Sunday, 20 September 2015

Book Review: The Lost Art of Keeping Secrets

The Lost Art of Keeping Secrets
By Eva Rice
Published by Headline
Available in paperback and ebook

The Lost Art of Keeping Secrets is the book equivalent of eating sweets. Sometimes you need something sugary and full of innocence.

Set in the 1950s, Penelope longs to be grown-up and to fall in love but life isn't going the way she wants. A chance encounter with Charlotte means Penelope's life will never be the same now she has a new stylish friend in her life.

This is a light-hearted, gentle read, making it the ideal book if you want fancy an afternoon curled on the sofa, snuggled inside a duvet.

Glitzy parties, grubby cafes, gossiping girls and boys with bikes. This book is full of period detail in 1950s London. The first generation of 'teenagers' have arrived - celebrity crushes, falling in love with every boy, dancing to records, and dreaming of living in another country. Penelope must find her way through the minefield of adolescence as well as finding a way to make her mother happy.

Around Penelope and her friends, are obsessed with being wined, dined and dancing to rock 'n' roll but the older generations are still recovering from World War 2. Penelope's mother is still in mourning years after her husband died in the war, and left behind their crumbling mansion with no income to help with the maintenance. Rice explores the push and pull of each generation and the way culture has infiltrated their lives. Obligations to past generations has a hold over Penelope and her family and they must work out if they want to break away, and form their own future.

The publisher, Headline has released a 10th anniversary edition which includes a short story on how Penelope's parents met as well as an introduction from the comedian, Miranda Hart. It would have been nice to have had a front cover overhaul as I'm sure with a jazzier cover this book would also appeal to readers who like the 'young adult' genre.

You can buy The Lost Art of Keeping Secrets from your favourite bookshop.

I was sent a copy via Bookbridgr.

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