Tuesday, November 9, 2010
Lucia Spada Bonicelli (Lucy) and Yolanda Perin Trigiani (Viola) lived through the twentieth century from beginning to end as working women who juggled careers and motherhood. From the factory line to the family table, Lucy and Viola, the very definition of modern women, cut a path for their granddaughter by demonstrating moxie and pluck in their fearless approach to life, love, and overcoming obstacles.
Lucy's and Viola's traditions and spiritual fortitude will encourage you to hold on to the values that make life rich and beautiful. Their entrepreneurial spirit will inspire you to take risks and reap the rewards. And their remarkable resilience in the face of tragedy will be a source of strength and comfort.
Trigiani visits the past to seek answers to the essential questions that define the challenges women face today at work and at home. This is a primer, grand-mother to granddaughter, filled with everyday wisdom and life lessons that are truly "tiramisu for the soul" (The Examiner), handed down with care and built to last. -- Harper
It probably comes as no surprise to my regular readers that I adore Adriana Trigiani. I've been a huge fan of her novels for many years, and I have always read her books the day they became available (if not earlier.) I love her characters and her vivid descriptions of fashion, places, and food; and I can honestly say that she's one of my very favorite writers.
Last May, I was one of five bloggers fortunate enough to win a contest to have tea at Alice's Tea Cup with Adriana -- you can read about my experience here. I had an amazing time and Adriana was everything I hoped (and imagined) her to be. While we were chatting, she mentioned that her next book was going to be about her two grandmothers and what she learned from them. I could tell this book was a labor of love for her, and I couldn't help but notice how often her family, and especially her grandmothers, came up in our conversation.
Ever since our meeting, I have been anxiously awaiting the release of DON'T SING AT THE TABLE: LIFE LESSONS FROM MY GRANDMOTHERS. A few weeks ago, an advanced readers copy arrived on my doorstep and I found myself doing a little happy dance. Maybe it's because I feel like I know Adriana a little bit after spending a few hours with her, but I couldn't wait to crack open this book and learn about the influence her grandmothers had on her life.
I found DON'T SING AT THE TABLE to be a very heartwarming book, and I'm pretty sure that fans of Adriana's will devour it just like I did. While I found the story and the photographs of the lives of Lucy and Viola to be very interesting, I think I most enjoyed the parts of the book where Adriana described the lessons she learned from both of them. I loved seeing how Adriana has taken this advice and applied it to her own life, and I was extremely touched by how much these women meant to Adriana. There is no doubt that this book is a beautiful tribute to two very special women!
One thing's for sure -- Adriana comes from some very special stock. There is no doubt that Lucy and Voila were very different from each other, but they both managed to teach Adriana some incredibly valuable life lessons. Both women lived through the Depression and had amazing work ethics, and I think each of them was ahead of her time in more ways than one. After reading DON'T SING AT THE TABLE, I can see where Adriana got her inner beauty and strength!
Even though DON'T SING AT THE TABLE was about Adriana's grandmothers and how they managed to influence her, I actually found myself reflecting a great deal on my grandmothers while reading this book. My grandmothers are very different from Lucy and Viola, yet so much of what I've learned from them mirrored what Adriana has learned from her grandmothers. (Make sure you check out my tribute post to my grandmothers!)
At its heart, DON'T SING AT THE TABLE is so much more than just the story of Lucy and Viola. I think that the real beauty of this book is in each individual reader's reaction to it. Personally, I was amazed by how many of the life lessons in this book resonated with me. And, I am hoping that each reader will pause and remember her mother or grandmothers (or aunts or great-grandmothers) and appreciate all the wonderful things that she managed to share with her.
DON'T SING AT THE TABLE is a wonderful tribute to Adriana Trigiani's grandmothers, but I also think it's a book that honors the strength and resilience of all women. It's just one of those books that you want to share with a special woman in your life.
Thanks to the publisher for sending me a review copy of this book.