Monday, August 1, 2022

REVIEW: Thank You for Listening by Julia Whelan



After Whelan wrenched my heart in My Oxford Year, I was eager to see what damage she'd do to me in Thank You for Listening and I'm happy to report that I made it out alive and heart fully intact. 

I've been in a weird reading space where I'm either zooming through books in a day or laboring over them with half a mind to DNF them but stubbornly persisting. In many of these cases the end result is a mixed bag. I don't know what's going on with me, because let's face it--it's most likely a me thing and not the book, but I have been seeking something with a little more to it than just the feel good glow at the end. Thank You for Listening gave me that thing that I've been looking for. It gave me those much needed moments where I put down the book, stared off into space, and reflected on how certain things applied to me, if they applied to me, and what I could foresee doing about them, if I did anything at all. I guess what I'm saying is that I appreciated the opportunity to reflect and ponder and get lost in the story and myself all at the same time. 

So needless to say, Sewanee's story of cynicism and loss transitioning into that one that shows her emboldened and content at the end was just the story I needed today. While there were sections that were more introspective and serious, there were also just as many times I laughed out loud or found myself smitten by one of the other characters. And now having enjoyed both of her novels, I can definitively say that Julia Whelan is a definite one-click, must read for me.



For Sewanee Chester, being an audiobook narrator is a long way from her old dreams, but the days of being a star on film sets are long behind her. She’s found success and satisfaction from the inside of a sound booth and it allows her to care for her beloved, ailing grandmother. When she arrives in Las Vegas last-minute for a book convention, Sewanee unexpectedly spends a whirlwind night with a charming stranger. 

On her return home, Sewanee discovers one of the world’s most beloved romance novelists wanted her to perform her last book—with Brock McNight, the industry’s hottest, most secretive voice. Sewanee doesn’t buy what romance novels are selling—not after her own dreams were tragically cut short—and she stopped narrating them years ago. But her admiration of the late author, and the opportunity to get her grandmother more help, makes her decision for her. 

As Sewanee begins work on the book, resurrecting her old romance pseudonym, she and Brock forge a real connection, hidden behind the comfort of anonymity. Soon, she is dreaming again, but secrets are revealed, and the realities of life come crashing down around her once more.

If she can learn to risk everything for desires she has long buried, she will discover a world of intimacy and acceptance she never believed would be hers.

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