Listen! do da da…

Do you wanna know a secret? do da da

it’s not a secret at all and I want to tell everyone! Last weekend, for the 48 hour Book Challenge, I read The Lost Art of Keeping Secrets by Eva Rice and it was LOVELY AND FABULOUS! Remember the I-wish-I-lived-in-that-time-so-I-could-wear-dresses-like-that cover? here it is again:

The Lost Art of Keeping Secrets by Eva Rice

The Lost Art of Keeping Secrets by Eva Rice

This book tells the story of Penelope, a 6 ft. tall, average-looking, freckly, young woman who suddenly gets roped into sharing a cab and having tea with complete strangers–strangers who end up becoming very close friends: Charlotte-a free spirited socialite, her cousin Harry-a bored, sarcastic magician, and her aunt Clare-woman who has seen it all. Imagine if Pam from the Office suddenly found herself hanging out with Serena from Gossip Girls, Whoopi Goldberg, and a jaded Edward Cullen. It was as if this book was written purely to make me swoon and feel cozy:

  • Set in England? check.
  • Set in different time period with beautiful fashion? check. This book makes me believe that everyone wore Dior in the 50’s.
  • Set in grand estate/castle that is romantically falling apart? check.
  • Narrator is awkward, self-conscious, ironic, and honest? check.
  • Oh those crazy Americans? check. I am always fascinated by stories that compare American and the British personality types.
  • Narrator helplessly falls in love without knowing how it happened? and then gets all flustered and confused? check.

You know what other book meets that checklist?

I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith

I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith

Penelope and her story reminded me sooo much of my favoritest narrator and book: Cassandra and I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith (the author of One Hundred and One Dalmatians, which I also highly recommend). They have the same wonderful way of making me feel just content-there is nothing really spectacular about either story; they don’t push any limits, or make me laugh that much, or cry that much–but it is eerie and magical to read my own exact thoughts and feelings inside a book. The only thing that was missing from The Lost Art of Keeping Secrets was the calm melancholic, but hopeful ending that Cassandra’s story had. I understand why Eva chose to end the story where she did, and I think if the story had actually ended there I may have been okay with it, but she then went on to wrap up the love story in a rushed epilogue. And even this would have been okay if had been set like 50 years later or something and Penelope was reflecting on things (like the Deathly Hallows epilogue which I obviously liked, haha). Instead, the epilogue takes place just a couple weeks later and reads more like an outline of a next chapter that I’m upset I didn’t get to read. I guess I kinda wanted Eva Rice to keep the secret.

Oh gosh, I have to go re-read I Capture the Castle now.

amber

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2 Responses to “Listen! do da da…”


  1. 1 ngtjill June 12, 2009 at 10:34 am

    Hmm, I think I will have to read this book! I totally love your “Imagine if Pam from the Office suddenly found herself hanging out with Serena from Gossip Girls, Whoopi Goldberg, and a jaded Edward Cullen.” comparison!

  2. 2 ngtlindsay June 17, 2009 at 5:41 pm

    I totally checked both this book AND I Capture the Castle last night. I will let you know how it goes!


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