I’m a nerd. I love books. I especially love books about books, libraries, and words. I also gravitate towards feminist literature. Lucky for me, The Dictionary of Lost Words is a wonderful combination of both.
Our protagonist Esme loves words as well, probably because she spends her childhood under the table in the scriptorium where her father works compiling words and definitions for the Oxford English Dictionary. While there, little treasures in the form of words accidentally fall from the table, and she reverently gathers them up and keeps them safe. However, as she gets older, Esme notices that other words are carelessly left and that these words tend to be more relevant to the world of women. So Esme takes it upon herself to collect as many words as she can so that she can build a dictionary that will acknowledge and preserve these words.
I love Esme. She is curious and brave and so, so smart. I love the relationship he has with her father; for a man who works with words, he can find no word appropriate enough to express the love he has for Esme.
I fell into this story immediately. William’s vividly transported me back in history, where I viewed a world from the shoulder of a fictional character whose story was inspired by true events. What a wonderful place to experience history!