3

What I read in January 2020 (Part 1)

The books featured in this post were ones I borrowed from the library.

Lost for Words by Stephanie Butland is a very interesting novel. The language in the opening pages indicates the frame of mind of the main character. It might put some readers off! She works in a bookshop in Yorkshire called Lost for Words and very slowly reveals why she is happier with books than with people. The story develops with the past affecting the present. There is plenty to keep the pages turning. Questions for reading groups are included. I enjoyed this book, which reminded me of a novel by Margaret Forster in which a female protagonist had a hidden past, although the details were completely different.

Faithful by Alice Hoffman also has a young female main character, affected by past events. This story is set in the USA. I found that I could only read one or two chapters at a time, partly because the American setting and some of the vocabulary were more difficult for me to follow than books written in UK English. There were abbreviations, which I did not understand at all. I have to mentally translate some that I recognise, for example, ER to emergency room and then to casualty or accident and emergency (A&E). It is a good story. At the end I was puzzling about which of the characters the title, Faithful, referred to. One stands out, but there were perhaps others. Although the opening is quite miserable it is a hopeful book. I enjoyed it.