About Books #131: One Italian Summer
Well sjeesj, talk about a book that kind of hits you in the stomach and then leaves you stranded… One Italian Summer – let’s just say it wasn’t quite the fluffy read I had kind of been counting on!
I was offered an ARC by Netgalley in exchange for a review. All opinions are strictly my own.
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.
Here’s the thing : grief makes you do weird things. So does depression. It’s isolating. And reading about someone going through all that isn’t always necessarily the easiest thing to do. As a matter of fact, it made One Italian Summer a bit of a struggle, sometimes, to get through.
However, it’s exactly that which made it such a captivating read as well. Well – I say captivating… I did glance at the ending as soon as a certain thing happened. And even when struggling there are certain things I would rather not have seen the main character do. What struck me most about this book, though, was how true it rang. Sure, it, was at times frustrating, sad, or just “making me not want to continue reading”…
But all in all? One Italian Summer did what it was supposed to do. It just wasn’t really for me…
The rating: 2.5/5
If you’re currently going through grief, or you’ve done so recently, One Italian SUmmer might be slightly triggering – exactly because of how true it rings. However, if you feel the need to process those kinds of emotions through someone else’s story? Then this is exactly the book for you! (Goodreads, TheStoryGraph)