In bestselling author Sarah Jio’s novel With Love From London (11.5 hours), a recently divorced Seattle librarian named Valentina heads to London to settle the estate of her late, estranged mother, Eloise. Valentina is unsure about both the inheritance and her feelings toward Eloise, but she gets drawn in by the quaint bookstore her mother owned in Primrose Hill, her mother’s friends and neighbors, and a scavenger hunt arranged by Eloise that references both points around London and literary works beloved by Valentina and her mother.
In chapters that alternate between Valentina’s experiences in 2013 and Eloise’s life from the 1960s to the ’90s, voice actors Brittany Pressley (Valentina) and Gabrielle Glaister (Eloise) animate daughter and mother with equal warmth and exuberance. Their American and British accents lead listeners into a cozy world that’s alive with intrigue, female camaraderie and the fellowship of book lovers. Eloise’s scavenger hunt not only directs the suspenseful plot but also points to the message at the heart of With Love From London: Books can act as portals to the human soul.
As Valentina finds a fulfilled life in Primrose Hill, readers find a retreat from a harried world.