"Even when the rainbow seems to pass right by me....I'm still finding Gold in the clouds....."

01 March 2014

2014 Book Review #10: Tuscan Holiday

What a delightful book!

I had read another novel by this same author and enjoyed it, but it had been a couple of years since I had seen anything else by her at our library, that caught my eye.  This story is about the mother-daughter relationship and about love/marriage/heartbreak/possibilities....and starting over. It was a light and easy read.  It would be a perfect "beach read" if you want to save it for summer.

Marina Caldwell has just graduated from college.  Her mother, Elizabeth Caldwell, gives her a gift...for just the two of them.  It is a trip to Florence, Italy for 2 weeks in June!  Elizabeth is hoping to really bond with her daughter before her daughter goes off to a new job and later in the year gets married to her longtime, and only, boyfriend, Jotham Granin.  Jotham is a pompous, wealthy and snobby young man, who is also a control-freak.  Marina, who is a dependable, practical and always in control type of young woman, wants to avoid the mistakes she perceives her mom has made.  That "mistake" was getting pregnant and becoming a single mother at age 22.  Marina's father has never taken responsibility for Marina, nor even set eyes on her...in fact, he has never acknowledged, in any way, that he is the father, despite all of Elizabeth's endeavors.  Marina has never met her father.

Elizabeth, once madly in love with Peter (Marina's father) has spent most of her adult life alone with her daughter and her own parents.  She also has had a long time boyfriend (Rob) who has asked her to marry him several times.  Yet, she just can't seem to commit.

A lot can happen on a vacation.....especially a vacation in Tuscany.  Marina, who walks the streets once walked by Dante and Michelangelo, as well as other great Italian artists, suddenly meets a young Italian man (Luca) who begins to show her what unpredictable passion can be.......and begins to change her mind about her future.  He wants her to stay in Italy. Will Marina stay??

Meanwhile, Elizabeth begins to let go of the role that has defined her for so long....that of mom, in order to embrace her own uncertain future......


An excellent novel about the friendship that can occur between a young adult daughter and a middle-aged mother.  We learn about the unbreakable bonds between a mother and her child; about unshakable love....and about the once in a life time chances that sometimes come to us.........if we are willing to see them and experience them.

I loved the characters in this book and I cheered when Marina made the decision she did regarding her future with Jotham. (I won't reveal what that decision is).  I also cheered when Elizabeth finally set plans with Rob to marry him.

Of course, being a Christ-follower, I didn't like the casual physical relationship that Marina found her self indulging in with Luca...but...I do recognize that this is the way/culture of today's world. People who are not believers just don't see casual s*x as wrong.

The author did an excellent job in describing a girl who has only ever had one boyfriend and all the feelings and fears and uncertainty that go with that, once marriage is looming.

I highly recommend this story....especially if you like books that describe a European city, or are a mother with a daughter.  It is quite insightful!

I especially loved the little anecdotes at the beginning of each chapter.  They were written as letters by random people, to a "dear abby" type person with her answers.  They were very humorous and matched what was going on in the plot, to a degree.

In my opinion, this book is appropriate for ages 17 and older.

On a scale of 1-10, with 10 being the highest, I rate this a 9.


Deb said...

Sounds like a pretty good book. Parts of your review reminded me of the book Eat, Pray, Love which I quite enjoyed. I totally agree with you though about casual sex in books (which Eat, Pray, Love had). I don't like that. I prefer the "clean" reads without the "sexy surprises." Thanks for the review.

Susanne said...

I've really like one book I've read from this author and another one not so much, but this sounds like something I may like. Onto my list it goes.

Melanie Lopata said...

This one sounds good!! Will put it on my must-read list!