I fell in love with ” The Shoemaker’s Wife” a few years ago. Adriana Trigiani incorporated her personal family story into this wonderful novel. Now she’s brought us another big family saga with “Kiss Carlo.”
The time period is 1949. The war’s over and businesses are once again beginning to flourish here in the U.S.. One family is doing well for itself in South Philadelphia. Dominick Palazzini owns a thriving cab company in the city. He lives in a large house with his three sons, his wife, and his elderly mother-in-law. This makes several families living under one roof. This is how it used to work. And it did work. There was always someone around to help with the babies, the meals, and taking care of the old folks. There is also Nicky who was adopted by Dominick and Jo when his parents died. He’s been treated as one of their own.
Of course nothing is cut and dried, and certainly not here. You see, Dominick and his brother Mike have not seen each other in years. It’s a real family feud. So even though the two families live only blocks apart in the same city, they refuse to speak. This, of course, means the children grow up apart as well. Or so we think.
Nicky has been engaged to Peachy DePino for seven long years; through his stint fighting overseas during the war, and then some. It’s time Nick steps up. And so they set the date even though there seems to be quite a lack of, well, love. But when Peachy discovers that Nicky has been secretly working part- time with a small theater group she freaks out and tells him he can no longer do that once they are married. And he begins to rethink his entire life.
This is an epic story of family, love, and becoming who you really need to be. It’s a story filled with quirky characters and situations that prove Trigiani’s story-telling ability. The voices of her characters ring strong and true. She adds wit to the page as she brings forth matters of the heart and the home.
My favorite character is Hortense Mooney and her routine. Hortense is the “colored” dispatcher at the cab company. She’s been watching out for Nicky since he was a youngster. Mrs. Mooney tells it like it is. She’s got a lot of flair and a lot of heart. You’re going to love her. Of course nowadays we could not call her “colored” but she refers to herself as such in the book therefore it’s okay.
I love a big juicy family saga. Throw in Italy and I’m all in. I think you will be too. Great for summer. Add this one to your beach bag and go. Just do it!
My review copy arrived from the great publishing house of Harper Collins. Thanks guys. I loved it.