Lost for Words |Stephanie Butland #Bookreview #Loveday #LostForWords

Published by Zaffre

ebook & Paperback: 20 April 2017

368 pages



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 . . .


Having loved Stephanie’s last book, The Other Half of My Heart (reviewed here) I just knew I was in for a treat with this one – and the story is set around a book shop. What’s not to like!

Loveday Cardew hasn’t had the happiest of lives.  Until she met Archie, the owner of a second hand bookshop ‘Lost for Words’,  she had had a troubled life but she was a survivor and such an intriguing character.  Sometimes I felt so much sympathy for her, and at others she frustrated me with her stubborn and unmoving attitude.  I was however very fond of her and was desperately hoping that she would a find a happy ever after – in whatever form that would be.

Loveday’s story is told by way of different titled chapters – ‘History’ slowly reveals details of her childhood; ‘Crime’ tells of more recent events and ‘Poetry’ is in the present time and her experiences at a local poetry group.  All the differing strands come together to form a superbly rounded story which may tug at your heart strings – it certainly did mine.

The story hints at events in her past and I’m not going to reveal any of them here.  All I will say is that because of what has happened to her, Loveday has become a self-sufficient character, she doesn’t want to be beholden to anyone and can be rather prickly.  She keeps her secrets close and doesn’t trust easily, preferring to spend her time with books rather than people (I can understand that!).  Can Nathan, a local poet, be the one who can break down her self-imposed wall of self-protection– or is Loveday determined to avoid any emotional attachment at all costs?

There wouldn’t be a story without the characters but the bookshop is at the heart of it.  The irrepressible and eccentric Archie, who, underneath a gruff exterior has a heart of gold, some of my favourite scenes were with Archie and Loveday.  The quirky Melody, Loveday’s colleague at the bookshop, the very thoughtful Nathan.  There are other characters who didn’t bring out the best in me and the least said about them, the better!

Stephanie Butland always writes so beautifully, and her characters are so well rounded with distinct personalities and emotions.  The story moves back and forth in time, slowly revealing details of Loveday’s past whilst the reader follows Loveday through the present.  Between the pages you will find sadness, humour and even a little bit of mystery as Loveday tries to discover who is leaving books for her at the shop.

As soon as I started reading Lost for Words I knew I was going to love it, and I wasn’t disappointed.  If Loveday doesn’t steal  your heart, then I’m sure that Archie and his bookshop will!

My thanks to the publisher for the paperback copy to review.


About the author:

Stephanie Butland lives in Northumberland, close to the place where she grew up. She writes in a studio at the bottom of her garden, and loves being close to the sea. She’s thriving after cancer.

Author Links:  Website   |   Twitter   |   Facebook   |   Amazon UK   |   Goodreads






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