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Tuscan Holiday

3.23  ·  Rating details ·  1,222 Ratings  ·  155 Reviews
Holly Chamberlin sweeps readers away to beautiful Tuscany in this tender novel about a mother and daughter whose Italian vacation changes them both forever. The daughter, Marina, is blinded by an Italian who shows her how unpredictable passion can be, while her mother, Elizabeth, embraces her uncertain future
Paperback, 368 pages
Published September 1st 2008 by Kensington
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Rating details
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Jul 09, 2011 rated it it was ok
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
Jul 08, 2011 rated it it was ok
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
Apr 27, 2009 rated it did not like it
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.
Freda Lightfoot
Oct 31, 2010 rated it it was amazing
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
Jul 30, 2012 rated it really liked it
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
Jul 23, 2010 rated it did not like it
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
Nov 24, 2010 rated it did not like it
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.
May 18, 2012 rated it it was ok
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.
Julie Barrett
Jun 30, 2013 rated it really liked it
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
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
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
Aug 03, 2010 rated it liked it
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...
Jul 11, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: free-kindle
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.
Cindy Feigert
Jul 15, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: summer-reads
This book is an interesting take on the relationships between mothers and daughters. She used an interesting technique at the beginning of each chapter, people writing in to the answer lady for advice about mothers. some were quite amusing.
Feb 02, 2012 rated it did not like it
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.
Literary  Chanteuse
Feb 16, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: hens-lit
2.5 stars
Feb 17, 2018 rated it liked it
Both mother and daughter have some serious growing up to do - and does anyone really think that surprising their 21 year old daughter with a 2 week mother-daughter trip to Italy is a good idea?

Like many have said, the snarky- and frequently downright mean- chapter headings were distracting and a little disturbing. Other reviewers have commented on how bratty Marina was, but it was actually Elizabeth who had serious issues. Marina just had to grow up a little.

Everyone was just a little “too...” t
Barb Anders
Feb 11, 2018 rated it liked it
book was ok...the parts I liked were the great descriptions of the buildings and sites that Elizabeth and Marina visited in Tuscany and Florence...also liked how Elizabeth figured out that her long time love was her everything and worth paying attention to...I found Marina pretty immature and at times annoying but by the end of the book liked her more...she learned alot about herself. THE parts of the book I found unnecessary and kind of frustrating were the chapter starters...especially the let ...more
Jul 06, 2017 rated it liked it
This story brought back some memories of my trip to Florence! I enjoyed it through the eyes of the characters in the book. It is a story about a mother and daughter on a vacation where they begin to understand their choices and each other's choices in life. Story was okay. Ending was a disappointment.
Angela Holland
Jul 04, 2013 rated it really liked it
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
Stacey Pagan
Feb 13, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: awesome
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
Jul 07, 2012 rated it it was ok
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
Angela Risner
Jun 04, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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
Klaudyna Z.
Mar 10, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle-books
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
Barbra Luce-turner
Jul 12, 2011 rated it liked it
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
Sep 03, 2010 rated it really liked it
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
Wanda Gibbons
May 23, 2016 rated it liked it
Read this over the May 24 long weekend. Filled with peals of wisdom sprinkled generously throughout the story about mother/daughter/parent relationships. Probably something of value for every mother/daughter relationship. The idea that you cannot control their lives forever is intertwined with a loyalty and commitment that is forever, and you see the responsibility of the parent to launch the daughter and to let go but still be only a moment away. A book that can stop the reader for pause and re ...more
Nov 15, 2009 rated it really liked it
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
Apr 07, 2012 rated it really liked it
"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
Jul 15, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction
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
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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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