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Blog Tours book reviews Emma's Anticipated Treasures

BLOG BLAST: One Italian Summer by Rebecca Serle

Published: March 1st 2022
Publisher: Quercus
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Contemporary Fiction
Format: Hardcover, Kindle, Audiobook

Happy Publication Day to this beautiful and unique story. Thank you to Quercus books for the invitation to take part and the gifted ARC.

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SYNOPSIS:

The heartbreaking new novel from the author of the international bestseller In Five Years

When Katy’s mother dies, she is left reeling. Carol wasn’t just Katy’s mum, 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, the mother-daughter trip of a lifetime looms: two weeks in Positano, the magical town where Carol spent the summer 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, healthy and sun-tanned… and thirty years old. Katy doesn’t understand what is happening, or how – all she can focus on is that somehow, impossibly, she has her mother back. Over the course of one Italian summer, Katy gets to know Carol, not as her mother, but as the young woman who came before.

But can we ever truly know our parents? 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 daughter. With her signature ‘heartbreaking and poignant’ (Glamour) 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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MY REVIEW:

“She had all the answers. I, on the other hand, have none of them, and now I no longer have her.”

Katy is grieving the death of her mother, Carol, who wasn’t just her mother but also her best friend, confidante and guide.  Before Carol died they had booked a mother-daughter trip of a lifetime to Positano on Italy’s Amalfi Coast, a place full of meaning to Carol after spending the summer there before she met Katy’s father.  Trying to come to terms with her loss and find her way in the world without her mother, Katy decides to take the trip alone.  In Positano Katy can feel her mother’s spirit and enjoys discovering the places her mother once inhabited.  But then things take a strange turn when Carol appears, thirty years old and full of life.  It’s impossible.  A miracle.  It’s a chance for Katy to not only have her mother back, but get to know her as a woman.  This will be a summer she’ll never forget. 

First of all, let me warn you that this book will make you want to book the next plane to Italy and explore the Amalfi Coast for yourself.  Beautiful and transportive, I could almost feel the sun on my skin and see the terra-cotta houses nestled into the hillside.  I have found myself dreaming of Positano since reading this and it is now added to my travel bucket list.  Also, be prepared for the food descriptions which made my mouth water and my stomach rumble.  Nothing I had in my snack cupboard seemed good enough after reading about the delicious food Katy was enjoying. 

I fell in love with Rebecca Serle’s writing after reading In Five Years and was highly anticipating this book.  And while the former remains my favourite, with this book she once again shows her talent as a storyteller with a flare for evocative imagery, great characters, beautiful prose and a dash of the unexpected.  This is a book that requires you to suspend your disbelief a little when Carol suddenly seems to return from the dead thirty years younger, and I’ll admit to struggling with that at first, but once I got past that initial strangeness and my own expectations of reading the same book again, I was able to again immerse myself in the story being told.

One Italian Summer is a story of family, love, loss and self-discovery.  A story that reminds us to cherish those we love.  Katy’s deep grief is woven through every page and I found my own heart breaking along with hers.  I loved how the author explores the theme of our own identity in relation to grief, asking who we are when we lose that person close to us; are we still a daughter, a mother, a friend? Through Katy and Carol the author explores the complexities of mother-daughter relationships and how we often don’t take the time to get to know the person beyond that role.  This story is a great reminder that we need to take the time to really get to know the whole person when it comes to those we love. 

Poignant, unique and beautifully told, this is a quick read that I’d recommend to those who enjoy their stories with a touch of magical realism. 

Rating: ✮✮✮.5

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MEET THE AUTHOR:

Rebecca Serle is an author and television writer who lives in New York and Los Angeles. Serle developed the hit TV adaptation of her YA series Famous in Love, and is also the author of The Dinner List, and YA novels The Edge of Falling and When You Were Mine. She received her MFA from the New School in NYC. 

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BUY THE BOOK:

Waterstones*| Amazon*| Bookshop.org*
*These are affiliate links

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Check out the reviews from the other bloggers taking part in the tour.

Thanks for reading Bibliophiles ☺️Emma xxx

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