Cover Image: Our Italian Summer

Our Italian Summer

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Member Reviews

Thank you for the opportunity to read and review Our Italian Summer by Jennifer Probst. This was a heartwarming and enjoyable read. The writing brought me into the three generations of women and brought to life Italy! When can I book my next vacation??
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3.5 Stars

Our Italian Summer is a sweet story of three generations of strong women who are in the midst of  difficult challenges in their lives.  Their story touches on strained relationships, self discovery, acceptance, and a touch of romance.  Alegra, a teen who struggles with her relationship with her mom, Francesca, a single mother who is successful in her career but lacks when it comes to her daughter, and Sophia, mother and grandmother who wants to fix it all before it’s too late.   

The book as a whole wasn’t emotionally heavy but it may hit close to home for some.  Reading their situations reminded me of friends in very similar predicaments.  Of course, it was nice that this family was going through their ordeal while in Italy.  The destinations may be what made the book a much lighter read.  What a perfect place to be with your loved ones and rediscovering yourself in the process.  

I enjoyed watching Alegra, Francesca, and Sophia in this adventure as they all evolved and rediscovered themselves from the beginning to the end of the story.  This book is definitely an eye opening to any one in their shoes and a feel-good book overall.
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Our Italian Summer is a story about three generations of women who take a trip through Italy for separate reasons but towards the end they all find love, healing and forgiveness.

Francesca is a workaholic successful business woman who sees this trip as a chance to spend more time with her teenage daughter Allegra who will go off to college soon. Allegra has never received her mother's love and attention and now she tries and pretends she doesn't care. She also wants nothing to do with her mother's decisions for her, she'd rather do the opposite. After she gets in trouble with the law, she has no choice but to say yes to this trip to Italy. However she's consoled by the fact that her grandmother Sophia will accompany them. Allegra loves Sophia with all her heart and also shares everything with her, because every time her mother was absent her grandmother was there. Sophia has just received some heartbreaking news and wants to spend time with her daughter and granddaughter away from all distractions. She's the one who comes up with the idea of this trip to Italy.

Our Italian Summer is essentially an examination of the relationship between these three women with the background of stunning Italian cities, food, wine and art. Between sightseeing, meeting new people and making new friends, all three women do their own soul searching and talk through things they'd never imagined ever uttering. They let go of years of resentment and forgive each other and themselves. It's all pretty realistic, the emotions, the conversations, the almost fights and not once I felt it to be a one trip fixes all kind of thing. The story is emotional, realistic and wraps up perfectly. 

So, why the three stars you ask. Well, mostly my expectations are to blame. I was hoping for a typical Jennifer Probst romance and while there is a slight whiff of that, this story is mostly about the relationship dynamics between the three women. I would have probably enjoyed it more had I picked it up without my pre-formed expectations.

Although, I would certainly recommend it to readers looking for a heartwarming story about the complicated mother/daughter relationship with an extensive trip through Italy in the background.
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Driven mother and rebelling daughter is nothing new. Neither is a grandma that wants a summer with everyone. Great descriptions of place! Certainly would like to visit.
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This was a delight! Thanks @berkleypub for the free copy.

I picked this up on a whim to test it for our #booksaroundtheworld episode of the @booktalketc podcast- and I’m so glad I did! On the surface it’s about a family who takes a month long trip of a lifetime to Italy, but there’s a lot more to it.

Francesca has worked her entire life to build her successful marketing firm. Her life is planned down to the minute- and she likes it that way. Her daughter Allegra is the love of her life, but their relationship has become more strained in recent years as her business has grown. Luckily, Grandma Sophia is all to happy to step in- after all, she spent her life taking care of her family and she enjoys being there for her granddaughter.

Things come to a head when a health scare sends Francesca to the hospital, and as an attempt to repair fraying relationships, Grandma Sophia insists on this trip.

This book puts you firmly into Italy. From the food to the history, there’s no way you’ll walk away from reading this without at least a little wanderlust. The story is told from the 3 women’s perspectives and I thought the author did a nice job giving each a unique voice. It was escapist with a little heft- there’s an exploration of motherhood, finding a balance of work and home life, and what makes a life well lived. I also appreciated that there was a tiny bit of romance thrown in!

All in all, it was nice to take a break from all of my thrillers and crime stories. I want to take this exact vacation! Recommend.
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WHY DID I LISTEN TO OUR ITALIAN SUMMER BY JENNIFER PROBST?
Our Italian Summer by Jennifer Probst is a book that I chose to listen to because contemporary fiction really works well on audio for me. There are some genres that I like to listen to more than others and this is one. Also, totally transparent, I had an eARC from Netgalley that I had not gotten to as quickly as I had hoped. So, picking this up on audio via Libby meant diving in much more sooner than anticipated. Plus, this was a great way to read this while feeding the baby.

WHAT’S THE STORY HERE?
Our Italian Summer follows three generations of women – Sophia, Francesca, and Allegra. Sophia is the mother of Francesca and grandmother of Allegra. She believes that she is dying, so she keeps that a secret, naturally, and decides to spend the summer in Italy with Francesca and Allegra. Sophia hopes to repair the relationship between Francesca and Allegra. Although, Sophia presents it as a way to go back to their roots. Meanwhile, Francesca is a workaholic and owns her own advertising firm. She has to learn to take a step back and focus on her family. Whereas Allegra starting hanging out with a new crowd and got in trouble for possession of weed. There’s a whole lot of healing to wade through, but the journey within Our Italian Summer is worth wading through.

HOW DID I LIKE OUR ITALIAN SUMMER?
I genuinely thought this was a good book. I’ll admit that it was quite a departure from the other Probst book I’ve read – The Marriage Bargain. That’s something I really like – when authors try to write totally different things and go outside the comfort zone. Also, I am such a sucker for a multigenerational story. Probst does a great job with each of the three women – Sophia, Francesca, and Allegra. Surprisingly I really liked Francesca’s story – in that she is so career driven and afraid to give other people more responsibility. That’s something I struggle with on occasion too. She really grows while in Italy and I could appreciate reading about that.

HOW’S THE NARRATION?
Well, if you like audiobooks with multiple narrators, Our Italian Summer is the book for you. The chapters are each from the perspective of one of the three main characters – Allegra, Francesca and Sophia and so each of the main characters have a different narrator. Narrating this audiobook are Cassandra Campbell, Holly Linneman, and Suzanne Toren. Each narrator seemed appropriate for the character they were picked for. It was easy to distinguish between the characters as well. This audiobook is 12 hours and 44 minutes long.
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Really enjoyed this read! It was so light yet clearly depicted the different roles and struggles of each female family member. It was so refreshing and made you feel like you were traveling to Italy with other family members. Each generation was told very convincingly and had a fresh take on how women in families sometimes grow apart but experiences together and quality time could help make up for it. Would recommend highly for a summer read!
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Our Italian Summer is a book to share with the women in your life.

The trip of a lifetime ~ Summer in Italy! 3 generations of women, each one with their own reason for going on this trip.

Sophia - aka Nonni - wants to visit her parents' homeland and see where they grew up, while creating a stronger relationship with her daughter, and helping to build the bond between her daughter and granddaughter. 

Francessa - a workaholic ad executive- wants to keep her teenage daughter from the hoodlums she's been hanging out with after she gets arrested for weed.

Allegra - the teenage daughter - doesn't want to be on the trip at all because it interferes with her own summer plans. She resents her mother's obsession with work and the fact that her mother doesn't keep her promises. 

Throughout this summer adventure, each woman learns more about herself and the women in her family.

This e-ARC was provided by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. 
#OurItalianSummer #NetGalley
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I was really looking forward to Our Italian Summer. Unfortunately it just read too much like women's fiction for my taste. I went in thinking it would have more romance. DNF
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An enjoyable summer read about the complexity of mother daughter relationships.

This book fell squarely into women's fiction rather than romance, but this was not a bad thing. Told from the viewpoints of three generations of women and their struggles to reconnect with each other. The writing is easy to read and the descriptions of food took me right back to Italy. The characters are flawed and messy in a relatable way and their growth felt organic and not forced.
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I have no idea why I waited so long to read this book - it was really delightful.  I love the story of the three generations of women going on a trip together.  The romance storylines were woven throughout without overpowering the family relationships.  And most importantly, if you haven't been to Italy and want to go but can't because of travel restrictions or you just want to relive a trip you already took, this is definitely the book for you.  Thanks to the publisher and netgalley for the eARC in exchange for my honest review.
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i enjoyed chatting with Jennifer about the source of inspiration and how her own trip to italy led her to write this book.

I did an IGTV live with jennifer. Please see attached link.
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Our Italian Summer is the perfect escape for everyone needing a distraction from these dark times and life in general. 

It most definitely provided a much needed escape for me. It gave me the opportunity to travel to Italy and it made me very happy, even though it was traveling there via book instead of a real trip. Hey, i’ll take what I can get.  

The descriptions of Italy and all of the delights to behold there were marvelous, and I felt like I was right there alongside the characters taking it all in. My wanderlust soul was overjoyed tagging along on this adventure.

The characters were well written, likeable, and easy to love. The family as a whole was interesting to read about, as it was lovely seeing them reconnect and take this one-in-a-lifetime trip together. I cherished their bond, and wanted nothing but the best for each and every one of them.

The scenery is breathtakingly realistic, and I marveled at it all. The writing flows easily, and makes you eager to keep flipping the pages! 

This book is a wonderful, sweet story filled to the brim with treasures that will put a smile on your face (and make you want to travel) and I urge you to pick it up!

Highly recommend!
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Overall this was a fun read that swept me away to Italy. The characters were well written and the story flowed easily. It kept my interest most of the time.
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Super sweet read! I especially enjoyed speaking with the author via IG Live about the inspiration for the book. This story was the escape I needed during the pandemic... now if I could only order in a giant plate of pasta, life would be perfect. 

What's not to love about three generations of women touring one of the most beautiful places in the world?
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In this generational story, grandmother Sophia, her daughter, Francesca and granddaughter, Allegra end up on a summer vacation in Italy.
And it’s not necessarily something they all wanted to do, but Sophia insists. Francesca works too much, and Allegra, now a teenager, has been getting in trouble. Sophia, who has another reason for them to spend some time together, convinces them that she was to trace their family roots.
Francesca and Allegra have some problems with each other, and with learning to let go of work and technology to spend time together.
Through this trip, eyes and hearts are opened.
I could see this as a movie for some streaming channel. The characters are likable and easy to care about.
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Francesca is too busy for family.  She doesn't have time for either her mother or her teenage daughter. Until she need to go to the police station to pick up Allegra for drug possession. Francesca's mother, Sophia knows there is trouble ahead and talks Francesca and Allegra into a summer vacation in Italy.  It takes time but the 3 finally learn that family is important and they can count on each other. More bonding than romance this is a nice story that is easy to read.  I received a copy of this ARC in exchange for a fair and honest review.
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In all, this book was everything I wanted it to be; an easy read about a once-in-a-lifetime trip to Italy.  I think it's a nice book that provides a little taste of travel! I loved it. I highly recommend it.
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This took a while for me to get into (probably because I'm used to other genres and this was a departure for me), but once I did, I didn't want to put it down.. The descriptions of Italy and all it's treasures were amazing and family conflicts and secrets were deep and not easily fixed in a few pages. It was a refreshing read, and it makes he want to visit Italy and take my entire family, as crazy as they make me sometimes.
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The three generations of Ferrari women need to reconnect with one another.  Francesca is career obsessed, building her advertising company and refusing to give up any control, but she’s out of touch with her eighteen year old daughter.  Allegra is nearing the summer before her senior year of high school and wants to travel with a group of undermotivated musician friends.  Grandmother Sophia knows she is ill, but wants to take a last trip to Italy where her parents met and fell in love.
This is the book my wanderlusting soul needed right now.  Not only did I enjoy the story of these three women and their relationships with one another, but the tour through Italy, the sights and smells and smidge of romance absolutely won me over.  It was a vivid virtual tour, but also a healing, uplifting, beautiful novel about missed opportunities, second chances, relationships and forgiving.
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