At 30 years old, Katy has lost her mother to cancer. Katy is left reeling and completely unable to fathom a life without her. To Katy, her mother was perfect and she just doesn’t know how she will be able to go on. To make matters worse, Katy and Carol were supposed to go on a summer trip of a lifetime to Positano, Italy, a wonderful town that had completely shaped Carol one summer all those years ago before she met Katy’s father. Drowning in grief, and with her marriage falling apart, Katy decides to go on the trip alone to get her bearings and feel close to her mother by experiencing the beauty of the town her mom had always raved about.
When she gets to Amalfi coast, she can feel her mother all around her as she visits the spots Carol had told her about. And then, somehow, her mother actually appears – very much alive and only 30 years old. Katy doesn’t understand what is happening but she relishes the time she has getting to know her mom as a young woman. But as the summer goes on and Katy spends time with a young Carol, she begins to realize that there were many things she did not actually know about her mother. As secrets come out, Katy must decide what it all means for her ideas of who her mother actually was, and what it means for Katy’s own future.
This is a beautiful book in every sense of the word and I absolutely loved it. I loved the descriptions of Italy (especially the food!), and I was very moved by the relationship between Katy and Carol. This is a magical story of processing grief and a mother/daughter bond like no other.