Our Italian Summer by Jennifer Probst Book Review is here. I was immediately drawn to this book because of the title and because of my own experience with an Italian summer. This is a bit outside my normal reading since I usually read straight romance or fantasy-based romance novels. However, this book incorporates many themes, including coming of age, first love, mother-daughter relationships, and traveling abroad to bring it all together.
The story focuses on three generations of women. Sophia is the grandmother hiding a secret and desperately trying to bring her family together. Francesca (Frannie) is the mother who is a single-parent workaholic to the extreme. She also is dealing with extreme anxiety attacks and a daughter who does not trust her. And lastly, Allegra, the eighteen-year-old senior, struggles to find who she is supposed to be when her mother pushes her into everything she does not want to be.
The women are all at their breaking points when Sophia and a reluctant Frannie force Allegra to accompany them on a four-week tour of Italy. Allegra feels like she is missing out on her summer with her new friends. Frannie cannot let go of her controlling tendencies towards her company and career. While Sophia is coming to terms with her age and all she still wants to accomplish. Despite it all, they find love and companionship in a country worlds away, and if they learn to listen to each other and live in the moment, they just might find what they have been missing at home.
The story was told from the viewpoints of all three women and was very well written. Each woman had her own tone and unique voice, which was evident in the writing and storytelling style. It slowed a bit in the middle, and I only enjoyed that part because they were discussing parts of Italy that I had been to as a teenager. So, while this story is about these women finding themselves and each other again, it is also a little love letter to Italy. Very understandable if one has ever had the pleasure of seeing such gorgeous architecture and natural beauty.
Overall, this book had everything a contemporary novel should. I loved the dynamics between the women. I loved watching each find love in completely different ways. Each woman had their faults and flaws, and it was beautiful to watch them learn about each other and forgive one another as a family should. I read this book fairly quickly; it is a lovely summer abroad read. I think if someone has close ties with their mom and grandmother, this book would be even more special.
What do you think, should I continue to branch out and review books outside of my norm? I gravitate towards spicier or fantasy books but I enjoyed this book so much! Let me know!
Learn more about Influencer Nicki C. on our Meet the Influencer page. Also, thank you Berkley Publishing for sending this gifted copy.