One of the unintended consequences of reading ebooks is that it’s easy to remember the title but not the author. I picked up Julia Whelan’s Thank You for Listening based on a glowing review, only to discover that I was already a Julia Whelan fan, having gushed last August over her previous book, My Oxford Year.
While I try not to repeat authors to give you a broad swath of romance reads, I’ll ask your forgiveness because Julia Whelan is the kind of author you should have on automatic preorder; she’s that good.
Sewanee Chester is a former actress turned audiobook narrator following a disfiguring accident. She emphatically does not narrate romance until June French, a darling in the genre, requests as her dying wish for Sewanee to record her final book.
Sewanee agrees out of affection for June and the piles of money the project offers. June has also requested that Brock McNight, star reader with a velvet voice, co-narrate. Brock is a pseudonym, but no one knows who the real Brock is as he never makes public appearances, even shunning awards shows.
Julia Whelan’s gift is in character development, and it takes approximately five seconds before you’re in love with Sewanee and Brock. In addition, there’s a delicious secondary storyline with Sewanee’s grandmother, BlahBlah, adding a layer of humor and poignancy.
There is also a lot of sly commentary about the romance genre, offered as quotes on writing by June French. Here is one of my favorites, which captures the essence of why I will defend the romance genre to the end:
“It’s always the men, isn’t it, talking about writing from a place of pain. Maybe try writing from joy. We get it, the world is hard. Which is precisely why I write: to escape it.” – June French
Find your copy of Thank You For Listening from your favorite retailer.
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