Wednesday, June 20, 2018

"The Lost For Words Bookshop"

Stephanie Butland lives with her family near the sea in the North East of England. She writes in a studio at the bottom of her garden, and when she's not writing, she trains people to think more creatively. For fun, she reads, knits, sews, bakes, and spins. She is an occasional performance poet.

Butland applied the Page 69 Test to her new novel, The Lost for Words Bookshop, and reported the following:
From page 69:
He felt in his shirt pocket and brought out cigarettes and matches. He smoked Marlboro and I liked the red on the top of the packet. He put a cigarette between his teeth and then passed the matchbox to me. He knew I liked to strike them. Mum always told him off when she saw me lighting his cigarettes, so we did it when he wasn't looking.
Here the protagonist, spiky bookseller Loveday, is looking back to her childhood and her relationship with her father. In the writing of this book I spent a lot of time thinking about Loveday's early life, although we don't see a lot of it in the text, and I enjoyed writing her happy early days, with two parents who adored her and were determined that she would have everything she needed in life. Of course, things don't always work out the way we hope, or expect....

The opening sentence of the book reads, 'A book is the match in the smoking second between strike and flame', and here on page 69 we connect to this idea again. The idea of potential, contained in matches, in books, in people, in situations, is something that preoccupies this book. What makes life grow in one direction and not another? What makes what is latent spring to life, expand, burn?
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My Book, The Movie: The Lost for Words Bookshop.

--Marshal Zeringue