About the Book:
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.
What an enchanting story! Loved every minute. I have traveled to Italy but this book makes me want to plan a trip to Positano immediately. I can almost feel the warmth of the sun and the taste of a glass of Montepulciano wine.
Katy has recently lost her mother, who was also her best friend and her guiding light. Her marriage is at a crossroads as well, so Katy decides to take the trip to Italy that she and her mother had planned before her mother’s death. Her husband is understandably unhappy with Katy’s decision but the call of the Hotel Poseidon and magical Positano is just too strong.
Once Katy arrives on the Amalfi Coast, everything changes. She locks her cell phone away in the hotel safe and embarks on a magical adventure involving a handsome hotel investor named Adam and a beautiful young woman named Carol. Katy has come face to face with her mother as a young woman. If this sounds all too crazy to be believable, it’s not, and the author weaves this lovely tale with a clever hand and a story that is almost like a travel guide to Italy.
“I feel like there are more hours in the day here,” I say to Adam. “That’s why I love it,” he says. Everything is longer in Positano. Even time.
I do not like overly sentimental books, but the emotion in this story is so genuine that everything felt natural and unforced. I loved watching Katy discover new things about her own mother that she never knew, and in the process, discovering things about herself as well.
“I watch her disappear down the steeply descending staircase. I am watching her becoming, I think. Here she is, at the start.”
Adam is very charming and seductive and Katy is conflicted about what to do about her husband Eric, who she met and married when she was relatively young. Katy is looking for answers and is shocked to learn a secret from her own family’s past when she meets the 30-year-old Carol. How can this be? Everything in Positano has a magical aura, from the food and wine to the sites and the gorgeous scenery.
I got lost in the Italian setting and seriously want to visit Hotel Poseidon. I loved the conclusion of this book, and found the characters and plot absolutely enchanting. Rebecca Serle has wonderful insights into mother-daughter relationships and I really enjoyed reading about Katy and Carol. If you are looking for a wonderful escape from real life for a few hours of delicious reading, this is the book for you.
“There is more to life than just continuing to do what we know. What got you here won’t get you there.”
(Thanks to the publisher Atria Books for providing an advanced copy in exchange for an honest review.)