Book Reviews

‘The best moments in reading are when you come across something - a thought, a feeling, a way of looking at things - which you had thought special and particular to you. And now, here it is, set down by someone else, a person you have never met, someone even who is long dead. And it is as if a hand has come out, and taken yours.’ Alan Bennett

“Many a book is like a key to unknown chambers within the castle of one’s own self.” ― Franz Kafka

Friday, 13 September 2013

Book Beginnings (12) - Ten Things I've Learnt About Love by Sarah Butler

Gilion at Rose City Reader hosts Book Beginnings on Fridays

The idea is 'to share the first sentence (or so) of the book you are reading, along with your initial thoughts about the sentence, impressions of the book, or anything else the opener inspires.' Hash tag #BookBeginnings for twitter and a master linky list on the host's blog. 

My Book Beginning

Ten Things I've Learnt About Love by Sarah Butler

Published by Picador

'Ten things I will say to my father

1) I met a man in Singapore who smelt like you - cigarette smoke and suede.

2) I remember that holiday in Greece - endless ruins, and you having to explain the difference between Doric, Ionic and Corinthian columns again and again.

3) I wish you'd talked about Mama. I wish you'd kept something of hers.


I've been really looking forward to reading this debut novel and I'm happy I've finally started it. I love this opening. The list carries on until all 'ten things' have been mentioned. I wonder how long it is since the narrator has seen their father, and what happened with regard to their mother. Smells can strongly evoke a memory of a person and evidently the narrator remembers clearly the aromas that she associates with her father. A flick through the pages reveals that there are further, different lists of 'ten things' to be discovered throughout the story; a clever idea. Looking forward to reading on!

Here's the synopsis:

Alice has just returned to London from months of travelling abroad. She is late to hear the news that her father is dying, and arrives at the family home only just in time to say goodbye. Daniel hasn't had a roof over his head for years, but to him the city of London feels like home in a way that no bricks and mortar every did. He spends every day searching for his daughter; the daughter he has never met. Until now...Heart-wrenching and life-affirming, this is a unique story of love lost and found, of rootlessness and homecoming and the power of the ties that bind. It is a story for fathers and daughters everywhere.


  1. Sounds like an original read and I love the cover.

  2. Haven't heard of this one and it sounds really good. Will be putting this one on my TBR list. Here's my Friday post:

    1. Thanks for commenting Catherine and sharing your post too.

  3. Love the sound of this one! Thanks for sharing...and for visiting my blog.

  4. This sounds like a really unique and intriguing read, one I'll definitely have to put on my list! Thanks for sharing and for stopping by my blog earlier!

    New Follower via Bloglovin'!

    Wendy @ Escape Into Fiction

    1. Thank you for commenting and for following Wendy!

  5. Interesting first lines, Lindsay! The story looks quite beautiful. Hope you enjoy reading it. Will look forward to hearing your thoughts on it.

    My 'Book Beginning on Friday' :)

    "He opens his eyes and knows instantly that something is terribly wrong. He senses it through his skin, his nerves, his synapses, even though, spread-eagled on his back, all he can see is the frosted light-fitting on his bedroom ceiling." - from 'Hurt' by Tabitha Suzuma

    1. Thanks for commenting Vishy, and for sharing your book beginning. Tabitha Suzuma is an author who I have yet to read but I have bought a couple of her books and they are sitting on my to be read pile. I've seen great reviews of her novels. Hope you enjoy this one.

  6. Sounds different...I like it.

    THANKS for sharing.

    Silver's Reviews
    My Book Beginnings

  7. I do really like the sound of this story... I like the idea of the list as a hook and hope it is done well in this title. Sometimes the use of lists in fiction can become tiring after a while - that was my experience in Mimi by Lucy Ellmann.

    1. I've heard of that one but not tried it. Sounds like it might not have worked as well in that one. Thanks for commenting Joanne!


Thank you so much for taking the time to visit and leave a comment. It's great reading your comments and I really appreciate them :)