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Kiss Carlo ~ Review with Giveaway

Kiss Carlo
By Adriana Trigiani

Determined to save his village Carlo Guardinfante decides his only course of action is to set sail for America. Roseto, Pennsylvania, is his destination and a strange twist of fate changes what might have been into something different.

South Philadelphia is home to a thriving Italian-Ameican community and home to the Palazzini family. Unfortunately, the family has been split by a broken promise following the death of the family patriarch. And this divide has drifted down to the younger generation.

1949 is a time of change. The world is rebuilding itself into a new shape as those who survived the war attempt to find their place in it once again.

Nicky Castone is one of the drivers for his Uncle Dom's cab company. Having come back from the war to his fiancée Peachy DePino Nicky seems to be in no rush to tie the knot. When not driving Nicky works at the struggling Borelli Theatrical Company. The theater has a draw that offers Nicky something he's been missing in his life.

When a telegram comes into the Palazzini's Western Union office for delivery the stage is set and life for all those involved will be drastically changed - with Nicky taking center stage.

This is a story in which several generations of a family are all living together which as one might expect causes issues of its own. Many of the characters are a tad overbearing in their opinions and when it comes to Nicky's engagement everyone has an opinion on the suitability of the pair and if it will last.

My favorite character is Hortense Mooney, who works at the Palazzini's office and is the force that helps them all keep their heads in place. Hortense is an oddity in this world a woman of color in the midst of a very Italian neighborhood. Yet she has created a place for herself and when she gets roped into Nicky's crazy scheme manages to create yet another role for herself one that she never dreamed possible.

This is a story of life and the importance of knowing one heart and willing to follow it where it leads even if it is into the unknown. What lies beyond may be the key to the future but unless willing to make the first step one may never know. And as an added little fact this book does not involve a whole lot of Carlo kissing, in fact Carlo isn't in it for a majority of the book and yet his trip to America plays a pivotal role in all that transpires throughout.

I was provided a review copy of this book by the author through Italy Book Tours with no expectations of a positive review. All opinions expressed are my own.

Book Details:

Book Title: Kiss Carlo by Adriana Trigiani
Category: Adult Fiction, 560 pages
Genre: Historical Fiction
Publisher: Harper Paperbacks
Release date: January 2018
Content Rating: G (For general audience. Depictions of violence are minimal. No bad language, religious expletives, sex scenes, drug use or underage drinking.)

Book Description:

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.

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Meet the Author: 

Photo Credit: Tim Stephenson
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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