Rating : ★ ★ ★ ★
Even if it was her mother’s final wish, Lina didn’t feel like she belonged in Italy. She didn’t like the fact that she would be staying on cemetery grounds and that she would have to live with the father who pretended she didn’t exist for 16 plus years all she wanted was to find a way back home. That is until she is given her mother’s journal and she can’t help but want to follow her mother’s footsteps in Italy and possibly falling in love herself.
This was the sweetest story. Lina is given her mother’s journal talking about a mystery man who she believes is the man she’s living with then the plot thickens and she drags the ex-patriot Ren, short for Lorenzo, along with her for the ride.
It is as you expect, there is a question of who is her real father, but it isn’t much of a spoiler. The question is posed early in the book with the subtle “He doesn’t look like me.” I thought it was done very well.
I really liked how as we learned more about Lina’s mother, her own experiences started to almost mirror her mother’s first experiences in Italy. Not completely, but after she met Ren and gained her small international friend group you could see her making the same connections and friendships that her mother did and which lead to her love of Italy. Okay, I’m kind of tearing up thinking about it.
There were some slightly problematic pieces and blurred relationship lines which I think some people wouldn’t like. There wasn’t any outright cheating but you couldn’t really tell if some characters were together or not which lead to a few misunderstandings. That’s the only thing that really stuck with me but what is life if not messy especially at Lina’s age.