'Love and Gelato': Lost love and Italian summers
On May 25, Netflix shared a teaser for their upcoming feel-good romance, Love & Gelato, and as an ardent reader of young-adult romance, I could not keep calm. The film is an adaptation of Jenna Evans Welch's book of the same name, published by Simon & Schuster in 2016, and is set amidst the fairytale backdrop of the Italian summer. Written and directed by Brandon Camp, the film will feature Owen McDonnell, Susanna Skaggs, Tobia De Angelis, and Anjelika Washington in lead roles. It is all set to hit the screens on June 22 this year.
The story revolves around the life and adventures of Lina, a college aspirant recovering from the trauma of losing her mother. In an attempt to fulfill her mother's dying wish and find her father, she sets off to spend her summer in Tuscany. Here, she is presented with her mother's journal which takes her through hidden bakeries, pretty landscapes, secret stories, and introduces her to Italy's infamous gelato. The old journal narrates a separate story of its own, connecting the dots between past and present. By revisiting the places explored by her late mother, Lina gets a good glimpse into her life and begins to understand her like never before.
Love & Gelato is a beautiful book that left me with a wide smile and sense of fulfillment. It has everything a young-adult romance needs—lovable characters, protagonists slowly falling in love, and cute expressions of first love. The descriptions are so vivid that it took me on a magical tour of Italy and it seemed that I was vicariously exploring the place through the journal itself.
The book manages to address grief and then transforms it into a warm, wholesome read. I particularly loved the way Welch addresses familial relationships, breaking our perceptions about ideal families. By the end of the book, Lina not only unearths secrets about her late mother's life but also rediscovers herself as she evolves during the process.
I have been a fan of this author's Love &… trilogy and am eagerly looking forward to the adaptation. The teaser of the upcoming movie further hypes my interest. The sneak peek reveals several important details, right from navigating the journal to exploring the magic of Italy behind Ren's scooter.
Maisha Islam Monamee is a student of IBA, DU and a freelance journalist who likes reading, scribbling, and blogging. Follow her, @monameereads, on Instagram.