Eva Rice’s period novels are kind of akin to curling up on a rainy day with hot, buttery crumpets and tea. There’s a warmth and nostalgia to them, like you’re settling in for an hour or two of catching up with old friends.
The Lost Art of Keeping Secrets is one of my all-time favourite books, one that I’ve read too many times to count. So when Quercus contacted me and asked if I’d like to review The Misinterpretation of Tara Jupp I jumped at the chance. To my delight, the book arrived alongside a handwritten note by the author and a CD featuring the hit release single of the main character, with lyrics written by a certain Inigo Wallace (fans of The Lost Art of Keeping Secrets will be pleased to discover that yes, familiar faces do pop up in this book).
Country girl Tara is whisked off to ’60s London to become a star; there she is dressed, she is shown off at Chelsea parties, photographed by the best. She meets songwriters, singers, designers, and records her song. And she falls in love – with two men. Behind the buzz and excitement of her success, the bitterness between her elder sister Lucy and her friend Matilda haunts Tara. Their past friendship is broken and among the secrets and the strangeness of both their marriages, the past keeps on reappearing.