cover image The Ex-Debutante

The Ex-Debutante

Linda Francis Lee, . . St. Martin?s, $23.95 (341pp) ISBN 978-0-312-35496-1

The latest tongue-in-cheek blusher from Lee (after The Devil in the Junior League ) finds that coming out in Willow Creek, Tex., society has its snags. At her own debut, Carlisle Wainwright Cushing failed to execute the Texas Dip—“a deep full curtsy where a girl sinks so low that she touches her forehead to her skirt”—properly. Now almost 30 and a successful Boston divorce attorney, Carlisle is summoned home to represent her diva mom Ridgely in her latest divorce. Carlisle is also asked to rescue the troubled Hundredth Annual Willow Creek Symphony Association Debutante Ball, and to teach seven iffy debs-to-be the Texas Dip. But the attorney representing her mother’s soon-to-be-ex is Carlisle’s old heart-throb, the former bad boy Jack Blair—who is the brother of the ultra rich Hunter Blair, and father to India, a spoiled deb-to-be. Can Carlisle deal with all the challenges while allowing her renewed feelings for Jack to “come out”? Lee depicts Carlisle and the antiquated debutante tradition with equal parts chagrin and tenderness. (Apr.)