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Tuscan Holiday

3.24  ·  Rating details ·  1,370 ratings  ·  163 reviews
In this warm, evocative novel set against a breathtaking Italian backdrop, bestselling author Holly Chamberlin explores the complexities of mother-daughter bonds, and the gift of second chances. . .

Marina Caldwell is thrilled to receive a two-week trip to Tuscany as a college graduation gift. That is, until she realizes her mother wants to go with her. The gulf between ide
Paperback, 368 pages
Published September 1st 2008 by Kensington
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Average rating 3.24  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,370 ratings  ·  163 reviews

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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
Shelves: ebook
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
Nov 02, 2008 rated it it was ok
I'd give it more stars, but the little intros of each chapter annoyed me. I saw what she was trying to do with the little cutesy quotes from a fake mothering book but it didn't fly. Worse was the excerpts from advice column. Skip those and read the rest of the chapter and then it is a good read. Oh, and the foods made me hungry! Who is taking me to Tuscany to feed me?
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.
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.
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.
Literary  Chanteuse
Feb 16, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: hen-lit
2.5 stars
Holly LaPat
Jun 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
I had my doubts at first, but this was ultimately very satisfying. Single mother Elizabeth surprises her daughter Marina with a two-week trip to Italy -- for them to go on together. Marina, just graduated from college and engaged to the boyfriend she's had since age 15, is less than thrilled. So far, so good ... but the first hundred or so pages, from the time they arrive in Italy, consist of very similar scenes. Mother and daughter sightsee, dine, and disagree -- mostly over Marina's fiance Jot ...more
Kris Ziegelhofer
Apr 23, 2020 rated it it was ok
First off, I HATED the letters and book quotes at the beginning of each chapter. They seemed designed to make a mockery of motherhood and dripped with animosity for mother/daughter relationships. As both a beloved daughter and mother of a beloved daughter, they were disturbing to say the least!

Secondly, Marina was totally unlikable. Her poor mom buys her a trip to Italy so they could bond, and she ends up leaving her mom to have to sight see on her own so she could shack up with some guy she ju
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
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
May 07, 2018 rated it liked it
This book was surprisingly good. It was a free Kindle download from a few years ago that I saved to read while on vacation just a few weeks ago. It about a mother daughter trip to Tuscany and how that experience affected their world view and their relationship with each other and their romantic partners back at home. I didn’t always like the daughter, their relationship was strangely formal but I did enjoy the descriptions of Tuscany especially all the streets, cafes, and art in Florence. I was ...more
So, I picked this as my "place you want to visit" prompt for the 2019 BYL Reading Challenge. It works for that, but didn't actually give me a good impression of a visit to Italy. Alternately, it was an interesting look at a relationship between a woman and her 21 yr old daughter...which I will be going through in ~13 years. It was worth reading and the story was well written, it just wasn't what I was expecting.
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.
Raye Fletcher
Mar 05, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very enjoyable!
Linda G
Apr 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned
A great "get away from it all" book while quarantining!
Jun 18, 2020 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this story of a mother/daughter trip to Florence where the know it all daughter gains some new experiences which widen her viewpoints.
Pat O’Brien
Sep 24, 2020 rated it it was ok
I was disappointed. Not what I thought it would be.
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
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
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
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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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