Rice, Eva 1975-
RICE, Eva 1975-
Born 1975; daughter of Tim Rice (a lyricist and musician).
Scholar and author.
Who's Who in Enid Blyton, Richard Cohen Books (London, England), 1997, revised edition, Orion Media (London, England), 2003.
Standing Room Only (novel), Hodder Headline Australia (Sydney, New South Wales, Australia), 2000.
Butterfly Sting (novel), Hodder & Stoughton (London, England), 2002.
The Lost Art of Keeping Secrets (novel), Dutton (New York, NY), 2006.
Eva Rice is a novelist and scholar of the works of Enid Blyton. The daughter of noted British lyricist Sir Tim Rice, she is also the author of Who's Who in Enid Blyton. The book presents an A-to-Z compilation of more than a thousand characters from British storyteller Blyton's best-known and most-loved works.
The Lost Art of Keeping Secrets, Rice's third novel but her American debut, is set in the 1950s and tells the story of eighteen-year-old Penelope Wallace. Penelope is the daughter of an aristocratic British family whose fortunes have faded and whose ancestral home is crumbling. Sharing her home with her beautiful but tormented mother, the widowed Talitha, Penelope works in an antique store and ponders her future. The privations from World War II have finally been lifted, and in the new era of consumerism and popular culture, Penelope realizes that no one in her family—not her mother and certainly not her rock 'n' roll-obsessed younger brother, Inigo—can afford the upkeep on their huge family estate after her father's death in the war. Though the weight of this edifice looms in her background, Penelope's life changes forever when she meets Charlotte Ferris, a fellow fanatic for international singing star Johnny Ray. After impulsively deciding to jump into a taxi with the girl, Penelope heads off for tea with Charlotte's Aunt Clare and brother Harry Delancy, an aspiring magician and performer. For Harry's part, he is troubled by romantic issues, smitten by the beautiful Marina Hamilton, one of the newly rich American girls so often seen in Britain in the years after the war. Marina, however, wants nothing more to do with Harry and has accepted a marriage proposal from another man, named George. A plan is hatched in which Penelope will accompany Harry to Marina's engagement party in order to make her jealous and help him win her back. Soon, however, Penelope realizes that she has fallen in love with Henry herself. As Penelope learns to navigate the high-class London social scene, she nurtures her own taste for nascent American rock 'n' roll and agonizes over where Harry's true affections will fall.
"The charm of the novel," observed Susan Hall-Balduf in the Detroit Free Press, lies in its "pitch-perfect presentation of the frantic glamour of 1950s England." Library Journal contributor Karen Core had a similar reaction, stating that "London in the 1950s comes to life in this debut novel of historical chick lit." A Publishers Weekly reviewer commented that Rice's "remarkable gift for creating singular characters … underscores her presence as a fresh new voice in fiction."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Bookseller, October 21, 2005, review of The Lost Art of Keeping Secrets, p. 10; April 14, 2006, "No Longer a Kept Secret: Eva Rice's Novel Has Been the Breakthrough Success of This Year's R&J Book Club," p. 15.
Detroit Free Press, April 19, 2006, Susan Hall-Balduf, review of The Lost Art of Keeping Secrets.
Kirkus Reviews, February 1, 2006, review of The Lost Art of Keeping Secrets, p. 107.
Library Journal, February 1, 2006, Karen Core, review of The Lost Art of Keeping Secrets, p. 74.
Publishers Weekly, January 2, 2006, review of The Lost Art of Keeping Secrets, p. 31.
School Library Journal, July, 2006, Kim Dare, review of The Lost Art of Keeping Secrets, p. 133.
Bookreporter.com, http://www.bookreporter.com/ (September 29, 2006), Norah Piehl, review of The Lost Art of Keeping Secrets.
Curled Up with a Good Book,http://www.curledup.com/ (September 29, 2006), review of The Lost Art of Keeping Secrets.
Love Reading,http://www.lovereading.co.uk/ (September 23, 2006), biography of Eva Rice.*