Note: I received a copy of Lost for Words from Bonnier Zaffre, the publisher, to photograph for an Instagram tour last year. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Lost for Words by Stephanie Butland • contains 352 pages • published April 20, 2017 by Zaffre Publishing, Bonnier Zaffre • classified as Contemporary, Women's Fiction, General Fiction • obtained through the publisher • read as paperback • shelve on Goodreads
Loveday Cardew prefers books to people. If you look carefully, you might glimpse the first lines of the novels she loves most tattooed on her skin. But there are some things Loveday will never show you.
Into her refuge – the York book emporium where she works – come a poet, a lover, a friend, and three mysterious deliveries, each of which stirs unsettling memories.
Everything is about to change for Loveday. Someone knows about her past and she can't hide any longer. She must decide who around her she can trust. Can she find the courage to right a heartbreaking wrong? And will she ever find the words to tell her own story?
It's time to turn the pages of her past...
Lost for Words is the sort of book that requires time and patience from the reader. During the first 100 pages, I considered abandoning the book a few times. I was bored with the writing style and didn’t enjoy jumping around three points in the protagonist’s life — 2016, 2013 and 1999. Two alternating timelines are already more than I tend to like. Three was pushing it.
Despite my initial misgivings, I’m glad I continued. The book just snuck up on me after that beginning. The characterisation and depth of Loveday, Archie and Nathan turned out to be all sorts of wonderful. Once the story unfolded, things started to make sense as the pieces fell into place. It helped that the bookshop and the setting of York, on the whole, were rather charming.
I think my initial boredom stemmed from my preference for books in which things happen off the bat. Conflicts draw me in more than leisurely unfolding of the plot. I need to see that a book is going somewhere before I become invested. If however, you love to read for the sake of printed words on a page, I’m sure you’ll find Lost for Words quite rewarding. The slow pace means you might just savour the book over a longer period of time. I know I took much longer to read this book compared to my usually reading speed.
So yes, Lost for Words was quite unassuming at first but ultimately, it was absolutely worth reading. I recommend picking it up over a long weekend or on holiday when life’s less hurried, so you can fully appreciate this book.