I received this book for free from the Publisher. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Thank You for Listening by Julia Whelan
Narrator: Julia Whelan
Published by Avon Books, HarperAudio on August 2, 2022
Genres: Fiction / Romance / Contemporary
Length: 11 hours 15 minutes
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From the author of My Oxford Year, Julia Whelan’s uplifting novel tells the story of a former actress turned successful audiobook narrator—who has lost sight of her dreams after a tragic accident—and her journey of self-discovery, love, and acceptance when she agrees to narrate one last romance novel.
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.
I loved this book! I was a huge fan of Julia Whelan’s first book, The Oxford Year, so when an opportunity to read this book presented itself, I couldn’t say yes fast enough. I was even more excited by the chance to listen to the author and narrator extraordinaire read the book. Once I started listening to this one, I did not want to stop. It was so easy to get swept away by Sewanee and Brock’s story.
Sewanee is an audiobook narrator. She started out narrating romance novels after acting became a not-so-viable option. She now narrates more literary works under a different name. She thinks that she is done with romance but when an offer falls in her lap that will pay enough to take care of her grandmother, she can’t say no. I loved the parts of the book that dealt directly with the process of narrating a book and some of the challenges that narrators face. For the romance that Sewanee is working on, she is paired up with Brock. They don’t see each other but do message each other to help each of them narrate their parts of the book but before long they start talking about things other than the book.
I really liked Sewanee, Brock, and the rest of the characters. Sewanee has had some pretty big challenges in her life and is dealing fairly well with them. I really appreciated her relationship with her grandmother and thought that the descriptions of dementia affecting her grandmother were well done. I thought that the romantic aspect of the book was very well done. I loved getting to see Sewanee and Brock slowly get to know each other while they worked on the book and couldn’t wait for the day when they would eventually meet face to face.
The narration was phenomenal. Since the author has narrated a ton of books, I feel that she knows how to present this story in a way that nobody else ever could. She is one of my favorite narrators and her work on this book was top-notch. I loved the various character voices and the emotion she express in her reading. I will definitely be recommending this one to others. Julia Whelan once again proves that she knows how to write ’em and how to read ’em.
I received a review copy of this book from Avon Books and Harper Audio.