Title: Thank You for Listening
Author: Julia Whelan
Publication date: August 12th, 2022
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.
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.
I’d heard great things about this book before reading it, and man it did not disappoint. It seemed like this book had everything in it: heartbreaking back story, ill family, love, conversation on race and work ethic in America, friendship, and found family. There was also fun twists regarding the love story (though somewhat predictable, in a good way!). Sewanee is a former actor turned renowned audiobook narrator, but she refuses to narrate romance anymore. But when she is approached to narrate a specific author’s unpublished work posthumously – she can’t come up with a reason to say no to the money.
Frankly this book was perfect. The writing is beautiful and Sewanee is unapologetic in an acerbic, biting way. She is a strong, confident woman – except when it comes to the accident that took her eye and left her disfigured. Her best friend is amazing as a background character and their friendship is pure and beautiful. The details given to the audiobook narration portion was very interesting for someone who doesn’t know how everything works. It truly felt like this book covered everything possible without feeling too long or underdeveloped.
Highly recommend for those who enjoy romance and Women’s Fiction. There is enough romance for the purists and enough Women’s Fiction for those who don’t love romance. It’s a good hybrid in my opinion, and I generally don’t love Women’s Fiction stories.
Thank you to Avon and Netgalley for an early copy in exchange for an honest review.
Happy reading, folks!