Friday, August 9, 2013

Ten Things I've Learnt About Love by Sarah Butler

What a lovely (in every sense of the word) novel. Parallel stories of Alice, youngest daughter, odd (wo)man out, wanderer, and Daniel, living rough, but who loved once, deeply and dearly. Each are lost souls, following the trajectory that fate presents, looking for signs and direction which way to go next. It is a song of love to London, as well, secret spots, and out of the way joys.

Alice has come home because her father is dying. Daniel is living on the streets because when his heart broke, so did his world. Yet this is a story of great hope. It may be tiny and fragile, as an origami flower made from the silver wrapper from a stick of gum, or as big as Hamstead Heath, but it is hope.

The title of the book is presented as a list. As a hardcore list-keeper, that drew my eye to the book on the shelf. The alternating viewpoints of the two main characters are separated by lists kept by the next one to speak. The rawness and authenticity of these lists gave such insight into the characters, a wonderful vehicle for showing the reader inside Alice or Daniel's minds rather than telling us.

I will look for more by this author.

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