• The Last Dance of the Debutante

  • By: Julia Kelly
  • Narrated by: Marisa Calin
  • Length: 10 hrs and 3 mins
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars (102 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

In this “glorious dance through the traditional glamour and suffocating expectations of a bygone era” (Genevieve Graham, USA TODAY bestselling author), a group of young women are swept up in a life-changing journey as they become 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 curtsy 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. 

“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) in midcentury Great Britain.

©2021 Julia Kelly. All rights reserved. (P)2021 Simon & Schuster, Inc. All rights reserved.

What listeners say about The Last Dance of the Debutante

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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Not at all what i was expecting.

I want to start by saying that this is a very well written book and an excellent reading. The characters are complex with well written for the most part.

I think the reason I didn't like it is just that it really wasn't at all what I was looking for. The cover art, title and description really make it seem like it is going to be a story about the whole whirlwind experience of a successful deb, but it's really a story of a girl completely rejecting that life. It's a good story don't get me wrong but the whole presentation and debutante year is a process I really wanted to hear about. I think maybe I wanted to hear the story of one of the deb who wanted to be there. Of course, they'd be ups and downs but I would never have bought a book about a girl rejecting that whole world.

I thought this book was about the swan song of the debutant era but it's more like a girl crashing and burning out of it. It had a decent ending but again kind of the opposite of what I was hoping for.

This book really wasn't for me, but if you like that kind of story you'll probably enjoy it because as I said, it was really well written

1 person found this helpful

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So-so tale

Enjoyed this pretty well but more for the historical details about this bygone era than for the story. I found it to be somewhat slow with some tired tropes. The reader was good but with an accent that I sometimes found hard to understand. She slipped into some rhythmic habits that I found annoying at times.

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A disappointment

I struggled to stay interested in this story. Too many superficial characters, and by current standards, the obsession with a court debut seems so frivolous. I enjoyed the previous books by this author, so this was a letdown.

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Song goes on too long

If you are a lover of historical fiction, you might enjoy the beginning of the novel. It’s an interesting time for women during a period where more options than just marriage were a anti women of a certain rank. But the last third of the novel drags on too long with soap-opera developments and the “drama” didn’t ring true for me.

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Outstanding

Beautifully written, beautifully read coming of age story in.a glamorous long gone era. Surprising twists.

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Delightful!

Wonderful story!! A lovely book well
written. Engaging throughout. Just a pleasure! Hope to read more books like this soon!

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Not literary gold, but engaging

I write these reviews for myself so I can remember whether or not I like the author.

I read all of the available novels by this author. The stories are similar, but I feel like I learned something new in each of them.

The one change I wish the author would make: add some diversity.

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A different kind of sweet!

This story was super sweet and different. itnwas nice to see a post WWII story about debutantes and London society. I also appreciate the true friendships Lily found among the Imperfects.

There was a lot going on in this story, which led to curiosity and kept my attention. However, there were other parts of the story I would have liked to have seen developed.

Overall, it is a great story even though it didn't have that sweeping head-over-heels romance one would expect.

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disappointment p

disappointed. dragged on love the Author but not her best book.. not my fav read