By: Stephanie Butland
Published Year: 2018
Publisher: St Martin's Press
I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. This in no way shape or form influenced my opinion.
Summary (Provided by 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, ever show you.
Into her hiding place—the bookstore where she works - come a poet, a lover, and three suspicious deliveries.
Someone has found out about her mysterious past. Will Loveday survive her own heartbreaking secrets?
The Lost for Words Bookshop is a compelling, irresistible, and heart-rending novel, perfect for fans of The Storied Life of AJ Fikryand The Little Paris Bookshop.
This cover is great! And the title definitely drew me in. As a book lover, I am obviously drawn to books that have books at their center. While I was a little put off by the name of the main character, I figured that wasn’t enough to put me off the book completely.
What I thought
I don’t know what I thought this book was going to be, but it is so much more than whatever that was.
Loveday has spent the past 11 or so years working at the Lost Words Bookshop. She was, and still is, lost in her life and who she is. When Nathan shows up at the bookshop, her hard exterior starts to crack, revealing parts of her past that made her who she is.
I can already tell that this is going to be a book that’s hard to review without giving anything away. The format of the book is interesting, so I’ll start there. The story starts in 2016 with Loveday in her present day life. She is a bit surly and a little aggressive. It’s a bit jarring at first because it’s not an endearing quality, but it makes sense and grows on you as you read. The book then flashes back to 2013, when she first met and started seeing Rob, an aggressive and persistent man. After sharing a little about Rob, the book flashes back even further to 1999 when she was a child and living with her parents. The book continues with this alternating format until the events of 2013 and 1999 are concluded.
Archie, the bookshop owner, is easily one of the best characters in this book. He is a surrogate father and just an all around wonderful person. I loved how he handled Loveday. It was never overly forceful, but instead a gentle guidance and patience to let Loveday learn who she was on her own.
This book deals with some serious issues. The one at the forefront is domestic violence. Loveday deals with it in multiple ways, and it is hard to see how it affects her. It isn’t done in a way that I found hard to read, but it is there. I found it interesting to see Loveday’s perspective at varying ages. It was different than what I have read in different books.
I also love that while the main setting is a bookshop, and books obviously play an integral role in Loveday’s life, the story is not overshadowed by books. I have read books in the past that use books to appeal to book lovers and it just ends up being irritating. Loveday has a passion for books, but she’s not obsessively weird about it. She just understands their purpose and has a true love for them and I appreciated that.