Monday 25 May 2015

The Lost Art of Keeping Secrets - Eva Rice


Set in the 1950s, in an England still recovering from the Second World War, this is the enchanting story of Penelope Wallace and her eccentric family at the start of the rock'n'roll era.

Penelope longs to be grown-up and to fall in love, but various rather inconvenient things keep getting in her way.  Like her mother, a stunning but petulant beauty widowed at a tragically early age, her younger brother Inigo, currently incapable of concentrating on anything that isn't Elvis Presley, a vast but crumbling ancestral home, a severe shortage of cash, and her best friend Charlotte's sardonic cousin Harry...

What did I think?

This was beautifully written and I felt fully immersed in the 1950's era as Eva Rice sweeps the reader from cocktail parties at the Ritz to duck suppers at Milton Magna.  

The story is very much about Penelope but there is also the mystery surrounding some history between Penelope's mother and Charlotte's Aunt Clare.  Although Penelope met Charlotte by chance and immediately became friends, it's almost like they were drawn to each other by a shared link to the past that they knew nothing about.

I enjoyed the part of the story where Harry hatches a plot to win back his ex-girlfriend, Marina.  Penelope agrees to pretend to be in love with Harry in order to make Marina jealous.  This was fun reading as Marina's jealousy was described in perfect detail whilst a little spark begins to glow between Harry and Penelope.

A lovely feel good story of tea parties, music and magic.

I received this book from the publisher via Bookbridgr in exchange for an honest review.

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