Discussion: Love & Gelato

Love & Gelato

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Who is ready to go back in time and attend high school in Italy? Anybody? Just me? Gosh I love this book so much! It has such an adventurous spirit. I feel like I’m in Florence when I’m reading and I loved watching the different relationships in Lina’s life develop over the Summer. We screened a lot of books for April, looking for something to really escape in to and lift everyone’s mood. Love & Gelato fit the bill perfectly and I hope you loved it as much as I did! There is a sequel to this book, just as an FYI and a third book in this series is due out in November!

Now let’s chat in the comments below!

xo- Ashley Brooke

OK y’all, let’s talk books! Head down to the comments to answer our discussion questions and tell us what you thought of this month’s selection. Remember, this book club is here to be fun and thoughtful so be sure your comments are kind and respectful of others.

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Discussion Questions!

1. If you received the journal that Lina did, would you read it all at once or piece meal like she did?  

2. Sometimes the family you choose can be just as important as the one you’re born in to. Do you have a “Howard” in your life? Is there someone you’ve adopted as family? 

3. Lina and her friend Addie work hard to stay in touch over the Summer. How are you staying in touch with your people right now?  


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21 Comments

  1. April 28, 2020 / 8:45 am

    1. If you received the journal that Lina did, would you read it all at once or piece meal like she did?

    Oh, I would NOT be able to put that thing down! I thought the way Lina handled it was perfection, but I would not have been so controlled! ha!

    2. Sometimes the family you choose can be just as important as the one you’re born in to. Do you have a “Howard” in your life? Is there someone you’ve adopted as family?

    Yes! I had a 3rd extra Grandma in my life, Grandma Frankie! She worked at my parents photography studio and was there well before I was born. She was just as much a real grandma to me as my own grandmothers are. I miss her daily but am so thankful I got to experience her love!

    3. Lina and her friend Addie work hard to stay in touch over the Summer. How are you staying in touch with your people right now?

    Hahah! I love this one, so spot on for the time. I’m doing all the FaceTime, all the zoom, and trying to text my girlfriends every few days to check in. Even though we are far apart, we are in this together!

    Can’t wait to discuss!
    xoxo

    • Betsy Storey
      Author
      April 28, 2020 / 4:32 pm

      Grandma Frankie was a treasure!! And I love connecting with you digitally but can’t wait to hug your neck sooner rather than later!

  2. April 28, 2020 / 11:55 am

    1. If you received the journal that Lina did, would you read it all at once or piece meal like she did?

    oh my gosh I would have totally read it all at once! Maybe not the night she got it, just like she didn’t, but once I started I definitely wouldn’t have stopped. I think the way it was written reading it in pieces made since from a narrative perspective, but yeah I couldn’t have stopped.

    2. Sometimes the family you choose can be just as important as the one you’re born in to. Do you have a “Howard” in your life? Is there someone you’ve adopted as family?

    Growing up we had family friends who weren’t technically family, but that I definitely considered family. As far as family I choose, besides for my biological family, I have a close knit group of friends who I consider family and we talk more than I talk to a lot of actual family members. Just like Addie is Lina’s family, I consider my best friends the same way.

    3. Lina and her friend Addie work hard to stay in touch over the Summer. How are you staying in touch with your people right now?

    Thank goodness for technology! Of course I am texting everyone regularly, more than normal! I have video chatted with family members for Easter, and my husband’s birthday and had a movie night and a Saturday morning coffee date with my friends just to chat. Almost every day I video chat with my brother and his girlfriend and we play games online while we can see each other on video. And I old fashioned call my mom because that is something we always do. I liked the use of the journal as a way Lina could still communicate with and feel close to her mom, even if the journal wasn’t “meant” for her. I think it shows that there are ways to stay close to those we love, even if sadly they are no longer with us.

    I also have to recommend the companion book Love and Luck, which is about Lina’s friend Addie. I read Love and Gelato years ago because I loved the cover haha so I bought Love and Luck to read a long with this one this month. It was so cute, with a good message, and now I cannot wait for Love and Olives.

    • Betsy Storey
      Author
      April 28, 2020 / 4:32 pm

      Yay! I’m glad you hear you loved Love & Luck–I’m looking forward to reading that and Love & Olives come November!

  3. Jenn
    April 28, 2020 / 11:57 am

    1. I would TOTALLY not be able to put it down. I would want to know more. I think she did what was best for her and helped her to process the bits of information each bit at a time and really treasure where she was and when.

    2. I have a TON of people that have been adopted into my life. I have uncles that aren’t uncles, I have friends I consider sisters. My aunts and uncles friends are now my “friends”. There’s never too many people that you can consider family. Love without limits.

    3. I am totally staying in touch with facetime and zoom for friends and family and Skype for business for my co workers. We do workouts together or just catch up. Even social medias like Instagram show me how people are with photos or Facebook with updates and photos. it’s nice to see how everyone has collectively come together to share bits and pieces of their life and carved out time to talk to me. I feel so much more connected through the check ins and facetimes et. al than I have been in awhile. so this quarantine may be a blessing in disguise.

  4. Melissa Terry
    April 28, 2020 / 12:02 pm

    1. If you received the journal that Lina did, would you read it all at once or piece meal like she did?
    When my daddy died I had a pile of letters he wrote me and I was only able to read them a little at a time. Much like Lina, I needed to process them in small doses so I feel like I would have read the journal in the same manner.

    2. Sometimes the family you choose can be just as important as the one you’re born in to. Do you have a “Howard” in your life? Is there someone you’ve adopted as family?

    Yes, my longtime friend/matron of honor is truly a sister to me. We’ve celebrated, grieved , laughed, cried together…all of it. I am thankful the Lord gave her to me all those years ago.

    3. Lina and her friend Addie work hard to stay in touch over the Summer. How are you staying in touch with your people right now?

    My mom comes and stands at the end of our driveway to talk to me and our kiddos a few times a week so that’s fun. Zoom book club, lots of texts and more phone calls than usual (which I’m loving) are how I’m keeping in touch with the rest of our people right now. ❤️

    • Betsy Storey
      Author
      April 28, 2020 / 4:30 pm

      Friends who are more like sisters is the best! I’m so glad you have that in your life Melissa!

  5. Katherine
    April 28, 2020 / 12:24 pm

    1. If you received the journal that Lina did, would you read it all at once or piece meal like she did?
    I would have for SURE read it all in one sitting. I am nowhere near patient enough to wait!
    2. Sometimes the family you choose can be just as important as the one you’re born in to. Do you have a “Howard” in your life? Is there someone you’ve adopted as family?
    Yes, I’m so thankful to have people that aren’t related by blood but feel like extra parents!
    3. Lina and her friend Addie work hard to stay in touch over the Summer. How are you staying in touch with your people right now?
    Lots of facetime & zoom calls with my pals to stay connected even when apart!

  6. Erica Green
    April 28, 2020 / 1:45 pm

    I haven’t read this book (yet) since I just joined this book club and am SOOOO excited! I can’t wait to find out what the book is for May (maybe I’ll win the free copy!). I’ve always wanted to join a book club but just haven’t…until now! So excited to be apart of this fun journey with you beautiful ladies! xo

    • Betsy Storey
      Author
      April 28, 2020 / 4:30 pm

      Welcome Erica! We’re so glad you’re here!

  7. Stephanie
    April 28, 2020 / 2:36 pm

    1. I would have absolutely read the entire journal all at once. Then I would have gone back and read through it at a slower pace. I wonder how this story would have been different if Lina had been like most of us and read it all at once. Anyone have any thoughts?
    2. After moving away from home for college and not going back, I don’t really have one specific Howard. It is more like the friends that I have met have become my family. (Which sounds cheesy, but it is totally true. )
    3. Addie is such a great friend to Lina, it is one of my favorite parts of the book. I’ve been staying in touch mostly with Zoom. And so. much. texting.

    Finally, another question if anyone wants to answer: Another motif in the novel is interesting places to live (the cemetery, the gingerbread house, abroad) If you could live in an interesting place or house, what would it be like and where would it be?

    • Cindy
      April 28, 2020 / 4:16 pm

      Great question! I think living in an old medieval castle would be awesome. I actually follow a facebook page of this couple who is renovating an old French chateau.

    • April 29, 2020 / 9:59 am

      I love this question, especially after reading the author interview, and she said she always thought of the setting first she waned to write in, and then developed the characters and story.

      I recently saw a news story about a couple who live in a lighthouse and are the lighthouse keepers (I forget where) and people were applying to take over their position since they are moving on.

      I also just watched Win the Wild on Netflix, about an older couple who began a homestead in Alaska in the ’80’s after staking a land claim, and the show is a a survival competition where they will now choose one couple to take their place now that they are aging and can’t take care of it anymore.

      I also love New England/coastal areas. I love stories set in Nantucket or Maine, somewhere like that, so I would 100% choose to live in an area like that. I’d take something quirky!

  8. Cindy
    April 28, 2020 / 4:09 pm

    I want to start by giving a big ‘Thank you’ to the ladies behind the book club! This is my first time participating and I feel so accomplished. This is sort of embarrassing to admit, but I haven’t finished a book in years. As a teenager, I read a ton and as I transitioned into adulthood I lost touch with one of my favorite hobbies. Being home has allowed me to reconnect with my love of reading and couldn’t have done without Love & Gelato. I was captivated from the very first chapter. I was fortunate to have lived in Italy for a few months after graduating college and the book brought back so many sweet memories <3 I’ve started Love & Luck!

    1.Honestly, I would have read it all at once. Curiosity would have killed me! But the way it happened in the book fit in perfectly with the story line. Also, if I was Lina constantly being invited to parties and places all over Florence I would probably end up reading it in sections too haha.

    2.I would have to say my mother-in-law. She is like a second mom to me and I am so happy to have her in my life.

    3.Facetime! And this app called Houseparty. It’s like FaceTime but you can play all kinds of games with the other people on the call. They have all sorts of fun stuff like Heads Up and Pictionary. We’ve done virtual happy hour with Houseparty and I have to say it’s a TON of fun.

    • Betsy Storey
      Author
      April 28, 2020 / 4:23 pm

      Cindy! We are so glad you’re here!! I’m tickled that our book club has reignited your love of reading. Thanks for the tip on Houseparty–can’t wait to try that!

  9. Betsy Storey
    Author
    April 28, 2020 / 4:29 pm

    1. If you received the journal that Lina did, would you read it all at once or piece meal like she did?
    I don’t think I could have put this down! I’m a slow processor of information though so I bet I would have read it all and then gone back and read it in chunks as I explored the places she went.

    2. Sometimes the family you choose can be just as important as the one you’re born in to. Do you have a “Howard” in your life? Is there someone you’ve adopted as family?
    I can definitely think of people in my life who were part of our family in different seasons. One example would be a lot of the neighbors who lived on our street growing up. It was a new neighborhood and lots of people moving in were newlyweds and new parents and we all sort of grew up together. A few weeks ago we had a Zoom family dinner with one of the families we are still super close with!

    3. Lina and her friend Addie work hard to stay in touch over the Summer. How are you staying in touch with your people right now?
    We are Zooming, and FaceTiming and doing all the things over here. Marco Polo is my favorite because you can send video messages like you would a text so you get that face to face interaction but you can watch and respond at your leisure.

  10. TERESA GONZALES
    April 28, 2020 / 4:35 pm

    1. I would have read the journal right away! Who could wait on that!!!
    2. I agree the family you choose is often easier to love than biological family.
    3. Texting, zoom and social media.

  11. Emily
    April 28, 2020 / 8:45 pm

    1. I absolutely would have read it all at once! I don’t think I could have put it down and would have flown through it.

    2. We live far away from our family and have been so blessed to have amazing friends who have become family. My kids have extra grandparents and aunts and uncles through our church family and it’s the best!

    3. The great part about this situation for me is that it’s encouraged me to connect more with my family and friends far away – tons of video calls, extra phone calls and game playing over Hangouts. I’m so glad we can do these things together!

  12. Emily
    April 29, 2020 / 10:18 am

    You all come up with the best questions! Thank you for selecting this book. I never would’ve picked it up on my own and I flew through it!!

    1) I would’ve flown through the journal! Everytime she stopped reading I was like “No, keep going!”

    2) I loved Howard it this book. I kept expecting him to be harsh or to parent Lina, but he had so much grace towards her and was funny! I don’t have anyone in particular that’s come into my life like that, but I hope I can be that person to someone else at some time. ALSO- he was always making her the best pastas. Big bonus points from me.

    3) FaceTime has been really helpful! My sisters and I also stay bonded by sending funny Tik Toks with each other

    • Taylar
      April 29, 2020 / 4:35 pm

      1. If you received the journal that Lina did, would you read it all at once or piece meal like she did?

      I would definitely read the journal all at once, the anticipation would be too great! I liked for the plot’s stake that it was broken up piece by piece because it felt like I was reading it for the first time along side Linda.

      2. Sometimes the family you choose can be just as important as the one you’re born in to. Do you have a “Howard” in your life? Is there someone you’ve adopted as family?

      My mom has three best friends from high school that are like aunts to me! I loved Howards character and how patient and kind he was to Lina. The way he treated Lina was definitley a refelction of how much he cared for her mother regardless of their past!

      3. Lina and her friend Addie work hard to stay in touch over the Summer. How are you staying in touch with your people right now?

      I have been staying in touch with my friend and family throught texting and FaceTime. I am excited to read the sequel ‘Love and Luck’ to learn more about Lina’s friend Addie through the next adventure!

      I enjoyed this book so much that I finished it in a day! Such a great lighthearted read! Looking forward to May’s Book Club pick

  13. Amelia
    April 29, 2020 / 10:04 pm

    1. If you received the journal that Lina did, would you read it all at once or piece meal like she did?

    I would have read it all at once! To be honest, Lina’s “doses” of her mom were killing me! I needed to know who her X was and how Howard related! I also just adored that Ren was heavily invested in Hadley/Lina’s quest to find more about her mom/dad. Is it just me or did this kinda almost feel like Mamma Mia because she’s reading her mom’s journal about a romantic season, the heartbreak, and baby, and now said child is on a trip to find their dad (even though it didn’t start that way, I know… but, I saw parallels and just loved it!!).

    2. Sometimes the family you choose can be just as important as the one you’re born in to. Do you have a “Howard” in your life? Is there someone you’ve adopted as family?
    I have a few close friends that I consider to be my BEST friends/sister friends. As an only child, I feel like the small close-knit circle I have is just incredibly supportive and amazing, my heart is inexplicably full any time I’m around one or multiple of those girls.

    3. Lina and her friend Addie work hard to stay in touch over the Summer. How are you staying in touch with your people right now?

    The handful of people I’ve actually stayed in touch with over quarantine are immediate family and those few close friends mentioned above. I (and said friends mentioned above) are all still working as essential employees so our communication is sporadic as normal and cherished when it happens. I have a lot of people I help every day at work and then outside of work so many people just want to talk and its lovely but I’m also exhausted and overwhelmed. (I know that sounds bad to say, and I’m sorry if this comes off the wrong way!!!) I’m actually shocked at how much I’ve withdrawn. I consume a lot of social media content to feel like I’m keeping up with everyone. Yet, when people ask how I’m doing, it takes several days for me to get the energy to text back and then I feel guilty! I haven’t had the solitude and rest that I think most people have experienced, and I think being a little overworked (12 hour days) has made me retreat inside myself! (Thank you for coming to my conflicted Libra/enneagram 6 TedTalk). And I truly am sorry – I know this answer is awkward or could make others feel awkward (Im weirded out by it myself) but it’s the truth, and if someone else feels like this, I see you and I get it!

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