Monday, October 2, 2023

REVIEW: A Winter in New York by Josie Silver


This is the second Josie Silver novel I've read and it packed an emotional punch. The story  really is of Iris, a woman with no family to speak of, absolutely alone in the world, finding a family and love and security. She leaves a horrible situation in London and begins to find her footing in New York, only to be thrown for a loop when she discovers an important piece of her family history. A place that was meaningful to her mother, the person she's currently grieving. When she visits this place, a gelateria, she discovers a family and history that are enmeshed with her own, the only catch is that the one person who knows how she's connected is hospitalized and her desire to help the family will require that she keep secrets. Keeping secrets in and of itself isn't problematic, until you learn more about the Belotti family (owners of the gelateria) and how they view secrets and lies and honor and trust. So, Iris keeps the secrets, does her best to help and not harm, and ends up falling madly in love with Gio, the person running the shop. As the story progresses, her guilt and shame become more and more of a burden, and you can't help but just want her to spill all of the secrets and just come clean. As the ending nears, the angst and helplessness just kept increasing until you just knew something had to happen. It did. It was super sad, and then it wasn't, and then some unexpected things happened, and yes-the happily ever after happened too. 

Something about Iris being an adult orphan just punched me in the gut. All she wanted was her mom back and in lieu of that, a family to belong with and to. She wanted love and warmth and connection and she found it and the idea that it could go away just got to me. The way Josie Silver described the Belotti family interactions and dinners were so vivid and reminded me so much of my family--I really connected to it all. I also really appreciated how she described various NYC scenes; they felt iconic and picturesque and I wanted to live in those scenes. 

So here I am in the blazing hot heat of Louisiana in July, wishing for a Winter in New York

PS-I know it's an impossible dream, but I really would love more of the Belotti family. I feel like there are many more stories to be had. 



A young chef stumbles on a secret family recipe that might lead her to the love—and life—she’s been looking for in this stunning novel.

When Iris decides to move to New York to restart her life, she realizes she underestimated how 
big the Big Apple really is—all the nostalgic movies set in New York she’d watched with her mom while eating their special secret-recipe gelato didn’t quite do it justice. 

But Bobby, Iris’s best friend, isn’t about to let her hide away. He drags her to a famous autumn street fair in Little Italy, and as they walk through the food stalls, a little family-run gelateria catches her eye—could it be the same shop that’s in an old photo of her mother’s?

Curious, Iris returns the next day and meets the handsome Gio, who tells her that the shop is in danger of closing. His uncle, sole keeper of their family’s gelato recipe, is in a coma, so they can’t make more. When Iris samples the last remaining batch, she realizes that 
their gelato and her gelato are one and the same. But how can she tell them she knows their secret recipe when she’s not sure why Gio’s uncle gave it to her mother in the first place?

Iris offers her services as a chef to help them re-create the flavor and finds herself falling for Gio and his family. But when Gio’s uncle finally wakes up, all of the secrets Iris has been keeping threaten to ruin the new life—and new love—she’s been building all winter long. 

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