Top critical review
4 people found this helpful
on 1 September 2013
I've been waiting for this book for years since reading and falling hard for The Lost Art. I'm so disappointed with Tara Jupp that I could weep. Everything that made Lost Art magic on paper is missing. The warm and likable secondary characters; the amazing male love interest; the descriptions of London in the 50s (The Ritz, Selfridges etc); Charlotte...you won't find the same here (except for Charlotte because she features in this book as does Inigo, and both were such wonderful characters in Lost Art and shouldn't, I feel, have made a reappearance here in the manner they did).
In brief (though the synopsis does a better job), Tara Jupp, a vicar's daughter with an amazing voice, goes from her sleepy village lifestyle to 60s London because the music industries bigwigs believe in her and push for her to be a big star.
My main issue with this book is the unreality of it. And how convenient everything is, getting Tara to London from village life, the contacts she has, the way she's thrust into this new London life around celebrities and everyone worth knowing. Once she leaves the country (and this portion of the story, while slow-moving and slightly dull, still held promise for what I hoped would be the best parts) everything becomes one big mess, with too many people introduced to keep track off, too many self-important people without the heart and likability that I was yearning for, and this includes the protagonist, Tara.
This exchange sums it up my feelings about the unreality of it pretty well:
'I didn't think people actually said that sort of thing in real life,' I said.
'They don't,' said Inigo. 'This isn't real life, and don't you forget it.'
I still think Eva Rice is an incredible writer - despite my overall dislike of this book, her writing was the one thing that prevented my experience from being a complete letdown - this book just fell flat for me.