Fancast Friday: The Lost Art of Keeping Secrets

20 November 2015

Eva Rice's elegant historical novel, The Lost Art of Keeping Secrets, is one of my favourite books I've ever had the fortune of reading. If you haven't yet read my effusive review of it, you can do so here and I highly, with every fibre of my being, recommend that you read this book.
I may perhaps do a part two to this post eventually because this book is one of my ultimate favourites and there are so many characters that I absolutely adore. So, watch this space!

Disclaimer: As always, these are not necessarily actors who fit the character descriptions to a T. They're just people who I think match what I pictured while reading, but also who I think will able to portray these characters really well on screen should we ever get to seen adaptation of The Lost Art of Keeping Secrets.


While reading, I was going through a phase which my fellow female (and male) Brits will be much acquainted with and that is the Sunday night obsession we all had with Aidan Turner's torso...I mean, Poldark, of course!

What does that have to do with the fancasting for Penelope? Well, this meant that I was picturing Heida Reed as Penelope.

For those who aren't aware who Heida is and there probably aren't many, she's an ex-Drama Centre London student who is originally from Iceland. Arguably, her role as Ross Poldark's first love, Elizabeth, is probably her biggest role to date, but she has had small appearances in shows like Silent Witness.

She rocked the period era clothing on Poldark and while I didn't like her character on the show (Ross and Demelza 4 Ever), I think she's a great actress who is certainly my first choice for Penelope.

My second pick for Penelope Wallace is Jessica De Gouw.

Yes, I've fancasted her for novels before (She was one of my choices for Juliet Moreau from The Madman's Daughter trilogy) and I'll well aware that it's been two years since Dracula aired and simultaneously was cancelled, but I adored her as Mina Murray.
Arrow fans will probably recognise Jess most from her role as Helena Bertinelli aka The Huntress.

While the Aussie actress may not have too many projects in the pipeline, I do miss seeing Jessica on my screen as she's amazing at her craft and much like Heida, I think she'd make the perfect Penelope.


Holliday Grainger is basically my one and only pick to play Charlotte. She was one hundred and one percent who I was imagining the whole time while reading the novel. From the first page, actually.

She's gorgeous, bubbly and fun just like the character. In addition to this, Holliday looks absolutely flawless in just about anything which comes in handy as we know just how hip and stylish Charlotte is.

Holliday's been in projects such as The Borgias, Bonnie and Clyde (2013), The Riot Club, Cinderella and in the 2012 adaptation of Great Expectations. You may have recently seen her opposite Richard Madden in BBC's adaptation of Lady Chatterly's Lover.


Much like with Charlotte, I only have one, sole choice for Harry and that is Jack Farthing.

He's been in mainly British projects, so if you're American then I doubt that he's too much of a familiar face. However, you might recognise from 2014's The Riot Club where he played George Balfour opposite Holliday. Or perhaps you'll know him from his recent role as George Warleggan in Poldark.

You can have a browse of his IMDB page to see the other shows and films he's been in and also what's coming up for him.

Truthfully, I think he'd be magnificent as Charlotte's sardonic cousin, Harry, who's story is centered around is infatuation of Marina Hamilton. But over the course of the novel, Harry slowly begins to grow close to Penelope as the two warm to each other. While the future of Harry and Penelope is uncertain at the end of the novel, they're still one of my fictional couples.

I don't think I can emphasize enough how perfect The Lost Art of Keeping Secrets by Eva Rice is. Please do yourself a favour and give it a read because it is breathtakingly beautiful. It's a book that I don't think I will ever stop re-reading and that's a rarity for me. It's charming, elegant and jammed pack with characters that you're sure to fall in love with. 

Miranda Hart said it best in the foreword at the beginning of this book, "These characters are so wonderfully defined and the world and era so utterly tangible you wish you could dive right into it and hang out with all of them. And the first thing you would say to any of them is, "This might sound weird but can we best friends?"

I know I've promised part twos to fancasts before, but you all know me by now in the fact that I'm terribly lazy. But while I adore the majority of the books that I've fancasted and made posts other than reviews about before, I don't think any book has ever had me gripped the way that The Lost Art of Keeping Secrets has done. I couldn't thank Eva Rice enough for writing this book and creating such wonderful characters that will stay with me forever. 

You can bet your buttons by the sheer amount of endless compliments I give this novel, that there'll be a part two! 

If you've read the book (and if you haven't, why not?) then let me know who your picks for The Lost Art of Keeping Secrets characters are.

Join the conversation!

  1. Hi, Samantha! :)

    Am currently on the first few chapters and I have to say that I am hooked! Really couldn't wait to see how it unfolds! While reading, I could easily imagine Heida as Penelope. My alternative would be Jessica Brown-Findlay, aka Lady Sybil. (I will always remember her as Lady Sybil) She has the personality for it.

    I second your picks for Harry and Charlotte! Having seen Jack playing George Warleggan, I could easily imagine him as Harry. As for Charlotte, Holliday's charming personality gives life to her. Lily James though, is my second pick. :)

    Since Penelope's mother is mentioned a lot, I would like to cast her too. Michelle Dockery is my pick for Talitha Wallace. Michelle is still young, and within Talitha's age bracket. I could imagine her, languid and disapproving, dragging Penelope to the shops to buy new clothes.

    Your blog is a joy to read! Will be coming back. :)

    1. Hi Layla!

      Sorry I'm replying so late. For some reason, this comment didn't show up in my inbox. It's a terrific book and I hope you enjoyed it. What did you think of the ending?

      I could totally see Jessica as Penelope and Lily as Charlotte too. Those are great choices!

      And yes, Freddie as Inigo would be brilliant. I imagined to see him in the Kenneth Branagh Romeo and Juliet stage production with Lily James and he was just so charismatic and present.

      Thank you so much for taking the time to visit my blog!

      - Samantha

    2. Enjoyed every bit of it! Been reading it again (and again), and the book is just perfect. I think the ending is my favourite part of the story. It did say a lot while not giving too much away. I would like to think that everything's okay with Penelope and Harry--and it would get better. :)

      I've ordered The Misinterpretation of Tara Jupp and I can't wait to read it! :)

  2. P.S. Freddie Fox is my pick for the half-delightful, half-irritating Inigo. :)


Post Signature

Latest Instagrams

© Samantha Kilford. Design by FCD.