I LOVED “Love and Gelato“! My senior year in high school I too traveled to Italy, but on a student exchange program. So reading L&G brought back all the great experiences similar to those expressed by Lina in her coming of age story.
We meet Lina as she is by her terminally-ill mothers side, as she tells her stories of her good friend Howard in Italy from long ago. 6 months pass since Lina’s Mother’s passing, still grieving and living with her bestie Addie. Lina reluctantly travels abroad to the Tuscan country side to meet Howard, the man she believes to be her father, the man her mom never mentioned till she was on her death bed.
As Lina comes to grips with meeting Howard, she also has to deal with the creepiness that Howard is the caretaker at an American cemetery whose home is also on the grounds. Long runs are the only escape for Lina when stressed and as she heads out for her first run in Italy she meets her neighbor American Italian teen boy Ren.
Ren helps Lina explore Tuscany and Florence and find the truth behind the stories written in her moms journals from when she lived and studied in Italy. Becoming her confidant and best friend.
Linas story is full of sweet and sad moments that lead to a summer of discovery.