Title: One Italian Summer
Author: Rebecca Serle
Publication Date: 2022
Publishing House: Atria Books
I picked this book up through Book of the Month. I wanted a lighter summer read. I did get a summer read but it wasn’t as light as I wanted.
When Katy’s mother dies, she is left reeling. Carol wasn’t just Katy’s mom, but her best friend and first phone call. She had all the answers and now, when Katy needs her the most, she is gone. To make matters worse, their planned mother-daughter trip of a lifetime looms: two weeks in Positano, the magical town Carol spent the summer right before she met Katy’s father. Katy has been waiting years for Carol to take her, and now she is faced with embarking on the adventure alone.
But as soon as she steps foot on the Amalfi Coast, Katy begins to feel her mother’s spirit. Buoyed by the stunning waters, beautiful cliffsides, delightful residents, and, of course, delectable food, Katy feels herself coming back to life.
And then Carol appears—in the flesh, healthy, sun-tanned, and thirty years old. Katy doesn’t understand what is happening, or how—all she can focus on is that she has somehow, impossibly, gotten her mother back. Over the course of one Italian summer, Katy gets to know Carol, not as her mother, but as the young woman before her. She is not exactly who Katy imagined she might be, however, and soon Katy must reconcile the mother who knew everything with the young woman who does not yet have a clue.
This story begins with heartbreak – a lost parent and their child seemingly lost in the world by their loss. Katy doesn’t know how to move forward in her life, in her marriage, in her job when Carol passes and her world turns upside-down. When Katy stepped into the heat of the Amalfi Coast, I wanted to be there too. The descriptions of Italy, of its food, and of its people are wonderful and you just want to go there and relax on the beach next to Katy.
Most of this book I really enjoyed. Katy rediscovering herself and her love of adventure and food. Katy’s growing relationship with her mother, when she and her mother were the same age. The one thing I do not like is how Katy goes about figuring out how she wants to handle her marriage moving forward after her mother’s passing. Her life is in flux and Katy questions every aspect of it. I understand her actions to a point but don’t like it.
I suggest this book for those who want some summer sun, for those that want a taste of Italy, and for those ready for a big of magical-realism. Have you read this book? If yes, what did you think? Let me know in the comments and happy reading.
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