The Dictionary of Lost Words – Book Review

There is a reason why I love Disney cartoon movies. Plot is always good vs evil. Good wins eventually. Everyone lives happily ever after. I always want the good guys to win because I believe I am a good guy and I win in the end.

The Dictionary of Lost Words is not a Disney Movie. It’s an anime. It has a complicated plot with complicated characters and set in a very complicated world. The good guys did not really win in the end. But did they lose?  

It’s amazingly well researched and a brilliant piece of writing. The story although fictional was set against real world events – compiling of words (publication of) for the Oxford  Dictionary, Women Rights’ Movement and World War I. The story starts in England in the late 1800s and ends in Australia late 1900s. 

If you think the book is about Esme compiling a bunch of rude words or basic everyday words then you need to read the book again.

Is it feminist writing wrapped in sheep’s wool? Maybe!? It does highlight that recorded words to represent civilised, academic or the learned world are words of white men. Frankly, that ‘sux’.

I identified with the different characters. I felt I was a bit of Lizzie  … “feeling like a dandelion just before the wind blows.” These words shook me. I took this as life is fleeting.  

I felt I was Esme, a rebel. I am going to shake up the norm and the establishment with my sweet smile and listening ears of course. Which my female HR manager viewed as weak (when I was employed). I do understand my HR manager  but I can’t change who I am. I love to smile!

I digress. (As I do.) The fictional characters in the book – I felt like I knew a Tilda and a Mabel. I felt too that they were my friends. The embodiment of Gareth exist only in the figment of all women’s imagination. 😂 He is too good.

The Dictionary of Lost Words is an emotional and powerful book. Is it good to mention that I cried when I read it? Thank you Pip Williams for this thought provoking and moving novel. You are a master of words!

The Dictionary of Lost Words
Author: Pip Williams
ISBN: 9781922400277
ISBN-10: 1922400270
Audience: General
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 384
Published: 24th November 2020
Publisher: Affirm
Dimensions (cm): 19.7 x 12.9  x 3.2
Weight (kg): 0.38
Edition Number: 1

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