The author of the “sweeping, stirring, and heartrending” (Kristin Harmel, author of The Room on Rue Amélie) The Light Over London returns with a masterful, glittering novel that whisks you to midcentury Britain as it follows three of the last debutantes to be presented to Queen Elizabeth II.
When it’s announced that 1958 will be the last year debutantes are to be presented at court, thousands of eager mothers and hopeful daughters flood the palace with letters seeking the year’s most coveted invitation: a chance for their daughters to curtsey to the young Queen Elizabeth and officially come out into society.
In an effort to appease her traditional mother, aspiring university student Lily Nichols agrees to become a debutante and do the Season, a glittering and grueling string of countless balls and cocktail parties. In doing so, she befriends two very different women: the cool and aloof Leana Hartford whose apparent perfection hides a darker side and the ambitious Katherine Norman who dreams of a career once she helps her parents find their place among the elite.
But the glorious effervescence of the Season evaporates once Lily learns a devastating secret that threatens to destroy her entire family. Faced with a dark past, she’s forced to ask herself what really matters: her family legacy or her own happiness.
With her signature “intricate, tender, and convincing” (Publishers Weekly) storytelling, Julia Kelly weaves an unforgettable tale of female friendship amid the twilight days of Britain’s grand coming out balls.
Queen Elizabeth will no longer allow presentations in court. So 1958 is the last year of the debutante. Lilly has been chosen to be one of the last debutantes. Lilly is just wanting to please her mother and her grandmother. She really wants to stay in school, but being the dutiful young lady, she agrees to all the balls, lunches and other activities required to come out for the season.
Lilly meets quite a few new friends. However, her mother is not happy with her selection of friends. The further the season moves along, the more Lilly realizes something is wrong. And when Lilly discovers the secret…her life is changed forever.
I enjoyed so much about this novel. The characters, the setting, and the mystery just melded so well together. This is the perfect mix of a book! I swear…I felt like I was right in the middle of the season myself. And my heart went out to Lilly on more than one occasion.
Julia Kelly has become one of my favorite authors. I adored The Last Garden In England. And this latest book has moved right up there with it!
if you need a book to take you away to England…THIS IS IT! Grab your copy today!
I received this novel from the publisher for a honest review.