Jump to ratings and reviews
Rate this book

Ten Things I've Learnt About Love

Rate this book
Alice has just returned to London from months of travelling abroad. She is late to hear the news that her father is dying, and arrives at the family home only just in time to say goodbye.Daniel hasn’t had a roof over his head for years, but to him the city of London feels like home in a way that no bricks and mortar ever did. He spends every day searching for his daughter; the daughter he has never met. Until now . . .

272 pages, Hardcover

First published January 1, 2013

Loading interface...
Loading interface...

About the author

Sarah Butler

1 book20 followers
Sarah Butler is in her early thirties and lives in Manchester. She runs a consultancy which develops literature and arts projects that explore and question our relationship to place. She has been writer in residence on the Central Line, the Greenwich Peninsula, and at Great Ormond Street Hospital, and has taught creative writing for the British Council in Kuala Lumpur. Ten Things I've Learnt About Love is her first novel, and will be published in twelve languages around the world.

Ratings & Reviews

What do you think?
Rate this book

Friends & Following

Create a free account to discover what your friends think of this book!

Community Reviews

5 stars
235 (12%)
4 stars
576 (29%)
3 stars
716 (37%)
2 stars
294 (15%)
1 star
101 (5%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 347 reviews
Profile Image for Maja (The Nocturnal Library).
1,013 reviews1,881 followers
January 25, 2013
Ten Things I’ve Learnt About Love is so far out of my comfort zone that I had to take a train back, but it was definitely worth the trip. It is a soft, nostalgic story about a woman who is a bit lost but more importantly, who doesn’t want to be found. As the youngest of three daughters, Alice has a hard time finding her place in her own family. She also has a hard time staying in one place; she is a wanderer, restless by nature. It doesn’t take long for her to start feeling trapped so she travels the world to avoid it.

It is a lonely life Alice leads. Unable to create real emotional attachments, or rather prone to denying those she has created, she is a lone island surrounded by people she should be closest to. After spending six months in Mongolia, running from a dysfunctional family, a relationship that made her feel aimless and trapped, she receives the news that her father is dying and returns home.

Daniel is Alice’s real father. He is homeless, a different type of wanderer, but a wanderer nevertheless. He is, in part, homeless by choice; the life without attachments suits him. He refuses to leave the city, though, because that’s where he thinks Alice is, although he knows very little about her. For her part, Alice doesn’t even know that the doctor dying in their family home isn’t her real father. He was her mother’s husband, father of her two sisters, and he raised her as his own, even after her mother died.

I don’t even know what you look like. I don’t even know where you are. I tried to find you, you must believe that. I went to her house and rang the bell, but no one answered, and when I looked through the window, I saw the marks on the carpet, where the furniture used to be.

It wasn’t always easy being inside the head of someone so detached. In lack of her emotional responses, I’d try to assume what she would feel in any given situation and quickly become frustrated when Alice remained unchanged by this new experience. At least on the surface. There were some complicated feelings underneath, but she never reacted as one would expect.

It takes a lot for me to pick up a realistic novel, and even more if it’s literary fiction, but I rarely regret it in the end. That is the case with Ten Things I’ve Learnt about Love. I loved the change, the maturity of it, I loved that it didn’t have a messy beginning and a clean ending. I loved the asymmetry of it, the nostalgia that poured out of every page. I loved that it was a quiet read, never melodramatic, complicated and yet so very simple at the same time. It made me want to step out of my comfort zone more often because I always come back a different, if not better person, and really, what more can one ask?

Profile Image for Mme Forte.
860 reviews6 followers
December 12, 2021

Flat-out awesome. Best book I've read in months, and I've read quite a few books this year.
Parallel stories of a young British woman who's just lost her father to cancer and a homeless man who is searching for the daughter he knows exists but has never met. Both narrators are intriguing, but the homeless man's story is heartbreaking...not in a burst-into-tears kind of way, but in an I-can't-believe-how-beautiful-this-is kind of way.
Profile Image for Ashley Dartnell.
Author 1 book22 followers
March 14, 2013
Ten Things I Love about this book:
1) It's a love song to London--the best city in the world--and it is clear that Sarah has worn out a few pairs of shoes tromping all over it.
2) Hampstead, my neighborhood, plays a major part and my church and reverend feature. I know exactly where Alice and Daniel meet on the heath.
3) The lists remind me of Nick Hornby's High Fidelity--another great book.
4) It's hard to write a modern story with a love component--yet Sarah has done it brilliantly.
5) The writing is clear and spare, with some lovely descriptions.
6)The characterisations of the two protagonists are precise and moving.
7)Neither of the protagonists are 'nice' (actually none of the characters are--completely) but they are interesting.
8)Nature and weather and the river play a big role in the proceedings.
9)I have met Sara Butler the author and she is a truly lovely person.
10) It's a really good book.
Profile Image for Tazeen.
54 reviews59 followers
January 15, 2022
To say that I loved ‘Ten things I’ve Learnt About Love’ by Sarah Butler would be an understatement. Yes, I loved it but I also felt that I have lived that book, that life, those choices and those regrets.
I checked out the book because I liked the cover. It is styled as a list and even though I am not a person who makes lists, but I am drawn to them so I picked up the book. The two protagonists – Daniel and Alice – are both lost and looking for something. Alice has returned to London just in time to say good bye to her dying father and Daniel is a man looking for a daughter he’s never met. Every chapter is alternately narrated by Alice and Daniel and starts with a list of ten things which tells us a lot about the characters. It is also my favourite part of the book. I think it helps if we make lists – even if we just want to share them with a shrink.

Reading it was not only emotional but also personal. Let me admit that there are way too many similarities between me and one of the protagonists of the book Alice, for me to feel even remotely neutral about the book. We both lost our mothers when we were very young and then lost our dads at about the same age. We both were youngest daughters and have this weird love hate relationship with our elder sisters. Just like Alice, I too had to sort my dad’s house after his death and then had to put it up on sale. Doing that in a grievous state is perhaps the single most difficult thing that I ever had to do so while I was reading it, I was reliving that time of my life.

I too lost the only home I knew with Dad’s death. It made me reassess my relationship with everything – my work, the rest of the family, my city because when you lose that one anchor that has kept you connected with the rest of the things in your life, you are lost and would be floundering and grappling with the very idea of a home and a sense of belonging. This book is all about that.

It is beautifully written poignant tale where you need to take time between chapters to think and contemplate and ask questions. The characters are not nice nor are they black and white – they are real – like most of us with a bit of good, a bit of bad and a sprinkling of oddities that makes us human and fallible. It’s a sad book yet it still is infused with hope. It is about affection and human connection, about identity that we attach to persons and home and about the hunt for something to hold on to.

It’s a love story but not a typical one. It’s a love story where you both wonder and search for something at the same time. It is also an ode to the city of London which is perhaps the most engaging character of the book.

I am giving this book a solid five star recommendation; readers who want everything spelled out would perhaps give it a two. Other readers may not feel the same connection with the book that I did because Alice and Daniel are not the most likeable characters out there, and you may not feel the same way about London as I do, but I would still like you to give it a try. It’s a great read for self reflection.

737 reviews13 followers
September 7, 2013
10 reasons to read the book.

1. The lists at the beginning alternate between being hilarious and heartwarming.
2. It's an interesting look at what having synesthesia (seeing colors in letters and words) is like.
3. Excellent job creating place atmosphere, such as a homeless shelter.
4. Alice's two sisters, "Terms and Conditions," are a hoot.
5. There's a hilarious scene between Alice and a real estate agent concerning her father's estate.
6. Alice's dad, while technically not present for much of the time, is still a vivid character.
7. London, the book's setting, comes vividly to life.
8. The ending is left ambiguous but hopeful.
9. It nails the embarrassing reactions we often have to loss and other uncomfortable situations.
10. You will never look at sidewalk trash in quite the same way again.
Profile Image for Sternenstaubsucherin.
410 reviews2 followers
November 7, 2019
Eine nette Idee und anfangs auch interessant und spannend.
Ab der Mitte circa würde es dann langweilig und langatmig.
Und das Ende...naja...
Gute 3 Sterne, da die Verlorenheit von Alice gut dargestellt wird und ich mich gut in sie einfühlen könnte.
Profile Image for Kerstin.
211 reviews223 followers
December 11, 2015
This was absolutely beautiful! Such a touching, moving and heart-breaking story full of hope.
What I loved is that it almost feel like a love letter to London, rather than a story simply set in the city!
Profile Image for Laurel-Rain.
Author 6 books228 followers
January 9, 2014
What if the whole of your life you were searching, struggling to find your place in the world?

As the youngest of three daughters, Alice is approaching her thirtieth birthday, but has yet to find her unique connections to the world and to others. She doesn't mesh with her older sisters, who seem to look upon her as the black sheep. She can feel their criticism whenever they look at her, and they question her choices. Her relationship with Kal has also failed, yet a part of her wants to reconnect with him.

Meanwhile, she has come home to London, to the house near Hampstead Heath, because their father is dying. By the time she gets there, from Mongolia, he is very near the end. She doesn't feel like she belongs here, and she restlessly longs to be away again. When she sits with her father, she feels as though she needs to ask him something. But does not.

Daniel is a man without a conventional home who has memories of a time and a love, and is now on a quest to find someone. Does he hope to find a place in the world too? Despite his apparent rootlessness, he sees the beauty in the world around him, and remembers love in all its wonder.

"Ten Things I've Learnt About Love" is narrated alternately in the first person voices of Alice and Daniel, and as we watch them seemingly coming to a place of connecting, we also see Alice coping with clearing out her father's house after his death, taking on most of the responsibility because she has been gone so much.

Why is someone leaving little gifts for her on the wall by the front door? Is the man named Daniel someone she has known? Is he trying to tell her something?

We are left with more questions than answers, although, at the end, there is a sense that Alice has come to some kind of decision about her life, and Daniel seems to have decided something as well. This is a story about love, loss, and finding connections, but it is also a story that reveals our connections to the places where we live and to the past we have left behind. A lovely and poignant tale that made me feel both sad and hopeful. I had wished for more closure for the characters, and then I realized that we can almost write our own ending. 4.5 stars.
Profile Image for Pupottina.
584 reviews57 followers
October 1, 2013
“Anche quando hai perso la strada c’è una stella che ti riporta a casa.”

Un libro sulle tante cose che, nei rapporti familiari, vengono omesse, su tutto ciò che una famiglia tace o non riesce a dire. Un romanzo sulla comunicazione all’interno di un piccolo nucleo, come la famiglia, e sull’amore. Un libro intenso, dove a comunicare sono i gesti, le abitudini, più che le parole realmente pronunciate. Un libro troppo breve, ma ricco di emozioni, toccante e commovente, che trasmette il senso delle infinite sfaccettature di cui si compone l’animo umano.
L’amore in un giorno di pioggia non è il primo libro di Sarah Butler, ma il primo che le viene pubblicato. Dietro la tecnica di scrittura personalissima dell’autrice, ci sono molto studio e ricerca. I personaggi, psicologicamente, non sono semplici e lineari. Ed anche la descrizione dei luoghi è precisa dal punto di vista architettonico ed edilizio.
L’amore in un giorno di pioggia ha tre protagonisti: Alice, suo padre Daniel e la città di Londra, moderna e cosmopolita, ma che subisce il fascino di un glorioso passato.
Daniel è un uomo che ha perso la possibilità di essere padre e di crescere sua figlia, ma non ha mai smesso di cercarla. Di lei conosce solo il nome: non l’ha mai vista. Sa che l’ha concepita, in un giorno di pioggia, insieme alla donna che ha amato di più al mondo e che ha perso quasi trent’anni prima. Per Alice, quando arriva il giorno del suo compleanno, Daniel scrive delle lettere piene d’amore e di tutte le cose che vorrebbe poterle raccontare e, non conoscendo il suo indirizzo, le affida al destino, depositandole in luoghi improbabili di Londra, dove spera che lei, per caso, le trovi.
Alice è una ragazza indipendente che nasconde, però, tanta fragilità, poiché non riesce a sentirsi a casa vivendo con la famiglia in cui è cresciuta e, inoltre, ha il tormento di un vecchio amore che non riesce a dimenticare. Per Alice fuggire, dai luoghi e dalle persone, è una costante. Tutti, coloro che la circondano, sono abituati, da sempre, ai suoi viaggi nei luoghi più sperduti del mondo, dove lei va a cercare quella parte di se stessa, che non riesce a trovare, e per vedersi in una prospettiva nuova.
Lo stile narratologico e la scelta lessicale non sono propriamente semplici, perché la Butler ha deciso di farci conoscere i personaggi e di farceli confrontare ed analizzare, alternando non soltanto i capitoli riferiti a Daniel e ad Alice, ma anche corredandoli di liste costituite da dieci cose. Di volta in volta, si trovano liste su ciò che amano, ciò che odiano, ciò che li colpisce, ecc. Queste liste o decaloghi sono elementi mutevoli, che impreziosiscono e schematizzano le sfaccettature dei personaggi principali. Il lettore impara a conoscerli anche grazie a queste sintetiche pagine, nelle quali colori, sapori, oggetti, ricordi e sensazioni prendono vita. I dettagli iniziano a contare più delle parole non dette. Gli oggetti, semplici e quotidiani, iniziano a costruire quel qualcosa chiamato “casa” che entrambi i personaggi cercano, in base al loro legame d’amore. È come se entrambi percepissero quel senso di mancanza e quel sentimento naturale, genetico, che li accomuna e li unisce. Come forze misteriose, aiutate dal destino, i due personaggi trovano la strada che li porta l’uno verso l’altra.

“So che quando ci incontreremo non conterà quanto mi ci sia voluto per trovarti. Quando ci incontreremo, avremo tutto il tempo di dirci quello che dobbiamo dirci.”

Profile Image for Alice.
53 reviews
May 30, 2014
After hearing my sister’s review of this book I was slightly apprehensive about picking it up, so I did put it off for a while. What a mistake! Basically I kept picking this book out of my TBR jar but deciding not to read it but in the end I thought enough was enough so I made myself pick it up and start reading and I am so glad I did!!

This book is definitely one of my favourite reads so far in 2014, it is going to be receiving a four star rating but it is so close to a five star it is unreal, I would highly recommend this book to everyone.

The plot in this story is so rich and because of this it does feel like a slow read but this is in no way a bad thing I found that with this book I didn’t want to rush through it, I did want to savour the book and read it slowly. However, at the same time I couldn’t stop reading it (if that makes sense), I just found myself constantly coming back to the book during the day and reading a couple of chapters at a time because the plot was just so good and I wanted to immerse myself in the story of Daniel and Alice.

I think the way the story is told in this book is very interesting and original. It is dual perspective which I find can sometimes lessen a book, but in this story it didn’t because the two characters have two distinct styles of narration. My favourite sections were Daniel’s (but I still loved Alice’s), this is because his perspective of life is so unique and fresh which enriched his stories so much. His idea of relating colours to letters made his style so distinctive, and even though they were only small my favourite parts of the book were definitely the parts where Daniel is ‘scavenging’ for objects. His way of describing everyday objects with beauty, and almost reverence, really makes you reflect on your view towards the world.

Separating the chapters in this book are lists and on each list there are ten items. It is things like this in books that make me appreciate the story so much more and I do appreciate the effort the author has made to create the lists, and the way the lists are written helps to develop the characters so much and they really gave me an insight into what the character was thinking at the time and it gave the characters so much complexity.

That brings me on to the characters, the characters were so interesting and even though there is predominately just two characters, and for the majority of the novel these characters are separate entities which means really it is just a singular person telling the story at once with no involvement from external characters (apart from small sections), the characters and relationships are so interesting and intricate. I mean this as it isn’t just one story or even two stories, the book is made up of individual threads woven together to create this truly fantastic novel, and there are a lot of threads but all receive the attention and development required so none of the elements feel rushed.

The ending of this book was perfect, it was left slightly open and definitely open to interpretation but I loved it, it just perfectly sums up the whole novel and I think it does both characters justice.

So I’ve decided the book deserves 5 stars, while writing this review I have realised just how much I love this book and for that reason even though I said at the start it deserves 4.5, honestly it is a 5 star book for me because everything about it is (in my opinion) perfect: the characters, plot, the complexity of the whole thing, the style of storytelling and the unique perspective it brought to the novel. A new favourite book!
Profile Image for Huong Pham.
126 reviews36 followers
October 4, 2017
Tôi có cảm giác những nhân vật trong sách bế tắc trong cuộc sống, vì một điều gì đó mà cứ luẩn quẩn mãi trong một vòng tròn. Họ đi khỏi điểm ban đầu nhưng rồi sau đó họ lại tìm thấy chính mình đang đứng ở nơi họ đã muốn rời đi. Có lẽ vì việc cất giữ bí mật đó, thật sự có những thứ cứ để như nó vốn vậy là tốt nhất?

Có nhiều cuốn sách mà trong lúc đọc tôi luôn muốn viết rất nhiều thứ, nhưng cảm giác lại không duy trì khi tôi gập trang cuối cuốn sách lại.

Một buổi trưa về nhà sau giờ làm việc và đọc một vài trang sách, lúc trên đường tới công ty một ý nghĩ luẩn quẩn trong đầu tôi - có phải chỉ có những người quyết định tự tử là những người tự định đoạt cái chết cho chính mình?

Tôi hay nhìn vào những ngôi sao để dành cho đánh giá sách và nghĩ đôi khi chúng thật vô nghĩa. Có lẽ vì có cố định cho một điều mà tôi thì thường bất định về nó.
Profile Image for Larry H.
2,481 reviews29.4k followers
July 26, 2013
Alice has always felt like the black sheep of her family. Her mother died when she was four years old, and she has always felt that her father and older sisters somehow blamed her for that. In fact, she has always felt as if everyone blamed her for being born in the first place, because apparently so much changed in their lives afterward. Maybe that's why she has always been on the move, running away from home when she was a child, and traveling the world as an adult, never really settling down in one place.

She is in Mongolia when she gets the call that her father is dying, and she is able to make it home in order to say goodbye. There is sadness, regret over the things she did or didn't say or do, and a desperate need to understand why her relationship with her father was the way it was. At the same time, she is struggling over the end of her relationship with Kal, a man she thought she might marry, but who was unable to give her what she wanted most.

Daniel is a homeless man, a tramp, who wanders throughout the city of London. While it isn't the life he would have chosen for himself, he's been able to find the beauty in simply standing still and observing his surroundings, the peace of being alone with nature. He collects things he finds on his walks—bits of paper, discarded or lost jewelry, pieces of metal—and can configure them into special treasures. Daniel has synesthesia, which causes him to see letters and words as colors—certain names are pale blue, warm red, or a bright white.

While Daniel hasn't had a job or a steady place to live for many years, he is buoyed by the memories of a woman he once loved more than anything, and his dreams of being a success. But more than anything, he knows he has a daughter he has never seen or met, although he has looked for her nearly every single day of her life, and he desperately wants to find her, although he worries what she'll think if she meets him. As his health starts to fail, he is determined and anxious about finding her. As he said, "You can't miss someone you've never met. But I miss you."

Sarah Butler's wonderful debut novel isn't full of surprises—you know the story early on—but it is full of heart and beauty. It's a story of not feeling like you belong, of longing for connection, and, most of all, the need to love and be loved. Butler is a fantastic writer and this story unfolded so perfectly. Much like typical families, many things remain unsaid, but the silences and the pauses are as telling as the dialogue. I worried how she would tie up the plot and I was glad it didn't fall into any of the traps I feared it would.

I'm definitely a sap, so this book was right up my alley, but it's not sappy. It's really just a terrific book worth reading and taking into your heart.
Profile Image for Chaitra.
3,305 reviews
May 30, 2017
I kept putting this book down after every 4-5 pages. It got tiring. It's an interesting premise. A rootless youngest daughter comes back to her father's death bed. Another rootless and homeless person wanders around London conceiving little offerings to the daughter he hasn't ever met. They don't meet, they don't meet, they don't meet, until they finally do.

I'm not being fair, because it certainly doesn't seem like the work of a first time author. My problems with it are two things that aren't making me feel happy to admit.

a) I didn't care much for the main characters. Alice, Daniel and the mom were all really unlikable. I couldn't sympathize with the mom - who cheated on her husband with nothing more in mind than an escape. Daniel created an idealized picture of Alice's mom, and then let it be an excuse to drift. Alice is marginally better, but I did think she demonized poor Cee, who I did identify with. Cee is a rather more successful (and perhaps a little more anal) version of me, and most days I like who I am. So yeah, go away book.

b) I don't mind unlikable characters, even though it does it make it harder for me to like a book. In this case, I found the whole thing boring. It's such a short book, but reading it was a chore. I also thought that for a character study, the characters were a little underwritten. For example, why was Julianne the way she was? She used to have whims? It's like she never grew out of toddler-hood. Why was Alice the way she was? It made me a little uncomfortable because her behavior is such a parallel to her mom and Daniel, despite her having lived in what seemed like a warm house. I wasn't sold.

On the plus side though, the prose is wonderful. If Sarah Butler came up with another book with a more interesting jacket blurb, I'd be sure to check it out. This one though, wasn't for me.
Profile Image for Amy.
Author 2 books151 followers
August 9, 2013
What a lovely (in every sense of the word) novel. Parallel stories of Alice, youngest daughter, odd (wo)man out, wanderer, and Daniel, living rough, but who loved once, deeply and dearly. Each are lost souls, following the trajectory that fate presents, looking for signs and direction which way to go next. It is a song of love to London, as well, secret spots, and out of the way joys.

Alice has come home because her father is dying. Daniel is living on the streets because when his heart broke, so did his world. Yet this is a story of great hope. It may be tiny and fragile, as an origami flower made from the silver wrapper from a stick of gum, or as big as Hamstead Heath, but it is hope.

The title of the book is presented as a list. As a hardcore list-keeper, that drew my eye to the book on the shelf. The alternating viewpoints of the two main characters are separated by lists kept by the next one to speak. The rawness and authenticity of these lists gave such insight into the characters, a wonderful vehicle for showing the reader inside Alice or Daniel's minds rather than telling us.

I will look for more by this author.
Profile Image for Λίνα Θωμάρεη.
450 reviews32 followers
November 2, 2015
10 πράγματα που έμαθα για αυτό το βιβλίο...

1. Οι πρώτες 20 σελίδες είναι καλές
2. Πρακτικός οδηγός για το Λονδίνο...
3. Το εξώφυλλο επίσης είναι καλό
4. Οι επόμενες σελίδες το κάνουν απλά βαρετό
5. Βαρετό
6. Βαρετό
7. Βαρετό
8. Βαρετό
9. Βαρετό
10.Βαρετό.... και χωρίς ξεκάθαρες απαντήσεις για τα ερωτήματα των πρωταγωνιστών...

Συμπέρασμα ... Άσκοπη όλη η ανάγνωση του....

1 αστέρι και πολύ του είναι!!!!
Profile Image for Aline Ramos.
234 reviews
February 15, 2016
Tinha tudo para ser uma estória emocionante, mas a autora arrastou tanto as coisas, nada acontece, é uma narrativa chata. Simpatizei apenas com Daniel, apesar dos capítulos dele serem os mais enrolados. E o final?! humpf.
123 reviews
April 25, 2021
We are the ones who have the privilege of having things happen to us because of what we do.

I think this quote summarises the central aspects of this novel quite well. The parallels between Alice and Daniels worries, quests, lives, and day-to-day experiences are what really stand out in this book. Having said that, however, would it kill to make either of them even a tad more likable?

Yes, both of them are down on their luck for an array of reasons, but neither of them take any steps towards the betterment of their station. Daniel perhaps at least has a goal, a driving force which moves him day to day but Alice crumbles before our very eyes at the death of a father she was never close to. All she does, day in, day out is whinge, complain and plod about aimlessly, caught up in indecision about deciding.

She wants everything, but doesn't have the resolve to give anything to get what it is she wants. Even at the end, all she does is wait for Daniel to find her.

I think the undercurrent of Tee and Cilly knowing about her parentage - or at least suspecting it could have been used to really ram the novel home. For a book that is all about suffering in different forms and the unique pains we, as humans go through it has quite a sappy, wonderland ending to it which, though open ended was pretty clear in its message.
Profile Image for Literalina.
87 reviews3 followers
May 24, 2020
Es hat irgendetwas in mir ausgelöst. Sehr berührend. Eine wirklich besondere Geschichte.
Profile Image for Lauren.
30 reviews
January 18, 2022
Such a frustrating book. Ended suddenly and I felt like the story was unfinished.
Profile Image for Aris.
103 reviews8 followers
July 8, 2019
Encontré éste libro en una rebaja. Lo compré por que quería pasar un buen rato, dejarme llevar con una historia. Y cumplió totalmente su propósito.
Lo que es interesante del libro son las listas al inicio de cada capitulo, la profundidad de los personajes, y que te deja conocer Londres a través de la narración.
Fue un buen libro para entretenerme con la historia melancólica y con personajes complejos. Pero le di 3 estrellas por el final. Esperaba algo mas...cerrado. Después de la travesía de los personajes, creo que la historia lo merecía.
Profile Image for Ayanea.
269 reviews1 follower
February 25, 2014
*Eine Liebeserklärung an London*

Ein schöner Titel und ein atemberaubendes Cover wissen zu bezaubern. Die Inhaltsangabe macht neugierig, so verspricht sie Lesestunden der etwas anderen Art. Jetzt nach Beendigung der Lektüre kann ich sagen, dass dieses Buch sehr weit von der Komfortzone eines jeden Lesers angesiedelt ist und deswegen einzigartig ist.

Es geht darin um Alice. Sie verliert ihren Vater an den Krebs und muss sich damit rum schlagen, sein Leben aufzuräumen und das Haus zu verkaufen. Gleichzeitig geht es aber auch um den wahren Vater von Alice, der als Obdachloser durch London streicht und dabei doch nur zum Ziel hat seine Tochter Alice zu finden. Die Kapitel werden abwechselnd aus seiner und aus Alice Sicht geschrieben.

Alice ist in meinen Augen ein merkwürdiger Charakter. Ruhe- und rastlos; immer auf den Sprung. Sie liebt und hasst ihre Schwestern gleichermaßen, so fühlt sie doch ganz tief in sich drinnen, dass ihr "Vater" der Chirurg zu ihr ein anderes Verhältnis als zur ihren beiden anderen Schwestern Tilly und Cee hat. Sie kann sich jedoch nicht erklären woran das liegen könnte.
Tilly und Cee mochte ich nicht wirklich, Gott sei Dank bleiben sie auch eher Randfiguren, wobei auch sie so ihre Päckchen zu tragen haben. Dennoch geben sie indirekt Alice die Schuld am Tod ihrer Mutter.

Daniel hingegen ist "anders". Er sieht die Buchstaben und somit die Wörter und Namen in Farben. So ist der Name Alice zum Beispiel eisblau und seiner blaßorange. Diesen Aspekt in der Geschichte fand ich sehr interessant. Auch fand ich es schön, wie Daniel für Alice kleine Gebilde aus weggeworfenen Müll bastelt, um so verschiedene Worte auszudrücken, die er Alice nach und nach bei ihrem Haus ablegt.
Daniel an sich tut mir leid, wobei er sich rückblickend sein Leben doch irgendwie selbst ausgesucht hat.

Ich fand es interessant zu lesen, wie Daniel versucht mit Alice in Kontakt zu treten. Lange Zeit wird jedoch nur davon geredet und nichts passiert. Ich fand die Geschichte hat sehr unter dieser "auf der Stelle treten" Situation gelitten. Die Spannung blieb dabei stellenweise auf der Strecke.

Das Buch an sich ist sehr melodramatisch, einfühlsam und tja eben sehr unbequem. Man sollte sich darüber vor dem Lesen wirklich im Klaren sein. So beinhaltet es doch so ernste Themen wie "Obdachlosigkeit", "Fremd gehen" und auch "Leid". Ich denke für dieses Buch sollte man durchaus in der richtigen Stimmung sein und es wird garantiert nicht für jeder Manns Geschmack sein, so viel steht fest.

Man merkt im Verlauf der Geschichte jedoch, dass die Autorin (wie sie dann auch später in der Danksagung bemerkt) eine Liebesgeschichte an London geschrieben hat. Es werden so viele Straßennamen und Gebäude genannt, es tat mir schon fast leid, das ich dazu nie ein Bild oder einen Stadtplan im Kopf hatte. Für London begeisterte ist dieser Roman wohl ein "Wiedererkennen".

Alles in allem ist "Alice, wie Daniel sie sah" ein Buch der etwas anderen Art. Schwer bekömmlich und zum Ende hin doch so luftig leicht voller Hoffnung.
Einfach austesten!
Profile Image for Bella McCallister.
126 reviews13 followers
December 27, 2016
Sarah Butler's story captures the difficulties in defining family. The connection between the two main characters was clear from the beginning...but Sarah Butler made both Alice and Daniel very believable and sympathetic characters. I was pleased that the ending was as ambiguous as the word "family".
Profile Image for Elizabeth .
395 reviews14 followers
August 28, 2013
It is unfortunate that this book was given a chick-lit style cover. This is not a story of a slightly lost young woman who finds her path to love and life. And even though I had read another review of this book which said the same thing, I still wasn't expecting the novel that I got.

Instead, this is a poignant, sparsely written story of a slightly lost young woman, Alice. She has just rushed to London from months of travelling abroad because her father is dying, and arrives at the family home only just in time to say goodbye. She alternates narrating chapters with Daniel, an older man who hasn't had a roof over his head for years and walks the streets of London every day searching for his daughter; the daughter he has never met.

After the first 40 pages I put the book down. It was much sadder than I expected, and I wasn't in the mood for a sad book. But I kept thinking about it, so I picked it up again and adjusted my frame of mind. It is heart-achingly beautiful. The reader can see that sentences left unfinished, the family agreement to leave certain things left unsaid, leads directly to Alice's sense of disconnection and her difficulty in finding her way. Instinctively she understands that her birth caused her family dynamic to shift in a way far beyond the usually adaptations when another child joins. But she can't find exactly how which leaves her feeling like a perpetual outsider.

Daniel, too, is searching, and he has reached the point where he can not hold down a job, and lives rough, so that he may keep looking for the daughter he has never found.

At times, I certainly wish the author would give more. More action, more description, and yet, when I realized how much the story and characters had touched me because of the sparse story-telling.

Profile Image for Jill.
1,155 reviews1,612 followers
August 13, 2013
Think of “Ten Things” as an ode to unfinished business. It focuses on two characters, Alice – the youngest daughter in a family of three girls, who has left behind unresolved relationships, both with her soon-to-die father and her boyfriend Kal. Daniel, a street hobo who experiences vibrant colors as letters and is mourning a loss, is on his own unfinished mission. Slowly, they move closer towards each other and to some sense of stability and connection.

It’s a strange, fugue-like book that seems to lurch between sugary manipulation and poignant emotion. Alice’s sister – and then Alice herself -- eventually says, “Things were better off left unsaid.” And things are unsaid. There are a lot of plot twists and motives that are simply left for the reader to imagine. At many crucial junctures, I found myself asking, “Why?” but the answer is never readily forthcoming. Anchored between each chapter is a deceptively simple list of 10 things (from the prosaic “Ten ways other people might describe me” to the more tantalizing “Ten things I found that spell your name.”)

At the end of the day, I found that the overriding message – a message that combines the search for love and identity, the sacrifices we make even when we have very little to offer, the meaning of home and connection – were deeply affecting. Yet still, I found myself striving for more – wanting to gain more insights into the characters and their motivations.

This is a very difficult book for me to rate. I can easily see it being a 5-star for some readers…a 2-star for others. It’s a hopeful book that introduces an engaging talent with an often surprisingly touching story.
Profile Image for Lolly K Dandeneau.
1,836 reviews230 followers
February 13, 2013
The writing is poetic and I felt a heaviness reading it. It is a story of drifting and of trying to understand who and what you are to yourself and those closest to you. Alice comes home to a dying father and under the surface lies the reason for her never feeling quite a part of her family. Daniel ties into it all, a man living on the streets of London who has been searching to find her and wants to be loved, accepted by Alice. It's so much more than that and yet it seems like a simple book, with the days sort of just drifting by, much like the characters. My problem is I never felt it went where I wanted it to. I know the intention may have been to keep the novel real, in the sense that in fiction things sometimes become silly or too perfectly tied at the end and life just isn't neat like that. I admit I am not sure how I would have preferred the story to end, if I wanted more closure or death or... I don't know... I am still thinking about this novel. Sarah Butler certainly knows how to get into a characters head and that is gifted writing.
Profile Image for Sarah.
4 reviews1 follower
February 26, 2013
An absolutely beautiful story, with a lovely feeling to it. It had a little bit of an unsatisfactory last sentence… I’m big on making an impact in the last sentence… like the last sentence should make you exhale for the longest time… and this one didn’t. But that’s okay – not many stories do in reality. It was the most beautiful story. So much imagery of London too, which made me smile a lot. I was a walker when I lived in London; I would get up in the morning and put a drink and a sandwich in my bag and just walk until I found where I wanted to stop and then I would walk again. And SO much of this book was exactly that, someone just walking and thinking. It really struck a chord with me. This one is definitely going on my shelf to re-read over and over. Loved it.
Profile Image for Lorri Steinbacher.
1,430 reviews48 followers
August 5, 2013
A quiet book. One of those that leads you along by the arm, you're a little uncomfortable because you don't know where you are headed, but once you get there, it was well worth it. Butler captures Alice's restlessness, her rootlessness perfectly. You wonder as the book goes on how much is nature, how much nurture. And as much as Alice feels she is not a part of her family, deep down she is tied to them ore than she'd like to admit. When you watch her struggle with her relationship with Kal, you realize she does want roots, real roots, relationships that she can name. That she chooses not to want to name her relationship with Daniel, is telling, As much as she has felt out of place in her life, it is her life. Daniel helps her to see that, I think. Really a lovely book.
Profile Image for Adriana Fogaça.
560 reviews6 followers
October 1, 2018
Dez Coisas Que Aprendi Sobre o Amor - Sarah Butler
Título original: Ten Things I've Learnt About Love
Título: Dez Coisas Que Aprendi Sobre o Amor
Autor: Sarah Butler
Tradução: Paulo Polzonoff Junior
Editora: Novo Conceito
Ano: 2015

No fim de setembro de 2015, recebi da Novo Conceito as 21 primeiras páginas deste livro, na época fiz uma resenha com minhas impressões destas poucas páginas. Só agora consegui ler o livro do início ao fim, e agora posso garantir que as minhas expectativas sobre o livro de superaram de uma forma surpreendente.

Continuo acreditando que é impossível não se identificar com Alice, Daniel e suas listas. Que os personagens continuam sendo almas perdidas, que não se encaixam neste mundo que vivemos, há muita culpa, insegurança e medo de perder ainda mais.
Profile Image for Robin Lynn.
27 reviews1 follower
August 27, 2014
This book unhinged me. I got it by mistake, if there is such a thing. I was told to read Ten. Everytime i searched for that title, this one came up. So i thought, why not. I started to read it and was so confused and frustrated i put it down for a couple of days. After coming on goodreads and perusing the synopsis and other peoples reviews i decided to give it another try. I will never be the same. I didnt get all the characters but the ones that were important i spent the night in shelters with, planted flowers, painted walls, laid down in the grass with: grasping at the colors of life as i mourned the loss of those i would never see, or see again in this life.
Profile Image for Marcie Lovett.
Author 1 book6 followers
August 18, 2013
An easy read, broken into chapters narrated alternately between two characters. Although I knew almost immediately what the relationship between them was, I see that it was a surprise to other readers. I thought the "Ten Things" lists at the beginning of each chapter outlived its amusement after the first 3 or 4. Almost gave up on this book early on; it doesn't get interesting until 100 pages in or so. Loved reading a story based in London, didn't enjoy the story very much.
Displaying 1 - 30 of 347 reviews

Can't find what you're looking for?

Get help and learn more about the design.