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Our Italian Summer
by Jennifer Probst

Published: 2021-01-12T00:0
Paperback : 384 pages
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Three generations of women in the Ferrari family must heal the broken pieces of their lives on a trip of a lifetime through picturesque Italy from New York Times bestselling author Jennifer Probst Workaholic, career-obsessed Francesca is fiercely independent and successful in all areas of her ...
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Introduction

Three generations of women in the Ferrari family must heal the broken pieces of their lives on a trip of a lifetime through picturesque Italy from New York Times bestselling author Jennifer Probst Workaholic, career-obsessed Francesca is fiercely independent and successful in all areas of her life except one: family. She struggles to make time for her relationship with her teenage daughter, Allegra, and the two have become practically strangers to each other. When Allegra hangs out with a new crowd and is arrested for drug possession, Francesca gives in to her mother's wish that they take one epic summer vacation to trace their family roots in Italy. She just never expected to face a choice that might change the course of her life. . . Allegra wants to make her grandmother happy, but she hates the idea of forced time with her mother and vows to fight every step of the ridiculous tour, until a young man on the verge of priesthood begins to show her the power of acceptance, healing, and the heartbreaking complications of love. Sophia knows her girls are in trouble. A summer filled with the possibility for change is what they all desperately need. Among the ruins of ancient Rome, the small churches of Assisi, and the rolling hills of Tuscany, Sophia hopes to show her girls that the bonds of family are everything, and to remind them that they can always lean on one another, before it's too late.

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Excerpt

The sweet scent of smoke hit me before the voice did.
“Did you at least have the pasta?”
I whirled my head around. Our tour guide stood a few inches away. Had he followed me? Legs crossed at the ankles, back resting against the building, he gave me a lazy smile while he inhaled from the cigarette clasped in his elegant hand. Odd, but I always checked out a man’s hands first. There was something about the firm strength, the tapered fingers, the sinewy wrists, that fascinated me. Maybe it was all the things a man could do with good hands—from fixing a car or leaky pipe or cradling and protecting a baby to stroking a woman straight into orgasm. ... view entire excerpt...

Discussion Questions

When we first meet Francesca, we discover she seems to prioritize work over family. Did you feel sympathetic or critical toward her character and her responsibilities? Judgmental? Did she inspire any empathy for her situation or did you believe she could have made better choices?

Italy plays an important role in Our Italian Summer. As the characters travel, they begin to find out more about themselves. Did you have a favorite town/setting you loved the most? Why? What was it about the scene that resonated with you?

The three main characters—Francesca, Allegra, and Sophia—all have individual struggles within the family. Were you able to relate to one of them better than the others? Why?

The overall theme of Our Italian Summer is that our relationships to our family develop and change us. Discuss each character’s growth arc and how they changed over the book.

Ian wants to become a priest. Do you believe he should have pursued a different path after falling in love with Allegra? What do you think happens to Ian after the close of the book? Do you think Ian and Allegra will always have a relationship?

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