Lead Review (London, With Love)
- Book: London, With Love
- Location: London
- Author: Sarra Manning
Author Jane Casey refers to Sarra Manning as the “..queen of London-set romance” and that is spot-on! This is a story of Jen and Nick that stretches from later 20th Century into the early 21st. It will prove to be a trip down memory lane for many readers, I imagine. The era of ubiquitous Wimpy restaurants (there are still apparently quite a few in existence – 63 to be exact – but I can’t remember seeing a single one in the last few years?); The Smiths, and Time Out in paper form. As the years move on and the characters age a little, the sense of time keeps pace.
The setting, too, is colourfully brought to life, whether the characters are hurrying through Charing X station, on the tube (with the little jolts that announce the imminent arrival at a stop), attending the Brixton Academy (where The Smiths were playing), or traversing North to South (and you should know that these are very two distinct parts of the capital and if you are a resident of one, you will not necessarily venture into the other); the author generates a pulsating feel of the city. Her rendering will be a familiar characterisation for anyone who has been to visit or lived there, and being a Londoner myself, I felt invested in the story with the tremendous backdrop. A city with quirks and splendour, difficulties and charm … it’s all there.
This is the story of two young people, who are finding their way into their adult lives. Yes, there is romance along the way, some hard knocks and life lessons, there is also fun, anxiety and adventure. This is the charming story of two people growing up in the city.