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From Barnes & NobleBarnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers
Fans of Julian Fellowes's Snobs will enjoy Rice's comedic U.S. debut, snickering with laughter as they do. This pitch-perfect tale introduces two generations of Brits, the women of the "greatest generation" and their progeny, and is filled to bursting with dialogue that crackles and characters and scenes so filmic that readers will find themselves casting the roles as they turn the pages.
Tall, blonde, and relatively inexperienced, Penelope inhabits, along with her mother and a younger brother, her father's ancestral home: a large estate outside London that looks like something "out of Thomas Hardy." All is not well in the household, however. Penelope's mother, a war widow, is having a difficult time making ends meet, and their once-magnificent home, requisitioned during the war, is in serious need of a face-lift. Unwilling to dwell on their financial troubles, she would rather head out to Selfridges on a shopping spree than face the dire state of affairs at home.
But Penelope's chance encounter with a social-climbing young Londoner named Charlotte shakes up their circumscribed life, as Penelope and her brother, Inigo, are quickly swept up in a social whirl of parties, teas, and the art of romance. Complete with a requisite plot twist at the end, The Lost Art of Keeping Secrets is a secret readers won't want to keep to themselves. (Summer 2006 Selection)