Our Italian Summer
publication: January 12th 2021 by Berkley Books
From New York Times bestselling author Jennifer Probst comes a new women's fiction novel featuring three generations of Ferrari women who need to heal the broken pieces of their lives...and one trip of a lifetime through Italy.
Workaholic, career-obsessed Francesca is fiercely independent and successful in all areas of life except one: family. She struggles to make time for her relationship with her teenage daughter, Allegra, and the two have become practically strangers to each other. When Allegra hangs out with a new crowd and is arrested for drug possession, Francesca gives in to her mother's wish that they take one epic summer vacation to trace their family roots in Italy. What she never expected was to be faced with the choice of a lifetime. . . .
Allegra wants to make her grandmother happy, but she hates the idea of forced time with her mother and vows to fight every step of the ridiculous tour, until a young man on the verge of priesthood begins to show her the power of acceptance, healing, and the heartbreaking complications of love.
Sophia knows her girls are in trouble. A summer filled with the possibility for change is what they all desperately need. Among the ruins of ancient Rome, the small churches of Assisi, and the rolling hills of Tuscany, Sophia hopes to show her girls that the bonds of family are everything, and to remind them that they can always lean on one another, before it's too late.
In Our Italian Summer we see three women take the vacation for different reason. Nonni knows that something is wrong with her and wants to have this time with her daughter and granddaughter with hopes that it will help to heal their relationship. Sophia takes the vacation to keep Allegra away from some friends that seem to be taking her down the wrong path. Allegra, the granddaughter, is forced to go by her mother.
Jennifer Probst brought Italy to life for me. I could picture the places they visited, taste the foods they ate, hear the conversations they had, and hear the sounds they heard. The descriptions of the land, the places they stayed, and the food had me picturing the world they were traveling as if I was right beside them on this once in a lifetime trip. I especially loved the dinners with the dancing, laughing, and having fun.
The relationship between Sophia and Allegra was tough. Sophia is a workaholic who just wants a better life for her daughter while her daughter just wants her mother’s attention. Their relationship is one that needs work and Nonni is the one to make it happen. While Nonni wants nothing more than for that to happen, she chooses her words careful and only uses them at the right time. She is not pushy or overbearing and is wise in her years to realize that she cannot fix them, they must fix themselves. I enjoyed that there were tense moments. There were times of arguing, fighting, and yelling but there were also tender, friendly moments that showed their relationship held hope of becoming one of trust, respect, and love.
Everything about Our Italian Summer is wonderful. Reading to story took me away to place I have never been with characters I would love to travel with. The story has a very real message about family dynamics and respecting each other and their choices.
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Meet Jennifer Probst
Jennifer Probst wrote her first book at twelve years old. She bound it in a folder, read it to her classmates, and hasn’t stopped writing since. She holds a masters in English Literature and lives in the beautiful Hudson Valley in upstate New York. Her family keeps her active, stressed, joyous, and sad her house will never be truly clean. Her passions include horse racing, Scrabble, rescue dogs, Italian food, and wine—not necessarily in that order.
She is the NYT, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal bestselling author of sexy and erotic contemporary romance. She was thrilled her book, The Marriage Bargain, spent 26 weeks on the NY Times. Her work has been translated in over a dozen countries, sold over a million copies, and was dubbed a "romance phenom" by Kirkus Reviews