Author: Sarah Jio
Genre: Romance/Women’s Fiction
Publisher: Ballentine Books
Publication Date: February 8, 2022
Book Description: When a woman inherits her estranged mother’s bookstore in London’s Primrose Hill, she finds herself thrust into the pages of a new story—hers—filled with long-held family secrets, the possibility of new love, and, perhaps, the single greatest challenge of her life.
When Valentina Baker was only eleven years old, her mother, Eloise, unexpectedly fled to her native London, leaving Val and her father on their own in California. Now a librarian in her thirties, fresh out of a failed marriage and still at odds with her mother’s abandonment, Val feels disenchanted with her life.
In a bittersweet twist of fate, she receives word that Eloise has died, leaving Val the deed to her mother’s Primrose Hill apartment and the Book Garden, the storied bookshop she opened almost two decades prior. Though the news is devastating, Val jumps at the chance for a new beginning and jets across the Atlantic, hoping to learn who her mother truly was while mourning the relationship they never had.
As Val begins to piece together Eloise’s life in the U.K., she finds herself falling in love with the pastel-colored third-floor flat and the cozy, treasure-filled bookshop, soon realizing that her mother’s life was much more complicated than she ever imagined. When Val stumbles across a series of intriguing notes left in a beloved old novel, she sets out to locate the book’s mysterious former owner, though her efforts are challenged from the start, as is the Book Garden’s future. In order to save the store from financial ruin and preserve her mother’s legacy, she must rally its eccentric staff and journey deep into her mother’s secrets. With Love from London is a story about healing and loss, revealing the emotional, relatable truths about love, family, and forgiveness.
Rating: 4 Stars
Review: Valentina has been dealt two blows in her life. She is getting divorced from her husband and her mother, who she has not seen or heard from in years, has died. She flies to London to close out the life of a woman she hardly knows.
When she arrives she instantly finds a life that she thinks will make her happy. A bookstore left to her by her mother, new friends and maybe even a romance.
While she is there, She finds her mom left a scavenger hunt for her to complete to get to know her and the city she loves. Alternately there is a second mystery, when she finds a copy of her favorite book annotated, she goes on a search to find that person who did the annotation.
There is also a parallel story of Val’s mother Eloise, and the story of what lead to the separation of one true love Valentina that is perfectly weaved in.
This is a beautiful story of forgiveness, love lost and found, and mourning the life we could have had. The storytelling is lovely and Sarah Jio weaves a tremendous mother/daughter story.
Thank you NetGalley and Ballentine Books for an Advanced Reader’s Copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.