I picked up Lost for Words thinking it would be a lighter read about a woman who works in a second-hand bookshop with maybe a bit of romance. Turns out it’s a lot darker than that but by the time I worked out it wasn’t the book I thought it was, I was pulled into Loveday’s story.

First lines did not define last pages in real life the way they did in books.

Loveday comes across incredibly judgey in the first few chapters and I felt it was trying a bit hard to say bookish things. However it doesn’t take long to realise there is a reason she is like she is. She has put up a shield between her and the world outside the bookshop, socially awkward but also scared people will learn about her past.

I don’t want to give too much away, as her background is revealed slowly through flashbacks to her childhood. You know early on her father is dead and her mother is not around either. But then books from her childhood start showing up in the shop, triggering memories. At first they could just be coincidental but then she starts to worry that someone knows and is taunting her.

I’d read enough fiction to know that relationships were:
– well disguised as the best thing ever
– complicated
– doomed to failure, most of the time
– usually comprised of a winner and a loser

I’m not a fan of books where the “bad guy” is suffering from serious mental illness but I thought Stephanie at least handled better than many. Loveday doesn’t blame the illness for he ex’s behaviour, at least not totally. She becomes aware he’s not medicating and has control issues, but that essentially he wasn’t a great person anyway. Yet she still seems sympathetic by the end.

I thought there were a few teeny tiny errors that an editor should have picked up. Like when she’s saying how she got the first three Harry Potter books as a present with a pre-order receipt for Prisoner of Azkaban tucked in. Well we all know that is the third book. I mean I’m sure it was just an error, but I notice these things.

It isn’t overly romantic about the bookselling business. The shop trades online and it’s not necessarily making a profit but is kept afloat by the owner’s personal wealth. They even recycle all those Dan Browns and Fifty Shades that keep getting dumped outside their door. So I’d recommend to people who like bookish books, plus it’s a super bargain on Amazon right now.

Goodreads | Amazon | Waterstones | Hive | Wordery

Book Source: Purchased