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.
-Excerpt taken from Goodreads.
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(4 / 5) I first fell in love with Italy after watching Only You (Marisa Tomei, Robert Downey Jr) as a kid. It seemed so beautiful and romantic, I’ve always been intrigued. Reading the descriptions of Positano in this book made me feel like I was experiencing it for myself. This was an experience. The writing was beautiful. I really did feel like I experienced part of this town. That if I went there one day, it would be familiar to me, not unknown.
I struggled a bit with Katy’s relationship with her mom. Maybe it’s because I lost my mom at a young age but I’ve never felt that connection to someone and just couldn’t relate. I really struggled with Adam and how that evolved. What does that mean? How am I supposed to feel about him? It was left unresolved.
While I adored the idea of Carol and the opportunity Katy had, I couldn’t wrap my brain around it. I couldn’t think about it too hard! If I didn’t, I enjoyed it, if I did, I felt frustrated.
It ended and I realized I didn’t get closure. I was still piecing together the story and trying to fill in gaps. I’m left feeling unfulfilled. Because of this, some of the magic of the book dissipated. The infidelity was brushed away like no big deal leaving me frustrated she didn’t confront those feelings or fess up to what she’d done.
The majority of this book was truly an experience that I adored. I’m newly obsessed with all things Positano and have added it to my bucket list destinations.
General content summary: F words: 6, death from an illness, grief, marriage separation, kissing, infidelity (details of intimacy).
Thank you to Atria Books and Shelf Awareness for the gifted copies!
The book releases March 1, 2022.
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