Rebecca Serle has become a must-buy author every time that she releases a new book. I’ve read almost all of her books by now, and there has not been a book by her that I have not been obsessed with. So, when One Italian Summer was an option for my Book of the Month add-on, I grabbed it.
The synopsis (taken from Simon and Schuster):
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.
This book truly hit home for me. I lost my mom over three years ago, and that’s a loss that I have yet to fully recover from. There were times where tissues were required when reading this book. If someone is recovering from loss, I highly recommend reading this.
That said, I gave this book five stars. As I mentioned earlier, I am such a huge fan of Rebecca Serle. I’ve read (and devoured) the Famous in Love duology, In Five Years, and The Dinner List. This book absolutely met my expectations of a Rebecca Serle novel — a little bit of love, difficult to put down, and an overall great book to read.
What I love about this book is watching Katy’s character growth. At the beginning of the novel, she was lost. The book starts off during her mom’s funeral. Katy was at a standstill at the beginning with her marriage and with her career life. Throughout the book, she begins to find herself again. She rediscovers her passion for photography. She begins to figure out who she is, versus being her mother’s daughter.
Furthermore, I loved how Katy had some kind of closure with her mom. As mentioned in the summary, she meets her mom when her mom is 30 years old. Before this, she knows her mom as being completely put together and stylish. This version of her mom is imperfect. And, I liked reading that because oftentimes, we associate our parents as being perfect, when sometimes they are not.
Other things that I loved from reading this book include: the twist in the end, and the ending (which I will not spoil).
That said, the only issue that I had with this book is that the ending had more closure than I thought was normal. Katy just lost her mom a week or two ago, and it’s already seeming like she’s gone through a few stages of grief in one go. Which, if you know anything about grief, is unrealistic. I also thought the ending was a little quick and rushed as well.
Minus that one issue that I had with the book, I really loved this book, and I still highly recommend you checking it out.