Friday, November 17, 2023

Book Review: A Winter in New York by Josie Silver

Pages: 384
Genre: Adult Fiction
Pub. Date: October 3, 2023
Publisher: Delacorte
Source: Publisher for review
Other Books By Author: One Day in December
My Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Goodreads says, "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."


It's 1985 in New York City and Vivien has spent two whirlwind days with Santo Belotti. Before she leaves him, he gives her his family's secret gelato recipe with the hope that she will return one day. Fast forward to present day and Vivien's daughter, Iris, is now on her way to New York City to start over after her mother's death and a bad relationship. She has her mother's favorite bowls and the gelato recipe they have enjoyed for years. Iris, a chef, takes a job at a noodle restaurant, and slowly tries to rebuild her life. Her friend takes her to Little Italy one day and it is there she recognizes Belotti's Gelateria from her mom's photos. This must be the place where her mom had a love affair with Santo. While visiting, she learns that Santo has suffered a stroke and can't remember the family's beloved gelato recipe, which brings in so many customers year after year. Iris knows it, but how can she share this information with the family? As she gets to know Santo's nephew, Gio, things get even more complicated. Josie Silver's A Winter in New York is a heartwarming, yet heavy holiday tale filled with family secrets, romance, gelato, and poor choices.

I felt badly for Iris in A Winter in New York. She is a bit lost when she comes to New York to start over and on top of that, she is escaping an abusive relationship. I really enjoyed her journey as a character; however, I did not always agree with her choices, which were a bit strange at times. On the other hand, I did enjoy her budding romance with Gio and her connection to her mother. This leads me to the flashbacks of 1980 New York, which were also well done and a glimpse into Vivien and Santo's love affair. My other favorite aspect of this novel was the gelatoria and the cast of family characters. The descriptions of gelato made me want to stop what I was doing and get some immediately.

My only issue with A Winter in New York was the lack of holiday feels. I thought this was going to be a bit more heartwarming and filled with some more holiday cheer, but instead there were some heavy issues that I think really weighed down the plot. Not only is Iris dealing with death and family secrets, she is also dealing with trauma from an abusive relationship. It all comes to a head at the end, which definitely didn't add to the holiday atmosphere of the novel.

So, if you like a holiday read with a bit more substance and serious drama rather than a Hallmark movie kind of feel, A Winter in New York would be a good fit. I must admit, I did enjoy Silver's One Day in December a lot more. Let me know in the comments if you are a fan of Josie Silver and if you've read or plan to read A Winter in New York.




  1. Yeah, this was not my favorite of Silver's books. So many of Iris' choices were strange, and the way she just kept disappearing without a word to anyone was weird.

    1. Yeah, def not my favorite either. I am glad you agree with me regarding the strange choices. Thanks for visiting, Angela!

  2. This book sounds fun. I need to plan ahead and find a good Christmasy book to read in December. Do you recommend this one?

    1. If you are looking for an overly Christmas one, this is not it! The holiday feels were definitely more subtle. I'll be posting my favorite holiday reads tomorrow with all my recommendations! Thanks for visiting, Anne!


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