One Italian Summer by Rebecca Serle

Thank you to Quercus for the invitation to take part in this Blog Blast. I received a copy of the book in order to prepare this review, which forms my honest opinion.


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.


In Five Years was such a highlight for me that I was very excited to read One Italian Summer.

I really enjoy that this is a book about love, but like In Five Years, its main focus is not romantic love. One Italian Summer focuses on the love between a mother and her daughter. Having recently lost her mother, Katy escapes to Italy on the holiday they had planned to take together. Confused and heartbroken, her loss is all consuming. And then her thirty year old mother shows up…..

This is a quick read, filled with emotion. And after a few heavy reads, I was a little subdued to read that it was a ‘heart breaking’ read. I really didn’t get that though. Though the circumstances of Katy’s trip to Italy is indeed heart breaking, this book is actually something rather different. It feels hopeful. Filled with warmth and all the vibrancy of Italy stuffed into the pages. It’s a journey of acceptance, realisation and even joy – with a little sprinkling of the mystic thrown in.

With an intriguing premise, One Italian Summer delivers a little bit of sunshine along with an exploration of motherhood and what it is to be a daughter as Katy sheds her role as the child and embraces her own womanhood.

An enjoyable and insightful read, I’ll be looking forward to more from Rebecca Serle.

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