Thursday, March 10, 2022

Book Review - One Italian Summer; Rebecca Serle

 

One Italian Summer; Rebecca Serle
Simon & Schuster Audio - 2022)
(narrator - Lauren Graham - not bad)

After a few heavier reads I needed something nice and light and, One Italian Summer seemed to fit the bill.  

Katy, age 30, and her mother Carol had a special closeness. Even when Katy married, Eric it was her mother who she called with any issue she had to deal with.  So when Carol dies after an illness Katy, who had spent the last month caring for her mother, is devastated. She is forced to examine her life and even whether she still wants to be married.  She takes a bold step, leaving her husband Eric at home and, heading to Positano, Italy.  It is the vacation that Katy and her mother were planning to take together.

In Positano, it is overwhelmingly beautiful: the sea, the sunsets,  the slower pace and the kindness of each stranger she meets.  Then something unexpected happens at the Hotel Positano, the receptionist is Carol, Katy's mother at age 30.  It is this awakening in which Katy gets a glimpse at a very different woman from the mother she recently lost.  Watching Carol at 30 makes Katy realize that even mothers aren't perfect and don't always have everything figured out.  

Initially, I thought Katy was immature and self-centered when she told her husband that "her mother was the love of her life," and she wasn't sure she wanted to be married anymore.  I was happy to see Katy developing a new sense of self separate from her mother. I thought the ending was satisfying as well.  Not perfect but, if you are looking for a lighter read that is a bit different this might be a good one to try.

Rating - 4/5 stars

(This audio download was made available to me by the publisher at no cost in exchange for my unbiased review.)

26 comments:

  1. This book keeps popping up in my feed. I've not read anything by this author before.

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    1. I needed a couple lighter stories so I picked Taste; Stanley Tucci and this one. Pretty good choices on both.

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  2. I'm not familiar with that author but it is an interesting synopsis you've given us.

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    1. Our book group read her previous book In Five Years and, most of the group liked it a bit better than me. In both she threw in that bit what I call magical realism scenario.

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  3. We all need a lighter book once in a while!

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  4. I love "pallet cleansers". The premises is something completely different and that draws my attention. Will take a look at this one.

    Have a good weekend Diane!

    Elza Reads

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    1. Yes, sometimes something very different is just what we need. The setting was great!

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  5. Sounds like perfect for a lighter read, and I love the cover!

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  6. I just want to go to Positano! ;D

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  7. I think I would have the same issues with Katy that you did but I'm glad to know that she redeemed herself through the book. This sounds wonderful and the setting can't be beat!

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    1. I know sometimes I just want to shake a character in fiction LOL

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  8. I haven't heard of this one but I like that it has a slightly different take on things to your usual contemporary fiction based in Italy or France.

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    1. I just came out Cath. Not my normal read but I needed something different.

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  9. I am reading right now a book set in the Turin area. Very picturesque, very holiday feeling reading!

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    1. Hope it makes you feel like you feel like you are on holiday too.

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  10. Sometimes a light read is just what we need! I'm glad this one did the trick.

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    1. Yes, it was nice to be briefly transported. It's not a very long book.

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  11. I saw this one somewhere and then again at the bookstore and loved the cover. Plus, you know, Positano. Need to get it.

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  12. Looks like a vacation I'd like to take too.

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  13. I listened to Serle's previous novel (In Five Years) and thought it was ok, but not great. I think I'd only read this one for the setting. I want to go to Positano!

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  14. This was one of my Book of the Month picks, so glad to hear you enjoyed it. I love the premise & and am looking forward to reading it!

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