Friday, January 26, 2018

Review and Giveaway: Kiss Carlo by Adriana Trigiani


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 & 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.

My Thoughts:

Kiss Carlo was an interesting look at an Italian family and their community in America after the events of World War 2. I enjoyed the family interactions and at times chuckled with them and at other times pitied them too, as sometimes they let petty things and grievances stand in the way of meaningful family relationships. Especially relationships between brothers who should have been supportive of each other.

This book was not at all what I had expected, delightfully so. It is a big book. Weighing in at over 500 pages, I must admit I was a bit intimidated by it. There are a lot of characters in this book and lots of details that I did find myself skimming over just due to time constraints. The author knows her way around words and I did enjoy her writing, however I was really craving Italian food while reading this.

The love story was cute and fun to watch grow. I knew who I was shipping for and I had to be patient as it unfolded.  The setting of the Shakespearean theater and the play that was so important to our heroine makes me want to pick up Twelfth Night and give that a read as well. I also liked that this book for the general market was a clean read.

I received a copy of this book for free. I was not required to post a positive review and all views and opinions are my own.

Meet the Author: 

​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.

Connect with the author: Website ~ Twitter ~ Facebook ~ Pinterest ~ Instagram


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