Tuesday 24 May 2022

Book ~ "One Italian Summer" (2022) Rebecca Serle

From Goodreads ~ 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, Carol, are very close.  When Carol was 30, she spent some time in Italy and had a fabulous time and wanted to share this with Katy.  The arrangements are made and when Carol passes away from cancer, Katy begins to question her life.  She decides she hasn't been happy with her husband, Eric, and pushes him away.  She decides to take the trip to Italy alone so she can have some time to herself.

There she meets Carol ... yes, her mother, Carol, during her fabulous time in Italy and gets to know her as she was at that time, not as her mother.  She learns things about her mother that changes the way she feels about her.

I wasn't crazy about this story.  I thought Katy and Carol were weirdly close ... Katy felt that her mother was the love of her life and vice versa.  Really?  Though both had spouses (Carol was married to Katy's father), they were the loves of each other's life?!  When Katy talked and thought about Carol, it sounded like Carol was so perfect.

When Katy meets Carol in Italy, they are both 30 and hang out as friends ... Katy didn't find it odd that her dead mother is alive and well there.  I found this hard to believe as Katy didn't seem to question this.  When she finds out that Carol has a secret, she freaks out and is rude.

I didn't find Katy likeable at all.  Eric seems like a nice fella but she doesn't treat him very well and tells him she doesn't want to be with him anymore.

It's written in first person perspective in Katy's voice.  I wasn't buying the ending.  As a head's up, there is swearing and adult activity.

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