Sunday, January 11, 2009

At A Loss For Words by Diane Schoemperlen


In a “he said, she said” story, the writer always gets the last word.

She is a writer, established and successful, with a full life and supportive friends. Then he walks into a book signing and back into her life 30 years after he broke her heart. This time, things seem different. The pair reconnects through emails, messages and fragments of conversation. But love leaves her with a nasty case of writer’s block. Looking for inspiration in the texts around her—optimistic horoscopes, evasive fortune cookies and the inane suggestions from books on writer’s block—she tries to find a way through the relationship that has seemingly stolen her gift for language.

Spinning us through the whirlwind love of her nameless protagonist, award-winning author Diane Schoemperlen weaves a stylish, innovative novel out of to-do lists and text messages. Exploring the different emotional languages spoken by men and women, At A Loss For Words is a charming take on the modern romance, warm and witty right through to its surprising and delicious resolution.

At A Loss For Words is a very original story in form and in style. The un-named main character shares with us her reconnection with a former love from 30 years ago, through her thoughts and letters to him, and her trouble with writer's block.

This is a quiet and sweet love story. I really liked how the characters expressed themselves through email, the discussions they had, and the stories they shared. The style of writing used is so beautiful, it's not something I have encountered previously. I really liked seeing the main character's daily life, visiting with friends, seeing a sign in a playing card or a horoscope, and the lists she found in books to help with writer's block. And, after awhile trying not to think about him, when he didn't respond back to her emails or wondering what his ... meant.

After awhile I felt the main character got a bit whiny and a bit obsessive which made it a little harder to read. And then, something happened which gave me a whole new perspective on the story. I thought I had the story all figured out and then this revelation took me by surprise! It was so great and I did not see it coming!

This is a sweet love story with a beautiful writing, an original concept and a great twist!

At A Loss For Words was released by Harper Collins Canada in paperback January 9th!

To buy a copy visit and click here to Browse Inside of the Hardcover version!

3.5/5 Stars
ARC received from publisher

What's a story that you enjoy that involves writing back and forth between characters?


  1. Ooh sounds interesting! One that comes to mind is Joel and Cat Set The Story Straight... it's a young adult book about two high school students who kind of hate each other and are forced to write a story together hehe

  2. Sounds wonderful! Great review!

  3. I love the cover! I may have to get the book just for its cover.

    You should read Meg Cabot's Boy series. They're told through emails. My favorite is the first. The other two are good as well. ;)

  4. Sounds terrific! I love books that are written in original ways. 84 Charing Cross Road and the YA novel Year Of Secret Assignments were both written using messages/letters and I enjoyed both.

  5. This book sounds amazing. I'm putting it on my TBR list now!

  6. Great review! I posted a link to it on the ARC Challenge site.

  7. Lisa May- That sounds like a great book! I wish it was out here in the US. I wonder how much it would cost me to buy a copy!

    Amee- I love the cover toooo! I'm sad mine didn't have it! I have two from Meg Cabot's series, I totally forget them are written in emails, consider me even more excited!

    Joanne- I have my eye on 84 Charing Cross Road and actually just tried to mooch a copy of Year of Secret Assignments yesterday!

    Thanks everyone! You had some GREAT suggestions!

  8. The only one that comes to mind is Love, Rosie by Cecelia Ahern. I really did enjoy it alot.

  9. Ladytink_534- I love that book!!!!!!!


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