London. Nine million people. Two hundred and seventy tube stations. Every day, thousands of chance encounters, first dates, goodbyes and happy ever afters.
And for twenty years it’s been where one man and one woman can never get their timing right.
Jennifer and Nick meet as teenagers and over the next two decades, they fall in and out of love with each other. Sometimes they start kissing. Sometimes they’re just friends. Sometimes they stop speaking, but they always find their way back to each other.
But after all this time, are they destined to be together or have they finally reached the end of the line?
London, with Love is a novel I hugely enjoyed from start to finish. I don’t read a lot of romantic fiction as I’ve read too many novels that are cheesy, predictable and unbelievable, but this novel managed to get everything right!
We follow Jenny from her teenage years through to adulthood as she navigates life in London alongside (and often very much apart from) her best friend Nick.
It definitely feels like a love letter to London in so many ways, and well-known moments in history are presented through Jenny’s eyes throughout the book. The chapters each have the date on them so often you can guess what historical moment might take place in some of them before it happens, which adds to the anticipation. Although Jenny is older than me and I didn’t grow up in London, it is still a book soaked in nostalgia and I loved reading about her life. The fact that this novel spans so many decades makes you feel like you’ve really got to know Jenny, as we follow her for such a long time.
I loved that this novel isn’t just about romance. Jenny and Nick’s feelings towards each other – whether they’re positive or very negative – are always there but the book is also very much about Jenny and how she develops as a person. There are some romantic moments but there are also many other scenes where things don’t go to plan or work out quite as they might. I liked the fact that this book shows life as it often is – messy, complicated and hard work – but also amazing at times!
London, with love manages to sum up the joy of living in London (and some of the drawbacks too) all with humour and avoids the cringey, overworked moments you often get in romantic fiction. It’s a great story that I would happily read again. As my first Sarra Manning book, it also makes me want to read much more by her.
My rating: 4.5/5
Many thanks to the publisher, Hodder & Stoughton, for providing a copy of this book on which I chose to write an honest review.