Saturday, January 25, 2014

Review: Ten Things I've Learnt about Love by Sarah Butler

I'm a list maker, so I was drawn to this one.  Sarah Butler has woven together two stories that are seeminly unrelated. Alice is a vagabond young woman called home because her father is dying.  Daniel is a homeless gentleman who makes beautiful art objects from various trash and discarded objects he discovers on the street.

The chapters alternate between their two stories, and each begins with a list that gives the reader a glimpse into the psyche of each of them.  The stories tell of loss and hope, of love and emptiness, and the parallels of the two draw closer as the book proceeds.  It is a beautiful, thought-provoking, and poignant story and I don't want to say too much to spoil its special ending.  The reader sees the corresponding story lines, sees the characters as their lives continue side by side but not connected, and wants an ending so badly that the book cannot be put down.

The ending is beautiful, tearful and very special.  I'm so glad I read it, and wish I could say more, but it would be absolutely sinful to spoil it for you.  Go get a copy.

Title: Ten Things I Learnt about Love
Author: Sarah Butler
Publisher: Penguin Press (2013), Hardcover, 320 pages
Genre: Literary fiction
Subject: Loneliness, hope
Setting: London
Source: Review copy from the publisher
Why did I read this book now? Long list for Maine Readers' Choice Award


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