Title: Lost for Words
Author: Stephanie Butland
Genre: Fiction, Romance
Source: Kindle Recommendation
My favourite quote; ‘I sometimes think I want to write a book of my life, so that when I meet you – or anyone new – I can hand it over and you can read it, instead of trying to read me. You can take it away and decide whether it’s worth giving me your time. You think about if, the next time we are walking towards each other, you’ll smile without slowing down, or cross the street and pretend you haven’t seen me. You see the elegance of my proposal. But every time I sit down to write the book, I hit a snag. I could tell so many stories..’
I was hunting for a new book to read on holiday on the kindle, well a few books really, as a back up from the other books I had already packed in my suitcase. You can never have too many books for 10 days in the sun! Lost for Words peaked my interested straight away, and no not because it was only 99p on the kindle store. I often do judge a book by it’s cover, which may surprise you. If I see a book with a really lovely cover, I tend to find really good stories behind them. Lost for Words was one of these stories.
The cover is an illustration of a girl reading inside of a bookshop. Isn’t that enough to make you stop and read the description?
I’ve not come across Stephanie Butland before, but I will be interested to see what else she has written.
A story that starts by introducing you to the main protagonist, Loveday Cardew, who works in an independent book shop in York, with the wonderfully eccentric owner, Archie. Loveday doesn’t like to give too much away, only that she has a past she would prefer to forget and that she’d rather spend all of her time working at the bookshop, reading alone in her flat to pass the time or avoiding her ex-boyfriend who has taken it upon himself to hang around outside her work.
Loveday finds an abandoned book on the pavement on her way to work and can’t help but get frustrated by the lack of respect of it’s owner. She tries to return the book to it’s owner by leaving a sign in the shop window with the book referenced as ‘found’. This is where we get to meet Nathan, a poet/ magician who looks past Loveday’s hostile exterior to the person she is beneath.
Her past beings to haunt her when her mothers old books show up at the bookshop.
At first she wasn’t sure whether they did belong to her mother, or whether it’s just a reminder of her past, until she finds a familiar picture hidden between the pages. It could only mean one thing; someone knows her secret, but who?
Loveday recalls the day her life changed forever, the day that her parents were taken from her life at the age of 10. The story gives us flashbacks of what her life was like before the event that altered her life, but you don’t find out the truth until later on. You get to experience how she used to bake with her mum, how they went up to the church on top of the hill together as a family, how they found shells on the beach for their bathroom collection, or how her small world lit up whenever her dad came home from work. You can’t even begin to grasp what could possibly go wrong when her life seems so happy and content. It’s only when her dad loses his job that you begin to see subtle changes to her small world.
Loveday beings to get scared as more of her mothers books get dropped off at the bookshop, but she doesn’t know who is delivering them to find out more. With help from Archie and Nathan, she begins to accept her past and open up to the people around her of the trauma she went through as a child.
The book is absolutely wonderful. I fell in love with all of the characters and their secrets. Loveday’s passion for books is satisfying, when she comes across a new favourite book, she gets a quote tattooed onto her body as a reminder, which in time, also becomes a guessing game for Nathan. She’s a troubled but innocent young woman and you can’t help but feel for her when she pushes away the people she cares about, but also get frustrated that she can’t talk about her suffering. Archie is my personal favourite the way he becomes the perfect father figure when she doesn’t even realise it. He hired her after her found her stealing a book, makes fun of her for her passionate nature and yet is there cooking in her kitchen the moment she’s ill. He’s full of stories and always knows everything about everyone – including Loveday.
This story will open your eyes to domestic abuse and overcoming your greatest fear. You’ll laugh out loud and you’ll shed a tear. It’s a very lovely story, and would probably read again.
Loveday Cardew prefers books to people. If you look closely, you might glimpse the first lines of the novels she loves most tattooed on her skin. But there are things she’ll never show you.
Fifteen years ago Loveday lost all she knew and loved in one unspeakable night. Now, she finds refuge in the unique little York bookshop where she works.
Everything is about to change for Loveday. Someone knows about her past. Someone is trying to send her a message. And she can’t hide any longer.
Lost for Words is a compelling, irresistible and heart-rending novel, with the emotional intensity of The Shock of the Fall and all the charm of The Little Paris Bookshop and 84 Charing Cross Road.