Rebecca Serle’s latest and quite possibly greatest novel is the perfect escape. If you are itching to travel, but are busy with work, responsibilities, or life in general, this book can fill that void! I had a blast with this book, as it was my maiden voyage into listening to audio books. It is available on Libro.fm (click for direct link and sample), and is read by the wonderful, witty Lauren Graham. As the star of the best show ever (Gilmore Girls), Graham could not have been a better fit for reading this moving mother-daughter story. Katy and her mother were the very best of friends. The book version of Lorelei and Rory Gilomore (how fitting, right?); absolutely inseparable. Thus, it was all the more devastating when Katy’s mother, Carol, died of cancer two weeks before they were supposed to embark on the greatest trip of all time: two weeks in Positano, Italy. Katy ultimately decides to take a leap of faith and go on her own. Once she arrives in Positano, things get a little wacky when her mother appears at age thirty as if preserved in time. The events that follow explore grief, love, and identity. Not only was this a wonderful depiction of relationships, but it put the reader right in Positano alongside Katy with wonderful descriptions of food, culture, scenery, and locals. Serle wrote, “From high up on the winding road, you can see the entirety of the town. Colorful hotels and houses sit chiseled into the rocks as if they were painted there. The entire town is built around the cove of the sea. It looks like an amphitheater, enjoying the performance of the ocean.” Travel to Italy from the comfort of your living room and keep a bowl of gelato on hand. Bookseller's orders!
In the exciting sequel to It Happened One Summer, summer just got a whole lot spicier. The first novel followed the love story between rich heiress, Piper Bellinger and the quiet and devoted sea captain, Brendan Taggert. This one follows Piper’s down-to-earth, music obsessed, relatable younger sister Hannah. Tessa Bailey returns to Westport, where we fall in love with the handsome, roguish Fox Thornton. Fox, a notorious flirt, developed a friendship with Hannah in It Happened One Summer. This novel delves into their separate personal struggles. Hannah has always seen herself as a supporting actress, but she dreams of being the leading lady. Fox suffers intense self-doubt and imposter syndrome. When Hannah moves into his apartment for the summer, things between these “friends” heat up quickly! While this is a fun summer read, it also explores self identity, trust, and growing up. It will make you choke on your laughter, blush down to your toes, and idiotically grin at the beautiful simplicity that is love. Read It Happened One Summer before it gets made into a movie and when you miss the cast of characters in Westport, return with Hook, Line, and Sinker!