The Debutante

The Debutante

by Kathyrn Williams
     
 

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Annie McRae has her whole senior year planned out. Early acceptance to Brown University, a field hockey scholarship to pay the bills, and days spent with her best friend Jamie and her boyfriend Jake. It is going to be perfect. Then her parents ruin it all by moving—to Alabama. Now, Annie finds herself in an unfamiliar world where she isn't even sure she speaks

Overview

Annie McRae has her whole senior year planned out. Early acceptance to Brown University, a field hockey scholarship to pay the bills, and days spent with her best friend Jamie and her boyfriend Jake. It is going to be perfect. Then her parents ruin it all by moving—to Alabama. Now, Annie finds herself in an unfamiliar world where she isn't even sure she speaks the same language. To top it off, she discovers that if she ever wants to escape back to her comfortable Yankee life, she will have to become a debutante. As in white-dress-wearing, perfect-manners-practicing, curtsying girly-girl. Fighting every step of the way, Annie spends the year learning to be a lady. Along the way, she discovers that friends can come from the most unlikely of places and that change is not always a bad thing...

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

Sweet if thin, Williams's first novel centers on fish-out-of-water Annie MacRae, furious because her parents have moved the family from Connecticut to her father's hometown of Beaufort, Ala., just before her senior year. Even worse, her grandmother insists she make her social debut at the Magnolia Ball-or forget about having her college tuition paid. With the conflict set, the story devolves into one stereotype after another: the South is a land of two first names, tractor pulls, football and okra; the North is full of cynics who lack manners and respect for others. Occasionally the culture clash is funny: when Annie asks what a Moon Pie is, her new friend Mary Katherine squeals, "Only the sweetest little bit of prepackaged heaven you'll ever put in your mouth!" But however much Annie complains about debutante rituals, Williams's enthusiasm for them is obvious; she goes heavy on the parties, charity work and rewards of etiquette, and skates across the elitist and discriminatory practices. (Annie's Jewish mother's discomfort is mentioned but quickly dropped.) Readers won't come to this book looking for realism, though, and they'll leave with what they came for-a very happy ending. Ages 12-up. (May)

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Children's Literature - Naomi Milliner
Just weeks before her senior year of high school, Annie Macrae is taken from her well loved Connecticut surroundings and transplanted to Beaufort, Alabama: "I was pretty sure that in some circles that qualified as child abuse." Making matters worse, she is reunited with her wealthy, hard-to-please grandmother. Worst of all, Gran will cover Annie's college tuition only if Annie attends the debutante ball. Try as she may to get out of it, Annie ultimately has no choice but to submit to seven months' worth of preparation for The Big Event. And so, in the midst of forging new friendships (and learning that "Coke" is a generic term for any kind of soda), Annie also finds herself learning which fork to use and mastering the art of curtseying. This classic fish-out-of-water tale gets a mixed review. The writing is strong and funny: "The pathos� was worthy of an ancient Greek tragedy. I was this close to plucking out my own eyes." Annie is a well developed character, and the little-known debutante world is a captivating and unusual subject. There are a few problems, however. The first part of the novel is much stronger than the second because things fall into place too easily and smoothly. Annie immediately finds a group of friends who welcome her into their circle; her feelings for a cute guy are reciprocated almost effortlessly. Another issue is that Annie and her friends are often indulging in beer (or something stronger) with no ramifications or consequences for the impressionable reader. Reviewer: Naomi Milliner

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781423100461
Publisher:
Disney-Hyperion
Publication date:
08/18/2009
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
256
Product dimensions:
5.00(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.50(d)
Age Range:
12 - 17 Years

Meet the Author

Kathryn Williams is a freelance writer and editor. Born below the Mason-Dixon line, she spent the last few years in New York City. Recently, she returned to her Southern roots and now lives in Nashville, TN.

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