Synopses & Reviews
Adriana Trigiani explores the vibrant, complex Italian-American experience in this dazzling novel that brings to life the golden years of post-war America a celebration of ambition, risk, love, reinvention, and one remarkable family with a secret, the Palazzinis.
It s 1949 in south Philadelphia. Diligent, hard-working, and proud, the Palazzinis have built a solid life for themselves and their three sons. Now that World War II is over, their sons, each one a decorated veteran, have returned home to the family cab company, to rejoin their world as it was before they left.
But their future and fortunes are forever changed by a telegram, and the nephew who delivers it.
Nicky Castone has lived with the Palazzinis since he was orphaned as a boy. Doted on by his aunt, loved by his cousins and employed by his uncle, he, too, has returned, without a medal, to his room in the family s basement and his job as a hack.
While the boys were away, their father installed a Western Union Telegraph Office in the garage at the insistence of his wife, so she might be the first to hear of any news about her sons overseas. The telegrams are sent and received by the cab dispatcher Hortense Mooney, an African-American woman who has worked for the family for twenty years. In the early hours of an ordinary morning in 1949, the office receives a telegram bearing urgent news for the small Italian-American village of Roseto, sixty miles northeast of the city. Hortense dispatches Nicky to make the long, pre-dawn drive to deliver the telegram.
When Nicky arrives in Roseto as the sun is rising, he has an epiphany a revelation that will change the course of his life and the lives of the Palazzini family, Hortense Mooney, and the people of Roseto, including the despondent young widow Mamie Confalone, the beat cop Eddie Giaquinto, the town mayor Giorgio DeNegri, and his daughter Rosa.
A captivating, multilayered novel about the power of family secrets, the triumph of true love over grief, and the courage to risk everything for the American dream, Italian style Kiss Carlo is Adriana Trigiani at her inimitable best.
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 fiancee Peachy DePino, a bookkeeper, can offer. When he admits to his fiancee 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.