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Review: The Lost For Words Bookshop

The Lost for Words Bookshop

Title: The Lost for Words Bookshop
Author: Stephanie Butland
Genre: Fiction, Romance, Contemporary Romance
Page Count: 308
Published by: St. Martin’s Press
Date Published: June 19, 2018
You can find it here: Bookshop.org


 After a tumultuous and complicated childhood culminated in tragedy, Loveday Cardew found herself in the care of a compassionate foster mom. Even though she was given love and support, Loveday continued to draw inward, pushing people farther and farther away.

As a teen she quickly branched out to live on her own landing a job at a quaint bookshop run by Archie – a larger-than-life, loud, and incredibly kind man. Books speak to Loveday, she understands them and much prefers them to people. When mysterious packages begin arriving at the shop, indicating someone is on to her past, it is through books and the three men that dance in and out of her life – Archie the boss & shop owner, Nathan the poet, and Rob the dangerous ex boyfriend – that she begins to break free of her binds and deal with the pain of her past.

Told in first person narrative that switches between past and present, with chapters broken into various genres – poetry, travel, crime, history – this story reads much like a diary, taking the reader along on Loveday’s broken path to healing.


Let’s Talk Judging Books by Their Cover: 

Taken at face value and a brief look at the jacket blurb one would think they were picking up a light contemporary here. I mean, it is set in a bookshop … with a window seat … how much more idyllic can it get?

This is not a light read. I hate giving that away right off the pin because sometimes it is enjoyable going into a book with only a general idea of what you are getting, only to be blindsided by something unexpected  … but this unassuming, innocent-appearing book is anything but. It is a heavy read dealing with topics of domestic abuse, grief, emotional trauma, anxiety, and a dark, complicated heroine.

Don’t be fooled by it’s cover.

So Let’s Discuss this heavy read & Loveday Cardew:

Loveday Cardew is a sarcastic, bleak, pessimistic character who always sees the worst in people. For some readers she will be grating and even for sarcastic, pessimistic me her brand of dark and down was sometimes stifling. But this negativity is honest, rather than trite, as we learn the truth of her past. She is witty. She is strong. She is painful. She is frustrating. Her story is heartwarming and heartbreaking and just compulsively readable.

The brevity and darkness are balanced well by enjoyable side characters and light romance.

Overall Thoughts: 

While nothing at all like the cover would have you believe – this heavy, first person narrative is told from the lens of an unfailingly human, bent-not-broken character. One you route for, are frustrated by, and ultimately heartsick for. Insights into grief, domestic violence, anxiety and learning to trust are all wrapped up in this short book. A book lover’s delight told with honesty, atmosphere, and haunting.

TBR Ranking: High* (highly recommend the audiobook here)

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