Lost for Words is a novel set in a bookshop – always a good sign. Told from the perspective of Loveday Cardew who works in the bookshop, Lost for Words, in York. Loveday is quiet, eccentric and deeply independent. She is unapologetically herself, she likes time on her own and prefers her books to people. From the very first pages I warmed to her, knowing she had been through something to make her this way but not yet knowing what that was. Told between the current day and Loveday’s childhood, the novel makes excellent use of unusual narrative form, breaking the story up and creating plot twist after plot twist without becoming difficult to follow. Lovedays voice is inviting and real, with Stephanie Butland managing to navigate the thin line between real and chick lit, without falling into the overly girly or chatty. Loveday is real, she is unique and as her story unfolds I cared greatly about what would happen to her. I wanted her to succeed, I wanted her to be happy and I wanted those around her to accept her eccentricities.
Told in York, this is a book that is very aware of its setting. York and Whitby both come to life within the novel and when she is by the sea, I could smell the sea, I could smell the vinegar on the chips and I could see and feel my own childhood memories.
I also really enjoyed the number of references to other books within the text. The novel is rich with literary quotations and references, tapping into our own readings of these books, some more well known than others. I ended up saving the name of a few to read later. These references were well chosen to give greater insight and weren’t overdone or clichéd, they were intriguing and worked well with both the narrative and the style of the book.
I think this is a wonderful read for a holiday or weekend. It’s a great, emersive read with a big heart. What more could you want?
Thank-you to netgalley for allowing me access to this Ebook as a reviewer.