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: to Positano, the magical town where 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.
Rebecca Serle’s next great love story is here, and this time it’s between a mother and a daughter. With her signature “heartbreaking, redemptive, and authentic” (Jamie Ford, New York Times bestselling author) prose, Serle has crafted a transcendent novel about how we move on after loss, and how the people we love never truly leave us.
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This delightful story allows the reader to meet and feel for Katy, who's just lost her mother; Carol, her mother who gave up a lot to marry and have a family; and a family in Positano that will do just about anything to keep their restaurant running. Wonderful descriptive language makes you feel as though you are experiencing the charm and beauty of the Italian coast, flirtation and romance in a foreign town, and the warmth and positivity of the townspeople. It's never easy to lose someone, especially when it's a beloved family member. But as "One Italian Summer" illustrates, it can also prompt us to move ahead with our lives in the most unexpected ways. Bravo!
First of all, I was sobbing by chapter 3. Anyone who knows me knows I cry at books. But this cry, this was from actual heartache. My heart actually hurt at what happened. Katy is the only child of two parents, and married to Eric. She and her mother made plans to go to Italy together. But things changed and Katy ended up going alone. In Italy, even more things changed. What transpired was an eye opening for Katy, and helped her to decide how she wanted to live her life. I don’t want to give too much away, but this book is amazingly beautiful. I don’t give many 5 stars, but would give this 10 if I could.
This book was the perfect read. I finished it in one day with happy tears streaming down my face. Rebecca Serle’s writing is beautiful, gripping and leaves you wanting to highlight and re-read certain lines over and over again. I will now read everything Rebecca writes. One Italian Summer had a hint of magical realism as Rebecca incorporated time-travel into the premise. In this book, Katy’s mother, Carol, has just died and Katy takes the trip they had planned to Italy, alone. She is hoping to learn more about her mother on this trip and the reason she found Italy so special. Katy ends up finding her mother on the trip, just 30 years earlier. Katy gets to see and befriend her mother as a 30-year-old and gets a glimpse into her mother’s life before Katy knew her. Back when she was her own person, a lively and carefree young woman instead of only an unselfish wife and mother. Katy and Adam are two of the main characters in this book and they were both so relatable and had great character development. I found myself wishing I was friends with both of them because so much of their life and thoughts I resonated with and learned from. This book was a love letter to motherhood, overcoming grief and rekindling lost love. This book also helped feed my wanderlust and made me want to revisit Italy as soon as possible. Rebecca paints a pictures of Italy so beautifully that I could see it for myself and it felt as though I was transported for a day. This story will make you crave to learn more about your parents’ past and will allow you to look at every relationship with fresh eyes. You will definitely want to pick this book up as soon as you can! It was one of my favorites I’ve read this year.
It's rare that I finish a book in one day anymore. With work, family commitments and social activities getting back into the mix - there is less and less time to just sit and read. BUT, I made time for this one! I couldn't put it down. This story just begs to be read and I happily complied. If you've read Rebecca Serle before, then you know she has a knack for creating stories with a splash of magical realism - just enough to throw your expectations of where the story is going right out the window. I love how she plays with time. In this book, Katy's mom, Carol, has just died and Katy is left grieving her best friend. She questions her marriage, she questions her own abilities and she questions her motivations. What starts out as a sad premise turns into a beautiful exploration into a past Katy never knew. A daughter getting to glance at her mother before she was a mother. Katy takes the trip to Italy, originally planned for she and Carol, alone. The trip was supposed to be one where Carol could share Positano with Katy. Carol spent a summer there before she was married and it is a time she treasures. Although Carol won't be able to share her memories of the Italian city, Katy decides to move forward with the trip to try to get as far away from her mother's death and her indecision in her marriage as possible. Without giving away the magic of the story (which needs to be uncovered by each reader for themselves), this book will make you want to experience the beauty of Italy, will make you yearn to learn more about your parents' past and will help you look at your relationships with new eyes.. (and it will also make you hungry for pasta and bread!!) I loved everything about this book. I loved the honest portrayals of dependency, love, responsibility, commitment and trust. You will see new meaning in the phrase, "if you love it, you will let it go." Don't just take my word for it though - grab this read as soon as you can. It will be one of my favorites this year. Thank you to NetGalley and Atria books for an advance copy to read and review. Pub date: March 1, 2022.
Rebecca Serle's books just keep getting better and better! This was such a beautiful story. The setting of Positano and all it's beauty really came to live, but the true heart of this book was the love story between a daughter and her mother. It was heartbreaking and uplifting all at once. Serle was able to convey so much heart without making the book longer than necessary. It's another magical book by Serle and my absolute favorite one to date!