The Dictionary of Lost Words by Pip Williams – Our Review
Shortlisted for the Indie Book Awards 2021
The Dictionary Of Lost Words gives a voice to women. So often the voices of women are missing from the history pages and this brilliant novel brings them to the life.
In 1901, a team of lexicographers are compiling words to make up the very first Oxford English Dictionary.
Esme has grown up beneath the sorting table watching and wondering as her father works among his team.
One day, a slip of paper with a discarded word floats into her consciousness. Esme treasures this word, ‘bondmaid’ and keeps it hidden in a secret trunk belonging to her wonderful friend and young servant of the house, Lizzie.
Over time, Esme gathers a collection of words that the men fail to place in the dictionary. Realising that many of the words relating to women or the female experience are avoided, deemed unimportant or overlooked, Esme begins to give voice and create her own dictionary.
This magnificent narrative is beautifully written, celebrating how we make sense of the world through language and a powerful retelling of lives hidden between the pages.
A mesmerising, powerful and thought provoking novel.
Review by Lydia @ Great Escape Books