Brandy Painter's Reviews > The Lost Art of Keeping Secrets

The Lost Art of Keeping Secrets by Eva Rice
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Mar 03, 11

bookshelves: historical-fiction, young-adult
Read from February 28 to March 01, 2011

Review originally posted here.

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 novels and movies depicting U.S. young adults in the 1950's, we often don't see British young adults in the same setting. They are obsessed with American culture but still very English in their mannerisms and customs. The pictuer of how the two were melding is an interesting one.

More than being good historical fiction, this is a coming of age story. Penelope is a young girl who is letting other people make her decsions and allowing circumstances to sweep her along. Through the events of the story she learns to change and step out of her comfort zone a little. She makes mistakes and seems oblivious to what is going on in her own heart as is typical of all girls her age, no matter the time period.

I also enjoyed the depiction of friendship between Penelope and Charlotte. Despite Charlotte's desire to see and experience more of Penelope's world a genuine friendship develops between them that is not at all petty or artificial. This book is wonderfully lacking in melodrama and angst despite some of the romantic uncertainties going on. It is a nice breath of fresh air in YA literature.

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Comments (showing 1-4 of 4) (4 new)

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Beth Oooh I can't wait to see how you like it. I have to say, I gave it to a friend who has mostly different taste than me and I said, I loved this, just read it. She emailed me a day later saying something along the lines of, "When I first started, I thought it was so ditzy and stupid. But then somehow I couldn't put it down.

(I never thought it was ditzy or stupid, just lighter, but whatever. I'm really curious what you think about it because it's not my standard fare.)


Beth ...and I forgot to close the quote there. I did mean to, though :)


Brandy Painter I've heard lots comparing it to I Capture the Castle, which is not a favorite of mine but I still wanted to give this one a try. It sounds interesting and I love that cover.

"I forgot to close the quote." HAHAHA! Do you know how many silly typos I make a day on the computer???? Of course you do because you read my lj. I'm impressed you make as few as you do.


Beth I started I Capture the Castle, but I was never intrigued enough to finish it.

Awww, thanks :D And I don't notice so many typos, btw. Not that I can remember, at least!


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