One Italian Summer
by Keris Stainton
Paperback, 245 pages
Published May 4th 2017 by Hot Key Books
It’s been a year since Milly, Elyse and Leonie’s dad died, and a year since their last trip to Rome. Summer’s here again, and once again they are heading with their mum to Italy – but what’s it going to be like going without Dad? Rome still holds its familiar charms – the sun is still as warm, the gelato as delicious, the people as welcoming. But nothing is quite as it once was …
With grief still raw for all of them, Milly is facing the additional awfulness of having to see Luke again – gorgeous, gorgeous Luke, who she had a fling with last year, and who she made a total fool of herself with – or so she thinks. What’s going to happen this time? What’s more, things between Milly, her sisters and their mum are rocky – Leonie is being tempestuous and unpredictable, Elyse is caught up with her new boyfriend, and Milly feels like she just doesn’t know how she fits in any more.
Over one Italian summer, can Milly find a way back to the life she once had?
I received this book through Netgalley in exchange for honest review.
Spending summer in Rome is pretty much a tradition in Milly’s family. But this year will be the first time they are going without their dad, and really, Rome is really more of her dad’s thing. It’s hard enough to go to a place where she sees him everywhere she goes, but it’s even harder with Luke, who she had a complicated history with. Will everything be alright in the end and will she be ready to move on?
Things I Like
- Rome! This book give me the worst case of wanderlust. I’ve never been to Rome, I’ve only see pictures. But this book portrayed Italy amazingly; the cafes, Trevi Fountain, the delicious smell and visual of the food, green rolling hills, and blue ocean of Positano… SOMEONE PLEASE TAKE ME THERE.
- The way grief is handled in this book. We can feel how hard the death hits Milly’s family and how raw their grief still is. Her father has been a huge part of their Rome trip and he overshadowed this trip heavily. Everywhere they go, everything they eat… it reminds them of their dad. There were a lot of moments where I feel my eyes went watery because of how real their feelings are.
- Amazing family relationship. Milly is very close with her sister, Elyse and Leonie. They support and comfort each other. They are also very close to their mother. The dynamics is also very real in this book, despite how close they were, there are moments where they just clashed because of their grief. I think it’s very realistic and important, especially since their father’s dad hit them unexpectedly. Milly’s family is also close with her cousin and aunt and other extended family. It’s just heartwarming seeing them together.
Things I Didn’t Like
- The mood of this book. I feel okay with the characters and the romance, but what I’m not okay is how quickly the mood shift in this book. One minute Milly is crying about her dad, the next Luke (the love interest) walks in and all she can think about is how much she want to kiss him, touch him, grind him, etc. And no, I’m not slut shaming her. But the mood just changed too quickly that it become too jarring to read. This does not happen only once or twice, but it happened for the entirety of the book. It seems like Milly only have 3 mood: grieving, worrying, and lusting.
- The cover. I mean, it’s gorgeous, but it’s totally misleading! There’s no scooter riding or la dolce vita…
Overall, ONE ITALIAN SUMMER took us on a beautiful trip throughout Rome while exploring the realistic family dynamics and grief of Milly’s family. I just wish there was smoother transition between the romance and grief and Milly wasn’t as distracted to Luke as she was. If you’re looking for a really good portrayal of grief and to be taken away to Rome, just ignore the romance and this book is your champion.