The Last Dance of the Debutante
by Julia Kelly
Amidst the glamour of high society, a tawdry secret will change Lily’s life forever…
1958. The last year debutantes will be presented at court to the young Queen Elizabeth and officially come out into society. To appease her traditional mother, aspiring university student Lily Nicholls agrees to debut and do the Season – a glittering and gruelling string of endless balls and cocktail parties.
There she befriends two women: aloof Leana Hartford, whose apparent perfection hides a darker side, and ambitious Katherine Norman, who dreams of a career after helping her parents find their place among the elite.
But the sparkle of the Season dims when Lily learns a devastating secret that threatens to destroy her entire family. Faced with a murky past, what will she choose for her future: her family legacy, or her own, uncertain happiness?
A fast-paced and compelling historical novel for fans of Kate Morton and The Crown. Praise for The Last Dance of the Debutante
"Between the crinkling of crinolines and the popping of champagne corks, Last Dance of the Debutante leads us on a glorious dance through the traditional glamour and suffocating expectations of a bygone era." Genevieve Graham, bestselling author of Letters across the Sea
"Julia Kelly elegantly brings to life the last official presentation of debutantes at court with her exquisitely researched and beautiful written detail. This story was so decadent, I wanted to don silk and crinoline and read it with a glass of champagne." Madeline Martin, New York Times bestselling author of The Last Bookshop in London
"Refreshing, intriguing, oozing with elegance, and with three female leads who will keep you thoroughly engrossed, a charming gem of a novel which will delight fans of The Crown." Hazel Gaynor, New York Times bestselling author of The Lighthouse Keeper’s Daughter
"An insightful and engaging look at this neglected subject … an unforgettable journey of a young woman's liberation." Piper Huguley, author of By Design: the story of Ann Lowe, Society's Best-Kept Secret
"Peels back layers of lush glamour and the extraordinary expectations of the London Season to give us a glimpse into a world teetering on the brink of change and the choices facing those who navigated it. Woven with heartfelt emotion, this novel is a captivating, unforgettable story of one woman's journey to find love, truth, and, most importantly, herself." Kelly Bowen, author of The Paris Apartment
"Kelly's descriptions of the glamorous, though long nights, are captivating. The pressure these young women feel to impress and make the right match is exhausting, and Kelly evokes compassion for her characters. The story is full of allure, society scandals, and the determination for these young women to eschew the dying traditions of the time." Booklist
"The engrossing narrative dishes out the right amount of tension while moving the plot forward at a satisfying pace... Kelly succeeds at bringing a bygone world to life." Publishers Weekly