Monday, October 1, 2018

The Lost for Words Bookshop (Stephanie Butland)

As a lifelong reader, a sporadic bookseller and the writer of this blog for almost ten years, I've clearly narrowed down the genres I like to read the most. And when I say narrowed down, I mean it -- I've found that I'm drawn to mysteries that take place in old Gothic mansions and novels about bookshops. I was excited to pick up Stephanie Butland's The Lost for Words Bookshop because I thought it was going to be a simple, cozy book about a bookshop. But it was my mistake -- it's about so much more than that.

As the book begins, we are introduced to Loveday Cardew. She loves working in Archie's secondhand bookshop, but she also loves nothing more than to be alone with her books. In fact, she adores books so much that she has the first line of many of them tattooed on her body. However, as the pages progress and we go back and forth through time periods, the reader comes to realize that Loveday has a past that is seriously affecting how she handles herself and her relationships. It is at this point that The Lost for Words Bookshop becomes so much more than a book about a bookshop. And all of Loveday's tattoos get a deeper meaning to them.

In Loveday, Butland has developed a character that is easy to root for. As readers, we ache for her and understand why she acts the way she does, but want to shake her when she pushes away the people who love her and want to help her. Warmth, coziness, tragedy, and humor -- The Lost for Words Bookshop has it all.