Tag Archives: adriana trigiani

Kiss Carlo – A Book Review

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From Adriana Trigiani, the beloved New York Times-bestselling author of The Shoemaker’s Wife, comes an exhilarating epic novel of love, loyalty, and creativity—the story of an Italian-American family on the cusp of change. 

It’s 1949 and South Philadelphia bursts with opportunity during the post-war boom. The Palazzini Cab Company and Western Union Telegraph Office, owned and operated by Dominic Palazzini and his three sons, is flourishing: business is good, they’re surrounded by sympathetic wives and daughters-in-law, with grandchildren on the way. But a decades-long feud that split Dominic and his brother Mike and their once-close families sets the stage for a re-match. 

Amidst the hoopla, the arrival of an urgent telegram from Italy upends the life of Nicky Castone (Dominic and his wife’s orphaned nephew) who lives and works with his Uncle Dom and his family. Nicky decides, at 30, that he wants more—more than just a job driving Car #4 and more than his longtime fiancée Peachy DePino, a bookkeeper, can offer. When he admits to his fiancée that he’s been secretly moonlighting at the local Shakespeare theater company, Nicky finds himself drawn to the stage, its colorful players and to the determined Calla Borelli, who inherited the enterprise from her father, Nicky must choose between the conventional life his family expects of him or chart a new course and risk losing everything he cherishes. 

From the dreamy mountaintop village of Roseto Valfortore in Italy, to the vibrant streets of South Philly, to the close-knit enclave of Roseto, Pennsylvania, to New York City during the birth of the golden age of television, Kiss Carlo is a powerful, inter-generational story that celebrates the ties that bind, while staying true to oneself when all hope seems lost. 

Told against the backdrop of some of Shakespeare’s greatest comedies, this novel brims with romance as long buried secrets are revealed, mistaken identities are unmasked, scores are settled, broken hearts are mended and true love reigns. Trigiani’s consummate storytelling skill and her trademark wit, along with a dazzling cast of characters will enthrall readers. Once again, the author has returned to her own family garden to create an unforgettable feast. Kiss Carlo is a jubilee, resplendent with hope, love, and the abiding power of la famiglia. 

I thoroughly enjoyed this book, as I enjoy all of the author’s books. They are extremely well written, with a prose that flows easily. The stories are always entertaining and she keeps you hooked until the end!

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Adriana Trigiani is the bestselling author of 17 books, which have been published in 36 countries around the world. She is a playwright, television writer/producer and filmmaker. She wrote and directed the film version of her novel Big Stone Gap, which was shot entirely on location in her Virginia hometown. She is co-founder of the Origin Project, an in-school writing program that serves more than a thousand students in Appalachia. She lives in Greenwich Village with her family.

This great novel is available at the following locations:

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Kiss-Carlo-Novel-Adriana-Trigiani/dp/006231923X/ref=sr_1_1_twi_pap_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1516226156&sr=8-1&keywords=kiss+carlo

Books-a-Million: http://www.booksamillion.com/p/Kiss-Carlo/Adriana-Trigiani/9780062319234?id=6895849036601
Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/kiss-carlo-adriana-trigiani/1123910388?ean=9780062319234#/

HC.comhttps://www.harpercollins.com/9780062319234/kiss-carlo

Indiebound: https://www.indiebound.org/book/9780062319234

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Book Review and Giveaway: The Supreme Macaroni Company

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I am honored in having been chosen by Laura Fabiani from Italy Book Tours to review the newest book by the bestselling author, Adriana Trigiani – The Supreme Macaroni Company.

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Adriana has a way of writing that is both natural and funny at the same time, and she keeps you glued to her stories.

This story revolves around Valentine, an Italian-American young woman who creates beautiful shoes – how very Italian of her 🙂  The shoe company has been in her family since her grandparents brought the craft over from Italy when they immigrated.  She has big dreams for her shoe company and she brings to it lots of love and creativity.  Of course, she also falls head over heels (haha) for a beautiful Italian man and the book tells their love story.  They jet set between the East Coast and beautiful Italy and the description of their home in Santa Margarita Ligure makes you feel like you are there, breathing in the warm sea air and revelling in the dazzling blue of the Mediterranean Sea.  Aaahh…it reminds me of my time in the Cinque Terre and makes me smile every time I think of it.

Valentine is part of a crazy Italian family, complete with loud explosive arguments coupled with the love and warmth of a close family.  Everyone is part of everyone else’s business and there is no hiding!  But when push comes to shove, they are there for each other in all regards!   There’s even a crazy aunt who is opinionated, stubborn, and down right rude (isn’t there always one in every family?)

On the whole, this book is very good – I read almost all of it during a plane ride back from Italy and it kept me entertained (at least, I wasn’t falling asleep every few seconds – that came on the second leg of the trip when I’d already finished the book!) But in comparison to her other book, The Shoemaker’s Wife (you can read my review here), I think I liked that one better.  Adriana has a great way to bring everyday life to the forefront, but in a couple of instances, it was a bit too much normal life ( for instance, when she was going on and on about a typical evening at home eating dinner and conversing – I felt like I was eavesdropping on a normal family conversation – there was nothing exciting going on, just the mundane chatter of everyday life).  I think I know why she was describing this very normal evening because of subsequent events that were about to occur, but even still, it was a little boring.  The other criticism I have is that I think the title of the book (being the name of company she built) is disconnected.  It doesn’t seem to fit…again, it’s my opinion, but I think something a bit more creative could have been chosen.  Despite these few stabs of criticism, I did enjoy the book and would recommend it for an easy and entertaining read!

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If you would like a chance to have your very own copy of this book, autographed by Adriana herself, here are a few ways to win it: leave a comment below, become a follower of my blog, or share this review on your blog or Facebook page!  I will randomly choose a winner on August 25th and the publisher will send out the book to the lucky recipient (once I get all the pertinent info through a private email)!

Buona Fortuna!

 

 

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Adriana Trigiani is an award-winning playwright, television writer, and documentary filmmaker. Her books include the New York Times bestseller The Shoemaker’s Wife; the Big Stone Gap series; Very Valentine; Brava, Valentine; Lucia, Lucia; and the bestselling memoir Don’t Sing at the Table, as well as the young adult novels Viola in Reel Life and Viola in the Spotlight. She wrote the screenplay for Big Stone Gap, which she also directed. She lives in New York City with her husband and daughter.

Connect with Adriana here: adrianatrigiani.com
Twitter: @adrianatrigiani
Facebook: facebook.com/adrianatrigiani

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The Shoemaker’s Wife – A Book Review

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I just finished one of the best books I’ve read in a long time!  It was over 400 pages and I read it in a jiffy!  It kept my attention the entire way through 🙂

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The story starts off in that gorgeous part of Italy right below the Swiss border, high in the mountains, and ends up on the East Coast of the USA.  This story takes place in the early 1900’s when so many Italians immigrated to the United States to make a living for their families.  It chronicles the story of Enza, a beautiful and kind girl and Ciro, a strong boy raised in a convent, from their early days in Italy to their new lives in America.  It’s a poignant and warm story that is told with such description that you feel like you are living her heartaches as well as her joys.  What I really enjoyed about this book was that the story was REAL (and I don’t mean it was non-fiction but that the story depicted real life and not some sensationalized story!) It was about  the ups and the downs of a normally led life.   It was a happy story and, actually a breath of  fresh air because, like so many other novels that only embellish the bad things, this one was about a life gone well.  By working hard, these people succeeded in creating a good life for themselves and their families.  It spoke of togetherness and a strong sense of family.  They all worked together for the good of the whole.  This is what it was all about during these times.  Sure, life was tough, but people appreciated what they had and if they wanted more, they worked for it!  They sacrificed the material things, but never the love they felt for each other.

This story hit home with me because my family were also immigrants and from this part of the Italy.  My grandfather originally immigrated to the USA back in 1916 and settled on the East Coast.  He fought during WWI for the Americans and was probably granted citizenship.  For reasons unknown, he went back to Italy and married.  Meanwhile his brother came out to San Francisco and permanently settled here (thus setting up a connection which would become useful in the future!)  When my father was 4 months old, in 1926, the family decided to immigrate once more to America.  They sailed out and settled in New Hampshire for 4 years.

My grandparents, my dad (the baby) and my aunt taken on their voyage to the USA in 1926.

My grandparents, my dad (the baby) and my aunt taken on their voyage to the USA in 1926.

My grandfather was a foreman for a granite yard there.  They had another child (the only one born in the USA).  But, alas, my grandmother did not like it here, so once again, they went back to Italy.  The family remained in Italy except for my uncle and eventually my father.  Since my uncle was born here, he got drafted during the Korean War and was sent to Alaska.  From there, he went to San Francisco because of the uncle connection.  And then, when my dad decided he wanted to immigrate as well, he had the connections of his brother and his uncle here in SF.  And that is how I came to be!  I wish that I knew so many more details of my grandparents and their immigration and lives in America, but sadly I don’t have much.  These stories always fascinate me and the author of this book, Adriana Trigiani, was lucky because she had lots of facts about her family’s immigration to the USA and used it as a basis for this great story.