Review: The Lost Art of Keeping Secrets by Eva Rice

*Thanks to Bookbridgr for my beautiful signed edition of this book!*

Penelope longs to be grown-up and to fall in love; but various rather inconvenient things keep getting in her way. Like her mother, a stunning but petulant beauty widowed at a tragically early age, her younger brother Inigo, currently incapable of concentrating on anything that isn't Elvis Presley, a vast but crumbling ancestral home, a severe shortage of cash, and her best friend Charlotte's sardonic cousin Harry...

Oh I just adored this book! There's no emotional rollercoaster, no shocking plot twists, simply an enchanting coming of age story that in every way deserves the title of 'modern vintage classic'. It is truly captivating, beautifully written, and I became so attached to the characters that I was loathed to leave them at the end. I'm told that there are echoes of Dodie Smith's I Capture the Castle here, which I have to admit I've never read, but if it's anything like this then I fully intend to! To call this novel 'nice' or 'charming' would be to patronise it, for although these are fitting adjectives it is so much more than that. Eva Rice draws the reader completely into the world of Penelope Wallace, her beautifully eccentric mother, her crumbling ancestral home of Milton Magna which is a character in itself, the heady romance of her teenage crush on Johnnie Ray, and her first experience of love. An all time favourite already!


  1. Oh, I loved this book too! I agree that there are similarities in tone between this and I Capture the Castle but I think that Penelope is just such a lovely narrator. Hope you're having a lovely week! :)

    1. She's a wonderful narrator, I can't believe I haven't read it until now! Thanks for stopping by :)


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