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The Lost Art of Keeping Secrets by Eva Rice

By Eva Rice

"Rice’s amazing present for developing singular characters during this memorable tale underscores her presence as a clean new voice in fiction."—Publishers Weekly

Set in Fifties London, The misplaced artwork of protecting Secrets facilities round Penelope, the wide-eyed daughter of a mythical attractiveness, Talitha, who misplaced her husband to the conflict. Penelope, along with her mom and brother, struggles to keep up their gigantic and crumbling ancestral home—while postwar London spins towards the following decade’s cultural revolution.

Penelope desires not anything greater than to fall in love, and whilst her new ally, Charlotte, a loose spirit within the younger society set, drags Penelope into London with all of its grand events, she units in movement nice swap for all of them. Charlotte’s mysterious and engaging brother Harry makes use of Penelope to make his American ex-girlfriend jealous, with unexpected effects, and a rushing, prosperous American motion picture manufacturer arrives with what will be the foremost to Penelope’s—and her family’s—future happiness.

Vibrant, witty, and full of brilliant old aspect, this is often an completely detailed debut novel a couple of time and position simply slipping into history.

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The garden was the centre of the universe, and within its walls lay the whole world, Edenesque. What else counted outside the dry stone walls of Magna? I stared at my fellow passengers and wondered if any of them had had as extraordinary an afternoon as I had. I felt so restless, I had to sir on my hands for fear I might burst with wanting to talk about everything. Aunt Clare, more than anyone else I had met, seemed instinctively to understand how living in a house like Magna was a double-edged sword.

How futile. ’ ‘No. ’ ‘Worse and worse,’ said Aunt Clare cheerfully. ‘There is no sight so depressing as the English trying to dress French. ’ Neither Charlotte nor myself ventured to ask her how she should know, but I, for one, didn’t doubt her expertise on the subject. I ate more toast and studied Charlotte. I had never seen a face that altered so much with movement. When she talked, her face took on a slightly lascivious, amused expression, yet when she was listening and still, she looked wide-eyed and innocent, as if an impure thought had never entered her head.

She persisted. ’ cried Charlotte, her voice heavy with disappointment. ‘How terminally dull. Funny, I didn’t have you marked as one of those. Harry’s addicted to the stuff, can’t get enough. ’ There was a pause. ‘I think jazz is rather important,’ I said pompously, but Charlotte said nothing. I can tell her. I thought. She’ll understand. I took a deep breath. ‘But I — I rather prefer, well, actually, I am utterly and completely dedicated to — to — Johnnie Ray,’ I admitted. There. I had said it.

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