“It was starting to get dark now; the branches of the lime trees at the top of the drive glowed ghostly pale. The snowfall had altered the scenery for our weekend, had opened up more possibilities, made memories of it before the first nightfall.
“Charlotte was sitting by the gramophone in the drawing room, changed into black trousers and a thick white jersey. She had pulled the sleeves down over her hands.
” ‘You got my requests then,’ she said with a grin.
” ‘Snowfall and forty-fives.’
“That first weekend with Charlotte and Harry at Magna came as something of a revelation. Without the overwhelming weight of Mama’s presence, it felt as if the house was shaking itself out of a long sleep. For the first time in my whole life, the weekend actually meant freedom. We had just three nights with Charlotte and Harry, but it may as well have been thirty. I can see Charlotte and me now, drunk on champagne, dancing powdered snowy footprints over the dining-room floor and shouting to make ourselves heard above the intoxicating sounds of Johnnie Ray and America.”
-Eva Rice, The Lost Art of Keeping Secrets