The Lost Art of Keeping Secrets

The Lost Art of Keeping Secrets

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Additional Formats
  • Paperback
  • ISBN 9780452288096
  • 368 Pages
  • Plume
  • Adult


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.


Wow! P. G. Wodehouse has been reborn as a woman! Eva Rice has the master’s gift for language and satire, and a pathos that’s all her own. The Lost Art of Keeping Secrets is one of those books you read guiltily, because it is so much fun, but then realize there is zero need for guilt—it’s that good. (Sean Wilsey, author of Oh the Glory of It All)

As stylish, rich, and skillfully tailored as a gorgeous 1950s vintage coat . . . . With its quirky characters and lush English settings, it made me long to have lived in the London Eva Rice has evoked. (Kate Harrison, author of The Starter Marriage)

Rice’s remarkable gift for creating singular characters in this memorable story underscores her presence as a fresh new voice in fiction. (Publishers Weekly)