In the summer of 2019, author Rebecca Serle and her mother set off on a trip to Italy, visiting Rome and the idyllic town of Positano on the Amalfi Coast. It was a glorious holiday, made even more special by the fact that Serle’s mother had spent an amazing summer there when she was 20. She had fallen in love with a man named Remo in Rome; they had met at the Trevi Fountain.
In 2019, mom and daughter were able to find Remo on Facebook — and they ended up happily (where else?) at the Trevi Fountain. (“My mother is very happily married to my father, I just want to make that clear!” Serle laughs.)
But the trip changed his life.
“I got to see my mom in a different light,” says Serle, bestselling author of “The Dinner List” and “In Five Years.” “And it made me think about what it would be like to meet the women we don’t know in our mothers.”
It would serve as inspiration for her new book, ‘One Italian Summer’, (Atria Books), a slim novel that’s both a love letter to mother-daughter relationships – and to the hillside town of Positano. , in Italy, who might as well be his own character in the book.
Protagonist Katy is in shock when her mother Carol dies; nothing makes sense anymore, even less his marriage. Seeking clarity, she makes the last-minute decision to embark on the trip to Italy that she and Carol had planned – only, she will be traveling alone. At the charming Hotel Poseidon (a real place), Katy begins to live again with the help of the Italian sun, food and amazing sights. She meets a handsome man who is also staying at the hotel, but she also strikes up a curious friendship: with the 30-year-old version of her own mother.
“My mother is the great love of my life. We are very close and I write to probe the edges of what I fear,” Serle says. “Losing her is my greatest fear. So this book is a bit of a love letter to my future self – the one who will have to walk this earth without her.
And the beautiful setting – with real-life locations that any traveler to Positano will recognize and appreciate – is a treat for the reader.
“I know international travel is a long time coming back for some of us,” she says. “And I hope this book can serve as a bit of a vacation for people, a getaway.”