Set in the 1950s, in an England still recovering from the Second World War, this is the enchanting story of Penelope Wallace and her eccentric family at the start of the rock’n’roll era.
Penelope longs to be grown-up and to fall in love, but various rather inconvenient things keep getting in her way. Like her mother, a stunning but petulant beauty widowed at a tragically early age, her younger brother Inigo, currently incapable of concentrating on anything that isn’t Elvis Presley, a vast but crumbling ancestral home, a severe shortage of cash, and her best friend Charlotte’s sardonic cousin Harry…
This was my first pick from my TBR jar for #PaperbackSummer and my first impressions were that it’d be a fun light-hearted read; which it was.
One of the main characters, Charlotte, reminds me of movie Holly Golightly in her flighty and excitable nature and therefore I was not at all surprised that she should encourage a random stranger in Penelope to accompany her to tea with her Aunt Clare.
I loved the scenes at Clare’s; just gathering for tea once a week and the excitement Penelope felt in what would they be having to eat that week – showing her age and innocence.
With a new elegant serene cover which is very of its time the foreward by Miranda Hart is perfect for this 10th anniversary edition; from one tall woman to another! Penelope’s height is often referred to throughout; in her style, fashion and appropriate suitors.
The parts about Johnnie Ray and the concert made me reminiscent of the first concert I ever went to (New Kids on the Block 😉 ) and how that made me feel and the author expresses those teenage feelings perfectly.
This is a strange one in that it doesn’t feel like an amazingly different book, things happen without really happening and the story is delivered at a much slower pace; but you don’t really mind because you’re just soaking up its atmosphere. That said, it’s still incredibly engaging and captivating and manages to sweep you off into another time but still being totally relatable.
Many thanks to Headline for the limited edition copy received via Bookbridgr.
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