Stella Mia is a novel about love, gypsies and looking for a home, and the beautiful beaches of Italy. But mostly it’s a hauntingly beautiful tale about mothers and daughters.
Julia finds her mother’s diary, and because her mother left when she was young, it’s a treasure to Julia. The book opens with Julia’s story, but really pulls you in during the flashback to Julia’s mother’s life. The flashback is the bulk of the story.
We find out how Julia’s mother Sarina grew up, how she made her own way, how she fell in love, and how she sacrificed her own happiness for someone else.
The end poignantly brings the story back to Julia. I didn’t know how invested I was until I felt tears running down my face, in sorrow and joy at Julia and Sarina’s love for each other.
Stella Mia is sad, I’ll be honest. It’s harsh at times, disturbing, and heartbreaking. But it’s all worth it when you get to the parts about holding hands on the beach, singing Stella Mia, and feeling the love when someone says Ti voglio bene. Kinda just like life.