The England of the Fifties told through the glance of a teenage girl, Penelope Wallace, is the perfect excuse the author Eva Rice uses to give us a delightful and funny story where dreams are interwoven to the rhythm of rock and roll creating an interesting and peculiar portrait of those days.
Penelope lives with her brother Iñigo and her mother, Talitha, in "Milton Magna House", the family mansion which had its golden age but whose costs during the postwar period are so high that the family can hardly afford them.
Talitha, a beautiful young widow, hopes that her daughter will solve the financial troubles by marrying a rich boy but Penelope has her own dreams, the most fabulous of them personified in the succesful singer Johnnie Ray, her platonic love whom she is looking forward to meeting.
In the meanwhile, her brother Iñigo, a "rock and roll" fanatic, always carrying his guitar with himself, has been captivated by the voice of an unknown (in those days) Elvis Presley, making a decision of devoting his life to that new "rhythm" which comes from the United States. His dream of becoming a singer to earn enough money to save his family from the ruin gets on his mother´s nerves, an english woman from top to toe, rooted in past times and who neither wants to listen to rock and roll nor anything related to the United States. However, she´ll realize how her children´s lives are caught up in the "whirlwind" which sweeps the world, a whirlwind of Teddy Boys dancing to that "evil" rhythm.
To top it all, one day, waiting for the bus, her daughter Penelope will meet Charlotte, a witty girl and the niece of a flamboyant woman, Clare Delancy, who seems to keep a mysterious relationship with the Wallace Family and a secret that Talitha doesn´t want to reveal to her daughter.
The other main characters of this novel are Harry, Clare´s son and a apprentice magician who will "cast a spell" on Penelope, and Rocky, a handsome american millionaire who will burst in the life of the Wallace Family bringing out emotions and feelings deeply hidden for a long time.
"The Lost Art of Keeping Secrets" is a little jewel which tells about a time of dreams and hopes that reappear after the terrible Second World War, showing us that appearances can be deceptive and secrets are waiting, patiently, for the right moment to be revealed, turning persons into a new ones forever.