Monday, January 11, 2021

Book Review: Our Italian Summer by Jennifer Probst


Workaholic, career-obsessed Francesca is fiercely independent and successful in all areas of life except one: family. She struggles to make time for her relationship with her teenage daughter, Allegra, and the two have become practically strangers to each other. When Allegra hangs out with a new crowd and is arrested for drug possession, Francesca gives in to her mother's wish that they take one epic summer vacation to trace their family roots in Italy. What she never expected was to be faced with the choice of a lifetime. . . .

Allegra wants to make her grandmother happy, but she hates the idea of forced time with her mother and vows to fight every step of the ridiculous tour until a young man on the verge of priesthood begins to show her the power of acceptance, healing, and the heartbreaking complications of love.

Sophia knows her girls are in trouble. A summer filled with the possibility for change is what they all desperately need. Among the ruins of ancient Rome, the small churches of Assisi, and the rolling hills of Tuscany, Sophia hopes to show her girls that the bonds of family are everything and to remind them that they can always lean on one another before it's too late


Our Italian Summer is a new family drama by author Jennifer Probst which follows three generations of the Ferrari women on a vacation to Italy. We meet Sophia, who is mother and grandmother, she has booked the trip hoping to mend the strained relationship between her daughter Francesa, who is a workaholic, and her granddaughter Allegra who is a bit of a wild child and needs her mother's attention.

I had no problem connecting with any of the characters, however, it did take me a bit to warm up to Francesca, she seemed only concerned with her work and herself, however as the book moved forward I enjoyed watching her grow and transform as they all developed a better understanding of each other and what matters to them as both a family and to themselves.

The book was written from each of the viewpoints of the characters and I loved getting the different perspectives from them. The author Jennifer Probst was excellent at descriptive writing, I have never read one of her books so do not know if this is a regular thing from her, but imagine how she excelled at it, it most likely is. Having the story take place in Italy gave her much to describe also, from the scenery which put you right in the places she described, to the food..oh the food, it made your mouth water at times. Throughout the entire book, you felt that you were right there with the three women.

The family drama was authentic and the feelings of the women felt genuine throughout the book. It was at times heartwrenching and at other times laugh out loud funny, like all relationships. It focuses on the struggles of parenting, strained relationships, personal secrets, and realizing what is important in life. I enjoyed this book and plan on picking up more from the author. I also think that this would be the most perfect book for a book club reading. 

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