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The Lost Art of Keeping Secrets by Eva Rice

The Lost Art of Keeping Secrets (edition 2007)

by Eva Rice

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7843511,747 (3.88)20
Title:The Lost Art of Keeping Secrets
Authors:Eva Rice
Info:Plume (2007), Paperback, 368 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:GF, Audio CD (abridged), 2012

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The Lost Art of Keeping Secrets by Eva Rice


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English (33)  French (1)  Hungarian (1)  All languages (35)
Showing 1-5 of 33 (next | show all)
What a cute book! Very enjoyable read--about a young woman (Penelope) growing up near London around 1955. Her father died in the war, and she and her mother live in their old, huge house that was taken over during the war and is falling apart because they don't have the money to repair it.
The story is also about her friendship with Charlotte, who wants to design clothing, and Charlotte's cousin Harry, who is a magician. The characters were all very interesting and I didn't want the book to end! ( )
  goet0095 | Mar 27, 2014 |
I thoroughly enjoyed this book, it's written wonderfully and I found myself getting lost in it. I can't wait to read more by Eva Rice. ( )
  juniperjungle | Apr 16, 2013 |
I thoroughly enjoyed this book, it's written wonderfully and I found myself getting lost in it. I can't wait to read more by Eva Rice. ( )
  juniperjungle | Apr 16, 2013 |
I really enjoyed this book. I was constantly think about the characters when I wasn't reading it. I like the way everything turned out for the characters in the book, but I wanted more from the ending if that makes sense. ( )
  jnorath | Apr 2, 2013 |

OK, so I was listening to the abridged audiobook and I may have lost some vital aspect of this book, but honsetly? I think I was lucky to get away with an abridged version, I didn't feel short-changed, I didn't feel that the extra detail would have lifted the book above a 3* read. There was the basic story and not a lot else. Certainly not comparable to I Capture the Castle, which I loved.

It's post-war London. A cheesy coincidence at the beginning of the novel introduces Penelope (very tall, straight-laced, from the nouveau poor) and Charlotte (vivacious, lively, upper class), in a taxi. Rather than going home, Penelope joins Charlotte for afternoon tea with her Aunt Clare and meets Harry, Charlotte's unpredictable brother. There is a lot of reference to the musicians of the time, Johnny Ray and Elvis (just about to hit the scene) and Penelope's brother Inigo is desperate to make it as a musician. He and Penelope live in a crumbling mansion, which Charlotte and Harry adore. Penelope's mother is a rather scatty, if beautiful, woman, for whom mothering is not a priority and Charlotte's aunt is writing her memoirs. And that's about it really, not a lot happens.

It was perfect for listening to in busy traffic but I think I'd have found the full novel a bit lacking. ( )
  DubaiReader | Nov 8, 2012 |
Showing 1-5 of 33 (next | show all)
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She said that we must do something about the rooms. The walls were all damp and fur had settled on some parts of the wallpaper. But we just closed the doors and hurried down to the kitchen where it was warm.

—Edna O'Brien, The Lonely Girl
For Donald "Capability" Rice, who helped me invent Milton Magna
First words
I met Charlotte in London one afternoon while waiting for a bus.
'How tiresome it must be,' I said, 'being in love. I was always led to believe it would be the most wonderful thing ever.'

'Who on earth told you that?' said Charlotte in amazement. 'I've never known it to be anything other than torture.'
Men, I thought, were more trouble than they were worth. Really, one should stick to books where one sees the hero coming a mile off.
It was a funny question. Who was Papa? He was a million things that I would never know, and a million things that I had made him as a result of never knowing.
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THis story is about what happened to me after I met Charlotte, and what happens when you say yes to everything, and how awkward it is when everyone falls in love with the wrong people. It all started on a perfectly ordinary afternoon in November. Charlotte invited me home to tea with Aunt Clare and Harry, and from that moment on, everything changed. At first I don't think I knew it-after all, when I went to bed that night I was still living with my mother and brother in perpetual chaos in a a crumbling estate we couldn't afford to keep, Magna- but the next day, I began to realize that for the first time ever, I had my own life. You see, meeting Charlotte made everything possible. Even being kissed by Johnnie Ray and hanging out with a movie producer named Rocky and believing my brother Inigo could be the next Elvis Presley. And missing people begore they've even gone. This story is what happened when we war babies grew up and needed answers. When we got them, they weren't what we expected at all.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0452288096, Paperback)

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 friend, Charlotte, a free spirit in the young society set, drags Penelope into London with all of its grand parties, she sets in motion great change for them all. Charlotte’s mysterious and attractive brother Harry uses Penelope to make his American ex-girlfriend jealous, with unforeseen consequences, and a dashing, wealthy American movie producer arrives with what might be the key to Penelope’s— and her family’s—future happiness.

Vibrant, witty, and filled with vivid historical detail, The Lost Art of Keeping Secrets is an utterly unique debut novel about a time and place just slipping into history.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:50:31 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

Struggling to preserve her family's crumbling estate as well as their lifestyle in 1950s London, Penelope endeavors to fall in love, participates in a plot with her best friend's brother, and finds herself falling for a wealthy American movie producer.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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Average: (3.88)
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1.5 2
2 15
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3 43
3.5 18
4 80
4.5 12
5 62


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