The Secret Love Letters of Olivia Moretti by Jennifer Probst

The Secret Love Letters of Olivia Moretti is a beautifully written story about three sisters who have lost touch and can barely tolerate each other who are forced to come to grips with the death of their mother and the mystery she left behind. In order to find peace, these women must somehow work together to find out who this woman they loved so dearly could have had a hidden life none of them knew about.

Priscilla is the creative sister. Formerly a professional ballet dancer, her life drastically changed when she met and fell in love with her husband and decided to give up her career for a family. Against her mother’s advice. Now, years later with her son grown and living in London, she begins to feel the pull of something. Just what she doesn’t know, but she feels she may be harboring resentment towards her husband for the decision she made all those years ago.

Devon is task oriented. A college teacher she has no time for any social activities other than preparing for her next class and hoping to someday be the head of the department, something she was just passed over for.

Baily is the free spirit. She loves art and drawing, (as her mother did), and acting. She is a social butterfly. She and Devon had a blow out when they were young that has never been truly resolved and this has affected not only their relationship, but their relationship with Priscilla who feels her place is as referee to their dysfunction. As much as their mother tried, she could never get them to resolve their issues.

Then, of course, there is their mother Olivia who was the true stable force in their lives. But when Olivia dies suddenly leaving the women to not only grieve her loss, but also feel as if they weren’t there for her at the end, there is tension between the siblings.

But when they find a chest hidden in the back of their mother’s closet as they are cleaning out her house, and inside are letters to and from a mysterious R, as well as the title to a house in Positano, Italy, they don’t know what to think. The last letter in the group was received by their mom just before her death. It was from R who told Olivia to come to Positano on her 65th birthday so they could meet up. Olivia unfortunately never made it to her birthday.

The sisters decide they must go to the Amalfi Coast and find this man who was somehow so important in their mother’s life from an early age, someone she chose not to tell anyone about ever. He was someone she clearly loved as a young girl and had some sort of relationship with for all these years. How on earth did they meet?

Unfortunately, the women’s history with each other causes fighting and strain upon their arrival in Italy and they must somehow resolve their problems not only with each other, but each must take a look into their own selves to see why they all seem to be stuck in their lives.

All this must be done without their mother’s help, someone who they all relied on in times of crisis. Will they be able to find this “R” who may hold all the answers to their mother’s past? And could these answers be the final gift their mother Olivia gives to the daughters she loved desperately and left behind so unexpectedly? Will they not only find themselves but each other as they hunt the truth of who loved their mother so much, he let her go.

The Secret Love Letters of Olivia Moretti is a story filled with mystery, beautiful scenery, intrigue, love and loss and most importantly forgiveness.

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