The family saga begins in Debutante, a prequel to the best-selling Davenport House series. A life of luxury for the Davenports means drudgery for the servants on the grand country estate. This is their story in 1909 America, six years prior to the events of book one.
While her father is away on business, 16-year-old Mary Davenport feels confined and alone, despite her privileged life at the family's mansion. As the day of Mary's debutante ball draws near, the servants are conflicted by instructions from Mary's mother to starve her until she fits into a gown that was made too small. Mary is also under pressure to act the part of society while being forbidden from seeing her only friend, the servant boy who works in the stable.
In a shantytown hours away, a young girl named Abigail is hired to sew a gown for a dressmaker's wealthy patron. Abigail gives up her education in order to provide for her impoverished family. Neither she nor Mary is aware of how connected their futures are destined to become.
What listeners say about Davenport House: Debutante
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- Rosemary Hughes
How the four girls lives started to entwin
Yes, having listened to the Davenport series, this prelude gave me an insight into how various characters came into the picture. Although a lot is explained as the saga goes along, it is good to gain this small snapshot in time, to see where each character starts out, so to speak. In saying the above, this is a good place to begin your Davenport House journey, if you haven't yet ventured into this residence and meet the occupants, and their associates.