Book Review: One Italian Summer By Rebecca Serle


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.


I was a bit apprehensive about reading this at first given the nature of losing your mother. However, as with Serle’s previous works it tears at your heart strings in the most perfect way.

With the Gilmore Girls quote at the start I knew this was going to be a fantastic worthy read. I really enjoyed the mother daughter bonding Katy and Carol had.

I really enjoyed exploring Italy’s town of Positano so much. I felt like I was going along with them on all of their adventures and it was a lovely experience to do so. This was supposed to be a mother-daughter trip which the daughter, Katy had to go alone. Where she somehow discovers or entered a past version of this experience but with her mother. A younger version of her mother back when she did visit. This is where Katy gets to enjoy bonding with her mum in a new way and discovers more about herself as well as what her mother was like years ago.

Definite vacation vibes and a heart warming read that makes you appreciate your relationship with your mother and knowing that we are all people, young at heart.

Thank you to the publishers for sending me this in exchange for an honest review.

4/5 Stars


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