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Tuscan Holiday

3.2 of 5 stars 3.20  ·  rating details  ·  871 ratings  ·  137 reviews
Bestselling author Chamberlin sweeps readers away to beautiful Tuscany in this smart and tender novel about a mother and daughter whose Italian vacation changes them both forever.
Paperback, 368 pages
Published June 25th 2013 by Kensington (first published September 1st 2008)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,828)
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Erin
Follow all my reviews at: http://flashlightcommentary.blogspot....

The title frustrates me. I am a purist. If something doesn’t impact the story, it shouldn’t be in the book. For example, if you are going to title a book “Tuscan Holiday” the local should be well researched and treated as a character in your story. As it is, the title recalls images of Diane Lane and Sandra Oh but pales in comparison by almost ignoring the atmosphere and spirit of central Italy. Sure it mentions the tourists sites...more
Janet
Upon her daughter, Marina's graduation from college, Elizabeth Caldwell decides to take her, and herself, on a trip to Italy. She hopes the trip will allow them more bonding time. Of course, the trip becomes much more than that as each woman, in different stages of their lives, discover new things about themselves, and each other.

I wanted to like this book, but a few big things held me back. One little thing that bothered me were the "Dear Abby" type letters that were written at the very beginni...more
Elizabeth
I was really disappointed in this book. It took too long to get into the heart of the story and by the time it did, I already didn't like the characters.

I think the daughter was a brat, was rude, selfish and so naive. The Mom they made out to be this tough woman when she was just a wimp in my mind. A real Mom would have spoken her mind and put that daughter in her place without living in fear of her daughter. At least that's how my Mom did it.
Christine
Let me start by saying something that might seem contradictory to my four-star review: The book definitely has its flaws, and I can understand someone not liking it. The characters are black and white: The daughter, the young person, is extremely naive, while the mother, the older person, knows everything. The snippets at the beginning of each chapter were tiresome and unnecessary. The book speaks condescendingly to young people and makes overgeneralizations about them. The daughter's choice is...more
JoAnn/QuAppelle
Why did I finish this poorly written and trite book? Waste of my time.

The stupid pieces from an "advice columnist" at the beginning of every chapter were just ridiculous. I stopped reading them after a while.

And where was the editor?....every time the mother gave the name of an Italian dish (in Italian) she would then say "or beef with pasta". The use of this "or" construction made me nuts.
Sian
I wanted to like this book far more than I did. However I found it frustrating in places. I wanted to smack the daughter. And the ending just left me cold. I wanted to know what happened when they got back from Italy. Also, I wanted more of Italy. It was still an ok read, but I wouldn't rush to reading it if you haven't already.
Freda Lightfoot
I thought this book was an absolute delight. I read it as an ebook on my Kindle very quickly and found myself smiling and nodding throughout. It investigates the mother-daughter relationship, and as a mother of two daughters myself, I can only agree with every word. The author was spot on with her internal dialogue as Elizabeth the mother tried to decide how much to say, whether to step in or not as she watches her daughter head down roads bound to lead to disaster. As for the daughter, Marina,...more
Beth Bedee
I thought this was a good, well-written book. It was a bit more reflective than I typically like my books. Both main characters, a mother and daughter, are looking back on their trip to Florence. There is a lot of discussion of feelings and not a lot of action. I felt that the book really captured a relationship between a mother and daughter.

Three things really bothered me:
1. At the beginning of each chapter were short letters or anecdotes about mothers and daughters. At first, I thought maybe o...more
Julie Barrett
Tuscan Holiday by Holly Chamberlin
Marina Caldwell just graduated from college and before she marries her graduation gift from her parents is a 2 week trip to Tuscany. She's excited til she finds out her mother is going with her.
Her fiancee has a surprise-the honeymoon he's planned for them will be in Hawaii. She had hoped to go play tourist at the Grand Canyon and Sedona in Arizona.
On the trip of a lifetime many times men approach her mother and she's not swayed by them. She accepts drinks and t...more
Stephanie
I'll start by saying the story is a good premise. Mom and daughter take a trip, hoping to get closer and end up with major life changes. In fact, I'd even say the ending was good. However, the two charcters are so snippy, catty, and just plain bitchy that you really don't sympathize with either.

It also seems very apparent to me that Chamberlin is a very angry and bitter daughter and/or mother. The chapter quotes from a rather hateful advise columnist alternating with some horrid quotes about th...more
Cheryl
I quite enjoyed tagging along with this mother and daughter on thier holiday in Florence. The scenery, the food, the galleries and the museums all sounded wonderful. I even enjoyed the sarcastic, snippy comments by the advise columnist and the commentary on motherhood.
Sure, the daughter was a pain in the ass for the first half of the book, but she was, of course, transformed by the experience of travel. (In just 2 weeks!) Well, that and a Florentine lover...
Kellie
This was a fun summertime read- especially if you are traveling. It's mostly about a complicated mother daughter relationship with Tuscany and romance mixed. I thought the fake quotes from relationship books and advice columns were very entertaining.
Addie
This was trite and I should have just abandoned it, but I still have trouble doing that with a book. I would not recommend it. I was hoping for more Italy I guess. It is more like a mother daughter lifetime movie set on vacation in Italy.
Stacey Pagan
This lovely novel of a mother and daughter both coming of age is a great read! Chamberlin has done a wonderful job on researching Italy as well as a mother/daughter relationship. One can see she has put her heart and soul into this novel.

Elizabeth Caldwell planned a secret mother/daughter holiday to Italy for her daughter’s college graduation. She is looking forward to spending the two weeks with Marina before her daughter starts working in her career. However, during those two weeks, Elizabeth...more
Angela Lynn Holland
I am going to start by saying that this book was nothing that I thought it was going to be. I thought it was going to be a light chick lit book but it was not. It was deeper than that. One thing that I did not like was the little blurbs at the beginning of each chapter. I kind of understand why they needed to be there but I did not care for them I thought they were mean. Ok enough about that. Now the good part, I liked the idea of the mother-daughter trip to Italy. At first I was not sure that I...more
Jewel
I found this book on a list of "travel" based stories. Unfortunately it failed for me on both the "travel" and the "story" aspects.

Each chapter began with some random quote about parents or children, and with the exception of a few, most of them felt unrelated to the content of the book and fell flat for me. With regard to the travel, while the author did mention some of the sites she went to and gave me the name of an awful lot of the dishes that she ordered, I never felt like I was along for t...more
Angela Risner
I really enjoyed this book. It was so realistic that it was almost painful to read in some places.

The story switches back and forth between a mother and daughter as they embark on a trip to Florence. The mother has planned this trip as a college graduation present for her daughter, who is less than thrilled to have to spend two weeks with her mom and away from her fiance.

You learn the stories of these two women and where they are in their relationships with the men in their lives as well as with...more
Danielle
I was a bit disappointed with this book. The daughter had to be the most ungrateful and spoiled brat in the history of books. If my mother bought me a trip to Tuscany for her and I for my graduation from college gift I'd be thrilled. And to forget Mother's Day? Wow. Nice work. Although the story was somewhat of a fun read, I just couldn't get past how obnoxious the daughter was and how the mother did not say anything when she should have told her ungrateful brat of a daughter off, and while she...more
Terri
This was a nice book to get away with. On top of the great story, there were pages of Italian history, art, and scenery.

A lot of reviewers were very hard on the daughter in this book, I kind of understand that. But a good character always makes its reader feel strong emotion; I think Marina's character did that very well in this book. She is strong-headed and naive, as well as impetuous. I thought it was what made the book work so well.

This book really took me away from my life for a few hours...more
Babs
If you click on the book title and read the synopsis, that pretty much tells you better than I can what the book is about.

I'm not sure why I downloaded this book to my kindle. I did this a while ago and I no longer recall what I may have been thinking. I ended up being slightly disappointed, because the book was not what I was expecting, exactly. I guess it was just too real in portraying the problems that can be encountered in mother/daughter relationships. I think I may be been expecting a mo...more
Klaudyna Z.
I enjoyed this book. I thought it was well written, and for once, the Kindle edition was well edited without stupid grammatical and spelling mistakes.

I really liked the ending and thought that both the mother and the daughter made the right decisions. I was a little irritated though that the mother allowed the daughter to spend so much time with her lover, especially when this was supposed to be a trip just for them. If I was in her shoes, I would have been very offended and hurt by my daughter...more
Princess
"Some people are afraid to abandon the bad because they've allowed it to define them. And when you're in recovery from a negative experience, you've got a wonderful excuse for not having a life."

I, along with many other reviewers, did not like the intros to each chapter--the answer lady and the quotes from various books. I found them distracting. I did like the book. I found Marina to be real and relatable. Yes, she was quite rude to her mother, appallingly so at times. However, I remember being...more
Taunesha Shelton
This was a light easy read. A girl and her mother go to Florence, Italy. The girl meets an Italian. And like most and all Italians he is charming and romantic. I think it captures what happens when one travels and the change one goes through along the journey. It was a bit predictable and at times the girl is a bit annoying. But the relationship dynamic between the mother and daughter is interesting and made me think about the relationship and interactions I have with my own mother.
Sue (booknbeachbag)
I enjoyed the story but a few things forced me to give this book only 2 stars.
- the advice columns at the beginning of each chapter were distracting from the story. They were in no way related to the plot so why include them?
- there was too much tell and very little show.
Cathy
What a nice, getaway book this was. As I was reading this book, I could actually picture myself in all these places that these girls visited in Tuscany. The storyline was a simple one that reminds you to slow down in life and enjoy it. Don't rush into things and make sure you're making good decisions. I liked how the mom & daughter's relationship grew throughout this book and especially how the daughter, Marina, sort of "grew up" during this short vacation with he mom. I didn't like her in t...more
Barbra Luce-turner
A rare book that I read twice in about six months. A friend gave it to me when I was in Scottsdale and alternately reading in the sun and watching the Chicago blizzard I had escaped. Thought it was okay then. Nothing I woukld recommend. Then, since June was a really rough month for me, a friend suggested I read it. Had my copy in my eBooks so I read it again. Wish that life would unfold the way it dfoes in the story but it is almost a contemporary fairy tale. The writer has a great vocabularly a...more
Raneem
it is one of those cute little books where people have a life turning experience in a vacation, but its obvious that a month or two later you will forget all about it... the other thing about this book is although Rob isnt a main character but you cant stop yourself from falling for him
Lindsey
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Christine
This was not a light read. This is the type of book that makes you examine your life and choices you have made. I was sad for the mother that she held onto a past relationship for so long and let it effect other relationships. I also felt bad that it took so long for her and her daughter Marina to truly be honest with each other. I was happy for Marina that she was able to establish a positive relationship with her mother, and also experience passion while in Italy. I was glad she realized the m...more
Michele Klaiss
What a great read! I could not put it down. I can't wait to explore more that Holly has written.
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Holly Chamberlin is a native New Yorker, but she now lives in Portland, Maine - the aftermath of stumbling across Mr. Right at the one moment she wasn't watching the terrain. She's been writing and editing - poetry, children's fantasies, a romance novel or two, among many other genres and projects - her entire life. She has two cats, Betty and Cyrus, and when she's not writing her hobbies include...more
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