Monday, January 12, 2009

The Lost Art of Keeping Secrets

The Lost Art of Keeping Secrets
a Novel by Eva Rice

The reasons I read this book:
1. Tanja recommended it to me. (Tanja has a pretty good track record when it comes to recommending books for me to read).

2. I liked the cover—yes, I judged the book by its cover.

3. I was intrigued by the time period.

This book takes place in post WWII London. The 1950’s were a fascinating time and this book is full of fascinating characters. The story isn’t overly complicated, although by the end you learn just what secrets people have been keeping and everything ties together nicely. I loved the descriptions of clothes, cars, homes, hotels, lifestyles. The main character, Penelope, meets Charlotte, Charlotte’s Aunt Clare and cousin Harry—all very witty, clever characters—and the story evolves from there.
Penelope and Charlotte are only 18 or 19 years old but they definitely carry on as if they are much older. I was amazed at how much they (and others) drink and smoke. That must have been the norm at that time and place. They are both ga-ga for the pop singer Johnnie Ray who I don’t know. Elvis Presley was just coming on the scene. I think the best description of this book would be a pop-culture look at the 1950’s in London, England.
Like I said, it’s not a deep read, but I was intrigued and entertained. Something light to start the year off for me. If you were going on a cruise, it would be the perfect thing to read as you lounge by the pool and soak up the sun. I’d give it an A- or B+.

The author, Eva Rice, is the daughter of lyricist Tim Rice (Evita, The Lion King, etc. etc.).

2 comments:

Lula O said...

That cover is really cool, and it is hard to bet against Tanja. She is the Grand Poo-pa and we are but her reading minions.;O)

I find the English and all their quirkiness interesting, so I'd probably like this one. I'm reading the Book Thief right now and will probably need a good beach read after this one. It's pretty deep.

Tanja said...

Give me a break there is nothing grand about me and you know it!!!
But, I did enjoy this book. I love the way she paints London post war. It was refreshing to read something about just living, falling in love with the wrong person, holding on to old beliefs, overcoming your fears, following dreams, not being the perfect person, losing someone you care about and hopefully through all of that you find yourself.
Sometimes in life we hold onto dumb or bad things because we are afraid of moving on, changing, being better, or even being happy. This seemed like a central theme through the book.
I am glad you enjoyed it Suzette and I think you got it right, read it by a pool or when you just want to relax.