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Kiss Carlo
Cover of Kiss Carlo
Kiss Carlo
A Novel
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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 & 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.

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.

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About the Author-
  • Adriana Trigiani is the bestselling author of seventeen books, which have been published in thirty-six 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 cofounder of the Origin Project, an in-school writing program that serves more than one thousand students in Appalachia. She lives in Greenwich Village with her family.

Reviews-
  • Publisher's Weekly

    July 17, 2017
    Trigiani takes readers on a journey to post–World War II Philadelphia, where one man suddenly realizes that he wants more from life than the path that he has been given. After being orphaned at a young age, Nicky Castone lives with his uncle’s family, the Palazzinis. In 1949, following his military service, Nicky is now driving a cab for his uncle’s company and engaged to Peachy DePino. But he discovers true passion when he fills in as a substitute actor in a Shakespearean play at the nearby theater run by Calla Borelli and her father. When the taxi dispatch office receives a telegram that Carlo Guardinfante, an Italian ambassador, is unable to make an appearance at a local festival in Roseto, Pa., Nicky jumps at the chance to impersonate Carlo and further his acting skills. His experiences in Roseto lead him to question where his life is headed. Trigiani brilliantly brings 1949 South Philadelphia to life, complete with the humor and heartbreak of the close-knit Italian families who live there. Yet the true star is Nicky who, in his quest to break free, is most memorable.

  • Kirkus

    May 1, 2017
    Calla Borelli inherited her love of the theater from her father, Sam, but directing only Shakespeare plays in 1949 might spell the end of her beloved Borelli theater.Trigiani (All the Stars in the Heavens, 2015, etc.) uses the motifs of the Bard's plays--orphans, star-crossed lovers, family feuds, and mistaken identities--and the Borelli theater stands at the center of all the action. She has crafted a world of warm, lively characters whose charming idiosyncrasies lead them to collide and ricochet along the way to love. Orphaned at 5, Nicky Castone was lovingly folded into his Aunt Jo and Uncle Dom's family in South Philly. Now 28 and a WWII veteran, he works in the family cab business, which competes with his Uncle Mike's business across town, since Dom and Mike have been feuding since 1933. When he's not squiring Peachy DePino, his fiancee of seven years, he moonlights at the Borelli theater as a prompter and anything else Sam and Calla need. One fateful night, however, two leads of Twelfth Night are called away, leaving Nicky and Calla to take the stage for Sebastian and Olivia's marriage scene, and chemistry ignites. Of course, Nicky and Calla don't know they are in love yet. First, the course of love must be strewn with obstacles: Frank, Calla's boyfriend, who wants to demolish the failing theater; Peachy, who objects to Nicky's breaking off their engagement; Mr. DePino, who also objects and whose threats of violence inspire Nick to flee town. Nick volunteers to drive a telegram to Roseto, Pennsylvania, but instead of delivering the message, he decides to impersonate Ambassador Carlo Guardinfante of Roseta Valfortore, Italy, a decorated WWII veteran who can no longer attend the Roseto Jubilee given his sudden illness. Chaos ensues. A delightfully sprawling comedy full of extended families, in all their cocooning warmth and suffocating expectations.

    COPYRIGHT(2017) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • Library Journal

    February 1, 2017
    The New York Times best-selling Trigiani tells the story of the Philadelphia-based Palazzinis, whose three sons return home with medals from World War II. Their orphaned cousin Nicky also comes home to live with the family, as he had since boyhood, and makes a sudden decision that changes everyone's life. With a 200,000-copy first printing.

    Copyright 2017 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • The Costco Connection "If you are looking for a page turner this summer, pick up Adriana Trigiani's Kiss Carlo. . . I look forward to every new book by Adriana Trigiani. She is not only delightful in person, but her books are a joy to read. That includes her latest novel Kiss Carlo, this month's book buyer pick. . .The sweeping multigenerational story effortlessly transports readers from Italy to the streets of South Philly to New York City, while the characters explore the ties that bind, tradition, wanting more from life, Shakespeare and much more. As they examine what they want for themselves, they also celebrate love, hope and family. . . Best of all? Trigiani tells this story with her trademark wit and joie de vivre."
  • Richmond Times-Dispatch "Accompanying Nicky on his journey of self-discovery is worth the trip."
  • The Mountain Times "An important story that goes beyond the meaning of family to the deeper question of what it means to have a life well-lived."
  • Kirkus Reviews "A world of warm, lively characters whose charming idiosyncrasies lead them to collide and ricochet along the way to love.... A delightfully sprawling comedy full of extended families."
  • New York Times Praise for Adriana Trigiani: "A comedy writer with a heart of gold"
  • Boston Globe "Delightful, energetic.... Trigiani is a seemingly effortless storyteller."
  • St. Louis Post-Dispatch "Seamlessly superb storytelling.... Trigiani never loses hold of the hearts of her characters of the wisdom that tragedy and redemption are also part of life."
  • Kathryn Stockett, author of The Help "If you're meeting her work for the first time, get ready for a lifelong love affair."
  • Washington Post "Trigiani is a master of palpable and visual detail."
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A Novel
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