The Lost Art of Keeping Secrets
With mannered prose dripping in the charm of 1950s London, TheLost Art of Keeping Secrets centers around Penelope, the wide-eyed daughter of a legendary beauty, Talitha, who is unable t...more
It reminded me of "I capute the castle", since it's also about a (once famous and rich) family living in a big house but having almost no money and told from the point of view of the teenaged daughter who experiences her first love.
Well, same is true for this book. Here our heroine is Penelope, a girl of 17/18 living outside of London and befriending another girl and her...more
Penelope writes her story of the awkward turning point from girl to woman. The minimal tidbits which revealed her older and wiser voice do not overpower the present tense of main story, but rather added small insights about the future.
As characters moved in and out of her life I would mourn their departure, celebrate returns, an...more
This book is neither suspenseful nor innovative but I couldn't put it down until I had finished it.
I love the characters Eva Rice has created. They are undeniably quirky, but not so much as to make them unbelievable.
And I was enchanted with the descr...more
The only thing that bugged me is the author is described as the daughter of lyricist Tim Rice, which, first of all, I'm glad I didn't read before I finished the book because wh...more
Flipping through the pages was more like hearing the narrative of an actress like Emma Thompson with a wonderful British accent rather than reading. After a session, I wa...more
This snippet of conversation between two of the main characters pretty much sums up my love of this book:
Charlotte: "[My mother] hates having me at home - plowing through the books in her library and kicking my heels up at night. She think...more
I really enjoyed this novel. Through her characters, Rice...more
It's set in the 1950s, around Penelope Wallace, a girl who doesn't quite fit in with the debutantes and girls of the ball circuit until she meets Charlotte. Charlotte is the perfect best friend: witty, creative, clever, funny and perceptive. She also has a cousin called Harry (yes, I know this is a bit predictable and yes, Penelope does fall in lov...more
This is a story about a character named Penelope along with many other things. Magna Milton, Charlotte, Clare Delancy (Aunt Clare), Talitha Orr.. etc. It is a story about music, a...more
Penelope Wallace is the main protagonist of the story and the reader is instantly engaged with her character from the first page. You remember your teenage obsessions as she swoons over Johnnie Ray, y...more
3.5 stars (call it three)
I enjoyed this book. It was a very pleasant story of young people in postwar England. Penelope Wallace is facing the challenge of her family’s crumbling financial circumstances as the 1950’s hover on the verge of a cultural explosion. She balances her burgeoning social life and her fantasy obsession with a current pop star against her increasing anxiety about her family’s dire situation. The atmosphere of the story is rich in historical de...more
Nevertheless it was light, mostly fun to read, and I would pass it on to certain friends for something like a long plane flight or a beach read.
The most gl...more
Summer is the time to relax and read books that help you doing just that, sometimes sprinkled with books that make you think about things a little bit deeper. Rice's The Lost Art of Keeping Secrets is a book that helps you relax, but it's still a great book to read. It tells the story of Penelope Wallace, daughter of a widow who walks sadly around the grand mansion Milton Manga Hall. The house is falling apart and only a good marriage or a sudden fortune...more
This quote sums up what was a delightful read for me. This isn't a remarkable book, but it was a pleasant and enjoyable read. Set in 1950s England, when the country was coming to grips with post-wartime suffering, but also burgeoning freedom, the book follows 18-year old Penelope as she comes to grips with growing up and finding her place in a new world. Her frien...more
An impulsive taxi ride with a stranger in 1950s London indelibly changes Penelope Wallace’s life in Rice’s sparkling debut. At 18, Penelope lives with her younger brother, Inigo, and her terribly glamorous, young widowed mother in a drafty, rundown, English estate house in the countryside. With the loss of the man of the house, financial pressures mount, threatening sheltered Penelope’s family manse—and what’s left of her family’s place in society. She finds a kindred s...more
Author, Eva Rice, has a power with words. From the first page of the novel I felt the time and setting perfectly. The images she evoked made it as if I had been plunged into an Audrey Hepburn movie. It is even more impressive as Rice manages this using mostly dialogue in this opening scene. The novel is solid historical fiction. I didn't notice any anachronisms, but I am not an expert on this time period either. It is interesting because, while there are plenty of n...more
It's 1954, and six-foot-nothing Penelope Wallace lives with her younger brother Inigo, and her beautiful mother Talitha in their enormous family 'home', Milton Magna. It is falling apart, yet they cannot afford to repair it, and their financial struggles are becoming concerning. (Sound familiar, Dodie Smith fans?) Penelope studies English an...more
I can't imagine having grown up during the second World War. It must have been a strange sens...more
★ ★ ★ ★ ½ + heart
Synopsis off of Amazon: Set in 1950s London, The Lost Art of Keeping Secrets centers around Penelope, the wide- eyed daughter of a legendary beauty, Talitha, who lost her husband to the war. Penelope, with her mother and brother, struggles to maintain their vast and crumbling ancestral home—while postwar London spins toward the next decade’s cultural revolution.
Penelope wants nothing more than to fall in love, and when her new best frie...more
Into this setting enter Charlotte and...more
This book came out in 2005 and was chosen for the Richard and Judy's book club; I saw a review of the book on TV at the time, it had a great response and it sounded like an interesting read. I won't lie, the front cover was definitely a contributing factor when purchasing the book (Once again it pays off to be vain when it comes to books), it is beautiful and stylises the story's retro feel.
After buying it, I fell instantly in love. It's written...more
The Lost Art of Keeping Secrets by Eva Rice (daughter of lyricist Tim Rice) is told from the perspective...more