A librarian inherits a bookshop from her estranged mother, leading her halfway across the world on a journey of self-discovery that transcends time and honors the unbreakable bonds of love and family.
When librarian Valentina Baker was a teenager, her mother, Eloise, unexpectedly fled to her native London, leaving Val and her father on their own. Now in her thirties and fresh out of a failed marriage, Val feels a nagging disenchantment with her life--and knows she is still heartbroken over her mother's abandonment.
In a bittersweet twist of fate, Val receives word that Eloise has passed away, leaving Val her Primrose Hill apartment and the deed to a bookshop Val never knew she'd owned. Though the news is devastating, Val finds herself more determined than ever to discover who her mother truly was. She jets across the Atlantic, departing Seattle for a new life in charming London.
Slowly but surely, Val begins to piece together Eloise's life in the UK, falling in love with her pastel-colored flat, cozy neighborhood, and tucked-away storefront. But when she discovers that The Book Garden is in danger of going under, Val must work with its eccentric staff to get it in working order. In the process, she learns more about Eloise than she ever thought possible. And as Val races to save the shop, Eloise's own story unfolds, leading both mother and daughter to unearth revelatory truths.
About the Author
After being dumped by her husband of twelve years, Valentina learns that her mother has passed. Valentina has not seen nor heard from her mother since she was twelve years old. Valentina is told that she has inherited a building in the Primrose Hill neighborhood of London, England that contains two apartments and a bookshop. As a librarian, Valentina finds the idea of owning a bookshop appealing. Books have always helped her through the rough moments of her life. Valentine arrives at the Book Garden and meets Millie, her mother’s best friends and Liza, a tenant. When Valentina finds her favorite book in the shop, she opens it to find an envelope with her name on it. Her mother has left her one last scavenger hunt. Valentina hopes this will allow her to learn more about her mother and why she left all those years ago without a word. Valentina receives word for the solicitors that the death taxes are higher than expected. If she wants to keep the Book Garden, Valentina along with Millie and Liza must find a way to raise the funds. Can Valentina save the bookshop, and will she learn what she needs to know about her elusive mother?
With Love from London by Sarah Jio is a dual timeline novel. We get Valentina’s story which is set in 2013 and Eloise’s story that begins in 1968. I normally have a hard time with novels that have multiple timelines, but Sarah Jio made it flow beautifully. I was able to go from one section to the other without difficulty. I thought With Love from London was well-written with realistic characters. I enjoyed the vivid descriptions of London’s Primrose Hill neighborhood. I loved how Valentina and other characters just loved books. It is always wonderful when you meet a fellow reader and booklover. My favorite quote is, “There’s absolutely nothing wrong with having too many books.” Another delightful quote is “…a favorite book is like an old friend, waiting for you with open arms.” With Love from London is a poignant novel. There are a couple of scenes where you will want to ensure that you have a tissue handy. The romances were touching, and one was amusing. I enjoyed the humor sprinkled throughout the story. There was, though, some predictability to the tale. There were a couple of items that I figured out early on and then waited to see if my guesses would come to fruition. The ending left me with a smile on my face. I look forward to reading each new Sarah Jio novel and she did not disappoint me with this one. If you love romance, books, and people who love books, then With Love from London is the right novel for you.
Are you ready to ready With Love from London? With Love from London is available from Amazon*. You can find Sarah Jio's other novels here. The Violets of March is my favorite book by Sarah Jio. I used photos from Primrose Hill today where With Love from London is set. I wanted you to see the beautiful pastel-colored homes, the bookshop, the cafes, and the nearby park. I appreciate you joining me today. Live, Local, and Dead by Nikki Knight is on deck for tomorrow. It is the beginning of A Vermont Radio Mystery series. I hope that you have a cheerful day. Take care, stay safe, and Happy Reading!
The Avid Reader
*This post contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.