This is a stunning debut. I absolutely loved it, finishing it within a single day. Butler has created two beautiful central characters playing their lives against a very real London.
Alice, has a wanderlust, travelling the world in an attempt to find a place she belongs but she is suddenly summoned home by her two sisters when their father becomes ill. Daniel is homeless, and like Alice is a wanderer although the scope of his travels is limited to the streets of London. Through the course of this novel we learn how the two of them are connected and how they can help each other.
I was completely addicted to this book. The writing, both the straightforward prose chapters, and the many ‘ten things’ lists are easy to read and allow the reader great insight into the characters’ psyches. The London depicted is also incredibly vivid, and just like the treasures that Daniel finds to speak for him when he cannot, Butler has scoured her imagination to present us with a treasure trove of wonder. This is an absolutely brilliant book, deserving of many readers and first novel prizes.