Thank you, Netgalley and Ballantine Books, for the Advance Reader Copy of With Love From London by Sarah Jio.
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With Love From London by Sarah Jio
Publishing Date: February 8, 2022
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
You’ll love if: Books about mother/daughter relationships, owning a bookstore, and learning about the past are up your alley.
I haven’t ugly cried while finishing a book in so long. The way the plot wraps up is perfect. There are no plot points left unsettled, and it’s a truly satisfying end. There were so many times during the book that I thought I had the next plot point figured out and didn’t. However, that’s not to say that some of this story isn’t predictable. Yet, I believe that makes it the story equivalent to drinking tea in the Fall. Something about it was cozy, and I couldn’t put it down.
There are additional fun references to classic books throughout, and you’ll especially enjoy it because the main character is a Bookstagrammer. We see her share some of her adventures through Instagram as she moves on from her divorce.
Overall, this story is about Valentina and her mother, Eloise. Their points of view alternate, and we see how both characters grow as they age. For Eloise, we see the life she gave up and how Valentina became her everything, then was taken from her. In the end, she doesn’t get the perfect ending to her story, but we see the past visit her future, and it’s heartwarming and sad at the same time. As for Valentina, it appears she relives many of the same adventures her mother did. In fact, for a bit, there was so much parallelism that I hoped it would turn around. No spoilers here, though!
The absolute heartbreak you’ll feel as you read through this story is an excellent reminder about going after what makes our heart happy, even if there are significant struggles and compromises along the way. I thought this story would be a rom-com, but it was so much more than that. It was the ultimate story of living the life you think you should be and not what you deserve. It was the tragedy of losing loved ones we never knew and understood. But, it was a nice breath of fresh air from the typical stories I read, and I don’t anticipate I will be forgetting this story anytime soon.
Please let me know if you read this. I can’t wait to see what you all think.