Title: One Italian Summer
Author: Rebecca Serle
Publisher: Atria Books
Release Date: March 1, 2022
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.
After losing her mother to cancer, Katy feels devastated. Her mother was her best friend, the one with all the answers. Losing her makes Katy doubt everything in her life. She is not sure she wants to remain married to her husband, Eric. She is lost in despair and grief.
Needing a change and a place to clear her head, she decides to take the trip to Italy she and her mother, Carol had planned. The Amalfi Coast was a place quite dear to her mother. Carol had spent time there before she was married.
When she arrives in Positano she makes a connection with a young man, Adam, and then she sees her mother, alive and well and young too. Katy doesn't understand it but she doesn't want to blink and realize it was all a dream.
Carol and Katy become fast friends and Katy will do anything to continue hanging out with this carefree version of her mother. She is getting to know a part of her she never saw but for how long can this be?
I won't lie, I was a little disappointed in One Italian Summer. I felt like Katy took all but never reciprocated. She was mean and disrespectful to her husband, Eric who seem like a nice friendly guy. She was also trying to force Carol into making the decision she wanted. It was all Me, Me, Me with her.
What I did like was seeing Positano again through the author's eyes. The Amalfi Coast is one of my favorite places. A few years ago, I spent two magnificent weeks there. I had the best time with family and the best food too. I miss it and I can't wait to go back and have another cheese tour, visit a lemon farm and do a limoncello and meloncello tasting, take the boat to Capri and enjoyed quite memorable dishes and desserts.
A complimentary copy was provided by Atria Books via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.