of life, and fashion. It also must be so hard living in that age. To rely on marrying a man with wealth just so you can provide a better life for you and your family. It must have put a lot of pressure on the eldest sibling. Women were finally getting jobs. Working on their own and becoming independent. This was clearly evident in the main character’s viewpoint, Daisy Derrington.
I liked how their wasn’t a big romance and that it was more of a book about the very day lives of the sisters. All their personalities so different and yet you can’t help but love each one. I figured the mother’s love for flowers is why they are all aptly named AFTER a flower which I found adorable and sweet. As for the characters, I can’t blame Violet for being whiny of angry all the time. Her love for Justin is clearly expressed in return and I felt such pity for them both. Daisy is absolutely my favourite and I love how she has such a passion for film. The theme of family and sisterhood is deeply evident throughout the book, and most certainly at the end. I can’t help but admire Daisy’s decision and actually felt myself smiling at the ending.
I’ve always had trouble with historical fiction, but this one was an enjoyable and light hearted read. Fans of The Little Women will certainly gobble this one. Also, you’d be blind as to not notice how gorgeous that cover is.