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Born in Pittsburgh, Kathleen Tessaro studied drama at Carnegie-Mellon University before emigrating to London. After ten years working as an actress in films, television and theatre, she left the profession and spent several years working for the English National Opera, while training in the evenings as a drama teacher and voice coach.
During this time, she began to write. Working on short stories during her lunch hour, she soon became a regular member of the Wimpole Street Writers Workshop, a collection of female authors who meet every week. Her debut novel, Elegance, was a huge success, reaching number two in the Sunday Times bestseller list and gaining acres of press coverage. Kathleen is married with a son and lives in North London.
Photo © Jerry Bauer
April 2013 Book of the Month. In 1955 Grace finds she is the sole beneficiary of the estate of an unknown French relative and goes to Paris to inherit the mysterious woman's fortune and business. She has got to discover more about this woman and so her investigation begins. Swinging back to New York in 1927, we follow a fascinating story of abuse, love, global travel and eventually a perfume business. The relationship between Grace and the mysterious lady becomes pretty obvious but getting to the revelation, as one jumps between the two time frames, is a delight. A thoroughly enjoyable read. Click here to view The Debutante by the same author.
A shoebox full of mementoes, discovered in a grand house in Devon, sets our present day heroine in search of the plight of our 1920s deb. The clues in the box reveal a tale of a dark, addictive love, a tale that will lead Cate to uncover some secrets of her own. A great book.
Sporting an interesting interviewing technique for an unspecified job, man-about-town Hughie gets lucky. This is charming, tongue-in-cheek, classy, romantic comedy with heart. Really great fun.Comparison: Eva Rice, Victoria Clayton, Plum Sykes.
Fluctuating back and forwards throughout the 80s and 90s, this is a tale of disillusionment, disappointment and disenchantment as life kicks our heroine down. But then the ghost of a dead friend makes her re-examine herself. An interesting tale, strangely uplifting.Comparison: Jenny Ã‰clair, Susie Boyt, Jessica Adams.Similar this month: Serena Mackesy, Elizabeth Noble.
An enchanting, bittersweet novel for every woman who has ever longed for a fairy godmother. Louise Canova should be happy and in love. But her actor-husband seems to be growing distant and she doesnt know why. Is it her fault? Riddled with uncertainty, the insecurity she thought shed left behind in adolescence comes back to haunt her. But when she discovers a faded volume entitled ELEGANCE in a second-hand bookshop, she believes shes found the answers. Written by the formidable French fashion expert, Madame Dariaux, ELEGANCE is an encyclopedia of style that promises to transform plain women into creatures of grace and poise at all times. And from Accessories to Zippers, theres nothing Madame cant advise upon - including inattentive husbands, false friends, and the absolute importance of good quality, seductive lingerie. Louise vows to follow Madames advice but the lessons she learns have a surprising affect and an outcome she never expected. Within its pages lie clues to her past. And as she begins to unravel them, she discovers that everything, even elegance, has its price. Starting with A and finishing with Z, ELEGANCE is a unique alphabetical journey of timeless fashion, true friendship, and the rare, unexpected gift of love.
The stunning new novel from the New York Times bestselling author of The Perfume Collector. `Beautifully written... wonderfully absorbing with a clever twist in the tale' Isabel Wolff, author of Ghostwritten Mae Fanning seizes on a job at a tiny, exclusive Boston antiques shop as the fresh start she desperately needs. It opens a window to new world, one peopled with rare and rich characters. But the day that enigmatic socialite Diana van der Laar walks in, Mae's hidden past returns. As a moth to a flame, Mae is unable to resist Diana's heady, seductive glamour and glittering life. Yet, like the rare objects in the shop, very little is what it appears - Diana included. Moving from Jazz-Age New York to Boston in the grip of the Great Depression, Rare Objects is a rich and gripping story of what it means to reach for a braver, bolder life.
An enchanting novel brimming with poignancy, humour, enchantment and insight, this is a stunning debut. Imagine an Audrey Hepburn film in the present day... It was a slim, grey volume entitled Elegance... Louise Canova is at a crossroads in her life. Her marriage is faltering and the insecurities of adolescence have returned to haunt her. Browsing in a second-hand bookshop, she stumbles across a faded grey volume. Written by the formidable French fashion expert, Madame Genevieve Antoine Dariaux, Elegance is an encyclopedia of style. It promises to transform plain women into creatures of poise at all times. And from Accessories to Zippers, there is nothing that Madame Dariaux can't advise upon - including inattentive husbands, false friends, and the powerful bond between mothers and daughters. When Louise vows to follow Madame's advice, her life is transformed in ways she never imagined. Within the book's pages lie clues to her own past. And as she begins to unravel them, she discovers a courage she never dreamt possible. However, everything, even elegance, has its price. Starting with A and finishing with Z, Elegance is a unique journey of timeless fashion, true friendship, and the rare, unexpected gift of love.
Three stunning novels from the bestselling author of Elegance and Innocence.THE FLIRT'Unique situation available for attractive, well mannered, reasonably educated young man. Hours irregular. Pay generous. Discretion a must.'In a small office in Half Moon Street, Hughie Venables-Smythe discovers the world of the professional flirt. A timeless art, it can save a marriage or lift a heart faster than any therapy.But is flirtation as innocent as it seems - or can it lead to far more dangerous territories of the heart?THE DEBUTANTECate is a gifted young artist who survives in New York by producing remarkable copies of Old Masters. She arrives in London to stay with her aunt Rachel who owns an auction house, determined to leave the pain of her past behind.Cate is sent to Devon with Rachel's colleague Jack to value the contents of Endsleigh, a grand Georgian home. But inside, its once elegant interiors are now worn with age and dust, and Cate quickly becomes engaged in solving the mystery of the former occupant, Baby Blythe. Bright, beautiful and reckless, she was the most famous debutante of her generation.The clues in the box reveal a tale of a dark, addictive love, a tale that will lead Cate to uncover some secrets of her own.THE PERFUME COLLECTOROne letter will turn newly-married Grace Munroe's life upside down:'Our firm is handling the estate of the deceased Mrs Eva D'Orsey and it is our duty to inform you that you are named as the chief beneficiary in her will...'There is only one problem. Grace has never heard of Eva D'Orsey.So begins a journey which leads Grace through the streets of Paris and into the seductive world of perfumers and their muses. An abandoned perfume shop on the Left Bank will lead her to unravel the heartbreaking story of her mysterious benefactor, an extraordinary woman who bewitched high society in 1920s New York and Paris.
'Elegance is a fantastic book . . . funny, moving, tongue in cheek' Cat DeeleyELEGANCELouise Canova is at a crossroads in her life. Browsing in a second-hand bookshop, she stumbles across a faded grey volume. Written by a formidable French fashion expert, Elegance is an encyclopedia of style. Within the book's pages Louise discovers a courage she never thought possible. For true elegance cannot be attained until she is comfortable in her own skin: only then might love flourish.INNOCENCEIt's 1987 and Evie is leaving home for the first time, headed for London to study acting. Along with her fellow students and roommates, Imogene (a born again Laura Ashley poster child and frustrated virgin) and Robbie (native New Yorker, budding bohemian, and very much not a virgin), Evie's determined to make her mark both on stage and off. But then life and love intervene. And everything changes.
Can the secrets of one woman's past change another woman's future?Endsleigh House stands, crumbling and gracious, on the south-west coast of England, its rooms shut up and dusty. But what secrets do they hold?Cate, an exile from New York, is sent to help value the contents of the once-grand Georgian house. Cataloguing its' contents with Jack - a man with his own dark past, she comes across a hidden shoebox containing an exquisite pair of dancing shoes from the 1930s, along with a mysterious collection of objects: a photograph, a dance card and a Tiffany bracelet. Returning to London, rather than face the questions lingering in her own life, Cate immerses herself in piecing together the clues contained in the box to uncover a story, that of Irene Blythe and her sister Diana - two of the most famous debutantes of their generation. The tale that unfolds is one of dark, addictive love, and leads Cate to face up to secrets of her own. Can the secrets of Baby Blythe's past change Cate's own ability to live and love again?
The Sunday Times bestseller and one of the most talked-about novels of 2003, now in paperback. Elegance. Audrey Hepburn had it. Grace Kelly had it. Louise Canova does not. Until one day, browsing in a second-hand bookshop, Louise stumbles over a faded hardback. Elegance is an A-Z of style, written by French fashion expert, Madame Antoine Dariaux: a veritable what-not-to-wear in print. When Louise starts to follow Madame's advice, her life is transformed. From Accessories to Zippers, there is nothing Madame cannot advise upon, including types of husband (the blind, the ideal, the dictator) and shopping with girlfriends (don't). Within the book's pages Louise finds clues to her own past. And as she begins to unravel them, she discovers a courage she never thought possible. For true elegance cannot be attained until she is comfortable in her own skin: only then might love flourish.