The atmosphere of this book is one I hope to go back to often.
The Words We Lost was so full of flavor. The world building, the character conflict, somehow it felt rich and real. Ingrid’s work situation with SaBrina felt hostile and believable. And her grief. I know grief, maybe not the same way that Ingrid and Mrs. Deese have experienced grief, but it is fully crippling. Reading the characters try to function when the world moved forward, it’s very relatable and almost felt like a fresh journey to healing going through it with these characters.
Ingrid. Well, she was something special for sure. The author wrote her with such a depth of voice. Her struggles with her grief, and the way that she managed in a half crippled state to continue with her work, it was so real. I felt it so deeply. So much so that my mind felt safe immersing itself into the story. I felt like the author really understood what it felt like to experience that depth of pain and it made me very comfortable with Ingrid.
Joel was a little bit of soft and a little bit of strong and a little bit of perfect. I think my favorite moment was when he revealed that he too had gone through grief and weakness. Even though we don’t get to experience it with him, it really shows that we have no way of seeing how someone is grieving sometimes. And it shows that when we are in our grief, the outside world blurs into a fog and it’s hard to keep track of what going on in the lives of people around us.
Joel as a character was very gentle, and I appreciated that about him. He was steady, kind, and respectable.
Cece. Oh dear Cece. This character was the absolute centerpiece of the entire story. Just through the memories we get to see from the people who loved her. She was so colorful. I love color, and Cece was nothing if not colorful. Her writing voice, her creativity and stories, and the way she loved was just a suncatcher that scattered light and color across the entire book. As much as the grief was real and raw, Cece as a character remained very much alive through the way she was remembered and portrayed in the book. Such talent. I love this author’s work.
If I didn’t mention Chip, I would deserve a smack upside the head. Chip is golden. Thank you for existing, Chip.
So beautifully woven. The intricate parallels of the way the past was shared with the reader as we got to walk through the story with Ingrid and Joel was so interesting and so smooth. The transitions were one of my absolute favorites to date. I usually find these chapter switches to be so difficult to stay engaged with the story and plot but the talent in this made it effortless.
Even though I struggled with Ms. Deese’s previous book, I really, really enjoyed the pacing of this story. It didn’t feel rushed. The proper movement of the plot felt really natural. The relationship between Joel and Ingrid felt really respectful to the natural process of two people, especially that had gone through as much trauma as they had together. And I didn’t feel like any one part was unnecessary or boring or slow.
There was no real content to be warned of. Some alcohol use and talk about an alcoholic. Some talk of an online bullying/stalking. Lots of discussion of grief and loss, processing, healing, and forgiveness.
I love Ms. Deese’s work. I’m such a fan. I’m so happy I got my hands on a copy of this masterpiece. The poor book has been through so much. The cover is worn and the edges are a bit frayed and there are definitely stains in the pages. This is because I carried it with me for a good amount of time. I read it on my lunch breaks and had a hard time tearing myself away. It just felt so comfortable. The west coast feeling and the salty air and the lighthouses and the elegant hotel. It just felt like home. Definitely going to be one of my top reads for the year.
Thank you to the author and to Bethany House for a free copy of this book. A positive review was not required, and all opinions here are my own. A vey good read!
Till next time, remember: