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Tuscan Holiday [Paperback]

Holly Chamberlin

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Paperback, Aug. 26 2008 --  
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Book Description

Aug. 26 2008
When Elizabeth Caldwell planned a trip to Florence with her daughter, Marina, she secretly hoped for a warm, fuzzy bonding experience worthy of a Lifetime movie. But Marina - twenty-one, newly graduated, and close to her mum in many ways - has always been more the PBS type: dependable, practical, and completely in control. Elizabeth knows Marina wants to avoid the kind of 'stupid mistake' that left Elizabeth a single mother at twenty-two, and she's bitten her tongue as Marina settles for a wealthy fiance who gives. her everything she thinks she wants. After all, Elizabeth - unable to bring herself to fully commit to the man she has dated for years - is hardly an expert in romance.Still, a lot can happen on vacation, especially in Tuscany, where every scent borne on the warm breeze inspires delight, and every view makes the heart soar. There, on streets once walked by Dante and Michaelangelo, Marina is blindsided by a gorgeous Italian named Luca who shows her how gloriously unpredictable passion can be, and Elizabeth finally lets go of the role that has defined her for so long to embrace her own uncertain future...

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Kensington (Aug. 26 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0758214030
  • ISBN-13: 978-0758214034
  • Product Dimensions: 21.1 x 14.2 x 2.6 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 340 g
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #417,905 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 3.6 out of 5 stars  52 reviews
50 of 53 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars entertaining look at relationships Sept. 3 2008
By Harriet Klausner - Published on Amazon.com
Single mom Elizabeth Caldwell is proud of her daughter Marina who just graduated from college. However, she is concerned that her offspring is marrying Boston Brahmin Jotham Grandin for all the wrong reasons. Turning into a pop psychiatrist Elizabeth believes Marina is submissive to her fiancé on everything; and marrying him not out of love or even friendship, but more a reaction to avoid the victim mistake her mom made over two decades ago. As a graduation present, she buys two tickets to Italy. Marina thinks it is for her and her fiancé, but Elizabeth awkwardly corrects her that this TUSCAN HOLIDAY is for mom and daughter.

Elizabeth knows she is not a role model having been unable to fully commit to her lover Rob after thirteen years together, but hopes to reconnect with her daughter and prays Marina finds some passion. In Italy, Elizabeth is ready to give up as Marina behaves like the condemned walking the last mile to their execution. Suddenly the air seems fresher and livelier when Marina meets Luca who brings a zest for life that has both women reconsidering their relationships back home.

This is an entertaining look at relationships especially between a mom and a daughter. The lead pair rotates perspective so that the audience sees the same event at times almost entirely different as the two female Caldwells bring personal lenses to the mix. Fans will enjoy this fine family drama.

Harriet Klausner
19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Mother-Daughter Story Aug. 6 2009
By C. Andres - Published on Amazon.com
I think this is best described as a coming of age story for both young women and their daughters. It's about two women, a mother and daughter, who don't see eye to eye especially in their relationship with each other. The mother, Elizabeth, seems as if she just wants to get to know her daughter, create a relationship with her. A kind of ideal relationship like in the movies or on tv ; one where the two are comfortable linking arms with each other.

However, the daughter, Marina, doesn't seem comfortable being close to her mother at all. She'd rather hang out with her friends, or fiancé. Marina is like one of those in the moment young women.

So Marina just graduates from college and lands a job as an accountant at the beginning of fall. So as a graduation present her mother gives her two tickets to Italy. Marina assumes the tickets are for her and her fiancé, Jotham, however, the tickets are for a mother -daughter trip.

Reluctantly, Marina goes with her mother go and the dynamics of their relationship unfold. The reader learns that Marina and Elizabeth were abandoned by Marina's father even before Marina was born. Elizabeth had tried several times to contact him but he refused to see them and even threatened with a restraining order. We find that Marina's relationship with Jotham is less than perfect with Jotham being overbearing and kind of a brat.

Through the trip you find both ladies learning to live in the moment. Marina makes decisions without Jotham. Elizabeth makes time to think through her past and realizes what she's been missing all these years. And the two form a better relationship, the "linking arm" kind of love Elizabeth has been hoping for.

The book makes you want to take a trip at which you have time to find yourself. I don't think it necessarily has to be in Tuscany. But it does cause you to appreciate what you have. I think it may have made Marina seem a little self centered, and Elizabeth more of the martyr. But it did make some good points in the dynamics of a mother daughter relationship. After reading this, I have definitely become more cautious about the eye rolling, and have decided to make a conscience effort to "listen" to what my mother has to say.
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Escape to Florence July 5 2010
By Bette - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I very much enjoyed this tale about a mother and daughter on holiday in Florence. It's a good study of a complex relationship. Character growth is well portrayed. While I have a hard time believing that Marina would find such an incredible man so easily, it brings out the fantasy we all harbor! The mother was charming and wise. It was nice to revisit Florence through their eyes. The book was well-formatted for the Kindle.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Tuscan Holiday July 2 2010
By Rusty Donner - Published on Amazon.com
Another fun read from HC. As always she gets her reader interested in relationships
and puts them in a great location. Here we have a single Mom and her daughter, Marina. Mom is nervous that Marina has picked her fiance for all the wrong reasons. Well! Who hasn't had a Mom that worries about her daughter's decisions. And how nice to be taken around Florence while issues are faced, romance shows up and a mother and daughter cement their relationship with love and respect. The reader roots for them and cheers the
both of them on, and Holly does not disappoint. RD"
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great summer book Aug. 3 2010
By Shawna J. Hansen - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I am not a big fan of the overly realistic and depressing life struggle novels, so when I started this book, it took me a while to like it. Once the author's sense of humor started to peep out and the story about the mother and daughter took on its own life, I was hooked! Great summer read (any season really) and wonderful emotional and humorous awakening between the mother and daughter. The city of Florence comes to life on every page.

I'm recommending this book to everyone I know.

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