An Italian summer review: Rebecca Serle’s latest novel is a poignant exploration of grief

Rebecca Serle has a knack for weaving magic with grief, I don’t know how she manages to shock me every time but she does.

One Italian Summer once again focuses on a love story that isn’t romantic, as In Five Years fans may recall.

Katy mourns the loss of her mother, it’s something she saw coming but never managed to prepare for and it distraught her.

The two had planned a trip to the Italian town of Positano, but unfortunately her mother dies before she can make the trip.

Her grief has thrown everything she thought she knew out of balance, with her marriage not feeling quite as it should.

This is how Katy finds herself alone in Italy, trying to figure things out.

If you’ve ever taken a trip to Italy in the summer, you might know just how hot it gets – it’s perfectly captured in this book.

We see Katy go on an adventure in self-exploration, and even see her meet a woman who takes her breath away.

One Italian Summer emphasizes the importance of putting your own needs first and also highlights the impact daily interactions can have on a lifetime.

It manages to feel fun and capture the youthful experience of an uninhibited life while bringing reality to the fore.

Jada Jones is one of Review Club’s expert reviewers.

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It’s moving and heartfelt, with me facing tears on more than one occasion.

Although this is only a short book, I found it difficult to read it in one sitting as it can be quite intense.

But rather than feeling weighed down with grief and sadness at the end, I felt light and hopeful in a way that I often feel after reading Rebecca’s work.

If you’re a fan of In Five Years or The Dinner List, I think you’ll love this.

You can buy One Italian Summer here on Waterstones.

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