Holly Chamberlin’s Tuscan Holiday

After the Name of the wind, I needed something a lot different. Since I had just received a nice fat padded envelope from Kensington Books full of ARCS, I started digging for ones that had recently been published. I saw this one and decided screw it- I’ll go with the author I love!

It features a mother daughter trip to Florence, Italy. Elizabeth wants it to be a momentous, a bonding experience that will last them a life time. Marina, however, views the trip as an inconvenience. One thing that caught me was that Marina wasn’t present for most of the trip. At first, she’s busy texting and talking with her boyfriend stateside. And then later… well, she’s actually physically not there (in a good way). Thank goodness  they each have their own pov chapters!

So nothing is going Elizabeth’s way… Except it is. She just doesn’t know it yet. This book has layers and layers of the ways mothers and daughters behave towards each other, and how the dynamic can change between grandchild and grandmother when Elizabeth finds out that her mother… Well, hasn’t been very kind to her, but is apparently doting on Marina.

I’m not sure what they’re called, but the snippets (“quotes”) at the beginning of the chapters of what I hope are fake books and a column from “The Answer Lady” are so funny! They also add layers to the chapters, so make sure to read them.

It does share an underpinning with Name of The Wind. Although the references are few, this is a story being told by people who have already lived it. Unlike many first person past tense, where it is all in one time line, there are a few lines throughout the novel that clue the reader in on the fact that it was written after the events. There’s mention of Elizabeth’s notes, and how for one day there’s nothing on them except for what she ate.

My only problem is that while Elizabeth’s story was wrapped up nice and tight, Marina’s wasn’t. But that perhaps is the glory of the character’s journey: at a very young age she is moving from a tightly regulated and planned out timetable for her life to moving towards allowing uncertaintity, passion… Life into her life.

In all, it’s a lovely novel and I’m looking forward to the next and the next and the next!



I am currently reading the second book in the Kingkiller Chronicles, so it will be another week before I’m done. The sucker is over 1100 pages! Oh, and I enrolled in an online fiction writing class, F2K, which I’m really enjoying. Plus writing a bit every day…. But I promise, my lovelies, I’m going to get better at this! I am working hard on it!

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