Lately, I have been into the “women’s lit” genre. I am not sure why, but the YA space has felt like it’s just the same thing regurgitated, and I have wanted something new. I’ve been sick lately, so I’ve had time to catch up on a lot of books that have been waiting for me to read them.
I picked up With Love From London, because lately, all I’ve been doing is thinking about the possibility of moving to England. Not really sure why, but if you’ve ever had something call to you, I say you need to listen to it. So being as I know that I can’t afford to move, I decided to live through the pages of a book, and With Love From London sounded like the perfect place to start.
Val is a bookstagrammer/wanna-be influencer/librarian. She’s moved to London after inheriting her Moms bookstore. She doesn’t understand why her Mom left this to her, as she abandoned her as a child. But when she gets the chance she jumps at it – because starting over is better than the life she’s existing through right now.
Eloise had left when she was 11, and Val never knew why. But that didn’t mean that she didn’t want to know. So heading to London, she falls in love with the possibility of a new beginning and figuring out who her mother really was.
One of the things that drew me into this world immediately was the fact that London was a backdrop, but the true essence of the story was about finding oneself and a belief in the things that you can do. Val has always second guessed herself, mourning a life that she could have had, a relationship with her mother, and trying to find her way through the life that she lived.
But her mother doesn’t make things easy. She sets up a scavenger hunt allowing Val to get to know more about her Mom from the people and places that know her best. She gets to understand her Mom, the community that she lives in, and how treasured she was. But she also gets to know that she was treasured to her Mom.
The bookstore is struggling financially, but Val is not ready or willing to let it go, and finding out about what it means to the community gives her a sense of purpose to save it. One of the most beautiful things about the book is that as Val gets to know her Mom, she gets to know herself. She gets to know that there are many sides to stories and the truth is never not complicated. She gets to know that the past isn’t what defines you, it’s what you do with these moments and how you move forward and build yourself up from it.
Told from alternating narratives, both of which are engaging, From London with Love, is an engaging story that leaves you remembering that there are many sides to a story. The memories that Val and Eloise have, they are important for each of them to know, but more for Val in order to move forward and forgive her Mom.
With Love From London is a tale of finding yourself, finding hope, and finding meaning. It’s about forgiving others and forgiving yourself. Overall, the book is a beautiful relaxing read that makes you want to tell people you love them and forgive them while you can.
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.