Book Review: LOST FOR WORDS by Stephanie Butland


LOST FOR WORDS was exactly the kind of read I hoped it would be. When I picked it up, I’d just finished reading EXIT WEST (Mohsin Hamid), so I needed something that would be light and satisfying.

Quick summary: “A bookshop keeps many secrets …Loveday Cardew prefers books to people. If you look closely, you might glimpse the first lines of the novels she loves most tattooed on her skin. But there are things she’ll never show you. Fifteen years ago Loveday lost all she knew and loved in one unspeakable night. Now, she finds refuge in the unique little York bookshop where she works. Everything is about to change for Loveday. Someone knows about her past. Someone is trying to send her a message. And she can’t hide any longer.”

Getting to know Loveday and her bookshop routines was easily my favourite part about the book.I’ve always wanted to work at a bookshop, so it was nice to see a character in that dream job role, and she embodied it so perfectly. Loveday’s relationship with books is something every bookworm will relate to, so that aspect was wonderful. It made me think about how bookworms will always relate to each other, regardless of their culture and background.


The secondary characters were quite intriguing too, especially Archie (the bookshop owner) who was actually quite adorable. Nathan, the magician-poet and Loveday’s love interest, was intriguing as well but I felt his personal struggles could have been more developed, there was definitely stuff going on I wanted to know more about.

I didn’t expect the book to tackle the issue of domestic violence and mental health, but as they unravelled in the novel I felt the author asked the right questions and handled it with care. I found myself faced with the question of how much you can hold a mentally ill person accountable for their violent tendencies, and how do you measure whether its their illness or just their evil?

If you’re looking for a light read with a dark twist I’d recommend Lost for Words. It was a comfort read for me, especially because of the familiarity that comes from a bookish protagonist.

Lost For Words comes out on April 20, 2017.

Add it to your Goodreads.

Buy it on Book Depository for $8.88 only!

Publisher: Bonnier Zaffre,



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