What a cute book! Very enjoyable read--about a young woman (Penelope) growing up near London around 1955. Her father died in the war, and she and her mother live in their old, huge house that was taken over during the war and is falling apart because they don't have the money to repair it. The story is also about her friendship with Charlotte, who wants to design clothing, and Charlotte's cousin Harry, who is a magician. The characters were all very interesting and I didn't want the book to end!