Valentina’s mother was her entire world. And then, she was gone.
Reeling from her recent divorce, Valentina gets another piece of life-shattering news — the mother who disappeared to London when she was young has passed away. And, she’s left her daughter the bookstore she ran in London.
With a synopsis like that, I couldn’t possibly resist clicking that “request” button on NetGalley. Very grateful to the publisher and to NetGalley for the digital review copy of this lovely bookish adventure.
Now that you know what the book’s about, let’s get to the review!
(Full disclosure: I received a digital review copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. Specific book links are Bookshop.org affiliate links.)
With Love From London alternates between Valentina’s present day timeline and her mother’s story in the past.
I’m afraid this is one of those times where I struggled with the dual POV, I think because both timelines had a bit of a slow start, so jumping between them made things take even longer to get moving.
The plot does pick up a bit around 30% of the way in, when I felt really and truly invested in Valentina’s story, even if it took me longer to warm up to her mother, Eloise.
While there is a bit of romance in both women’s stories, this is primarily the story of a mother and daughter relationship, with an interconnected quest for a bookstore in the background.
There’s also a bookish scavenger hunt that Eloise left behind to help her daughter understand what happened all those years ago when she disappeared to London, never to return.
I quite liked the way this book surprises then reader, subverting expectations with a few key plot points. The romance, I found predictable, but in a bad way, as it isn’t really the story’s core.
There are some nice connections and echoes across the two stories that nicely tied the two women together, even if they don’t spend much page space together.
While it did take me a bit longer to become invested, I had a bit of a cry at the end as both women’s stories wrapped up in their own ways. I consider a book that makes me cry a success, even if that may be a low bar compared to some (I’m a Pisces and I’ve got the feels, friends).
In all, I really enjoyed this book! Even though it’s set in London, we stay pretty close to the Primrose Hill neighborhood, which gives the book a cozy small town vibe that goes nicely with the quest to save the bookstore.
I recommend this to fans of a scavenger hunt, to book lovers, and to those who enjoy a good mother/daughter story. With Love From London comes out Tuesday, February 8th.
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