Tuesday, February 8, 2022

Book Review: One Italian Summer by Rebecca Serle


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.


Katy and her mother had a mother-daughter trip planned to Italy, but instead of them both going, Katy ends up on the trip alone. Before the trip happened, Katy had to upend her life and take care of her mother who was dying. While on the trip, Katy learns a lot about her mother, getting a whole new look at the woman she thought she knew.

The first thing I can tell you is to have a tissue ready…yes…early on, you will need it, One Italian Summer starts right off ripping your heart out and continues taking you on an emotional rollercoaster. Katy grieves, and you will grieve right along with her, especially, if like me, you know the feeling of losing a parent.

While One Italian Summer is sad, it is also magical, in a way you’d never expect it to be.  Did you read In Five Years by Serle? Do you know how it had that tiny bit of magical twist to it? The author has also us the same twist in this book, taking you to an alternative universe that will surprise you. I will be honest, I wasn’t sure if I would like it when it happened, but Serle’s writing is beautiful and it fits the story perfectly, making it unique and one of my favorite parts of the book.

I liked In Five Years, but there were a few things in there that I didn’t care for, but reading One Italian Summer has definitely put her on my auto-buy list. Everything about this book was beautiful. In fact, I finished this book in two days, not an easy feat for me being what I often feel like is the slowest reader on Instagram, cause I know y’all and y’all are some speedy readers, but this book will keep you reading from the moment you pick it up until you reach the last page.

Also, I would be doing you wrong if I didn't mention Positano Italy. Serle will have you looking up travel agents wanting to book a trip, her descriptions of the area are exquisite, and will pull you into the sun-soaked Amalfi coast.

One Italian Summer is magical, and it is beautiful, and it is a book that will stay with me for a long time.

1 comment :

  1. The book's setting on the Amalfin Coast will draw me right in. I have this book on my TBR ebook list!