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With Love From London by Sarah Jio

Source: Purchased
Paperback, 400 pgs.
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With Love from London by Sarah Jio, which was my first buddy read on StoryGraph app, is a tale of a newly divorcing woman, Valentina, and the surprise inheritance she receives from her mother, Eloise, who abandoned her at age 12, never to be heard from again. In this narrative that shifts between the two women’s point of views, we see that the separation of mother and daughter was a heavy burden for both of them, but why would Eloise abandon her child? That’s the mystery.

“‘There are far better things ahead than any we leave behind,” says the stranger sitting next to me on the airplane…” (pg. 3)

There were never truer words. Despite Val’s misgivings about her inheritance – a house on Primrose Hill — she boards a plane, leaving her soon-to-be ex-husband behind. Eloise’s story begins when she’s a young woman living with her best friend, Millie, in the East End and working at Harrod’s while dreaming of a better life and a bookstore all her own. Her young life is full of spontaneity and dating, but it’s one man who captures her attention fully. The parallels between the two women’s lives are uncanny from being with the wrong man to finally figuring out that happiness doesn’t have hinge on another person’s approval.

The story is at times funny with characters like Liza livening things up, but it is also so frustrating when men like Frank (who will infuriate you) appear on the scene. The struggles facing Eloise are very significant and the conclusion of her story is bittersweet, but Val learns to forgive the past and embrace the future. What didn’t work for me were some of the cliche plot devices like letters purposefully kept from one of the characters and a few interactions between characters that felt less than realistic to me given the situations. However, I did become invested wholeheartedly in this story of healing and redemption.

With Love from London by Sarah Jio is a dramatic story in which a daughter must learn to forgive the past and move on with her future as a stronger, independent woman.

RATING: Quatrain

Other Reviews:

About the Author:

Sarah Jio is the New York Times bestselling author of WITH LOVE FROM LONDON, coming from Random House (Ballantine) 2/22, as well as seven other novels from Random House and Penguin Books, including, ALWAYS, ALL THE FLOWERS IN PARIS, THE VIOLETS OF MARCH, THE BUNGALOW, BLACKBERRY WINTER, THE LAST CAMELLIA, MORNING GLORY, GOODNIGHT JUNE, and THE LOOK OF LOVE. Sarah is a journalist who has contributed to The New York Times, Glamour, O, The Oprah Magazine, Glamour, SELF, Real Simple, Fitness, Marie Claire, and many others. She has appeared as a commentator on NPR’s Morning Edition. Her novels are translated into more than 25 languages. Sarah lives in Seattle with her husband, three boys, three step-children and two puppies.

Comments

  1. I really loved this book, clichés and all. But damn Frank ticked me off. Looking forward to our next buddy read.

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