Don't Sing At The Table Lp: Life Lessons from My Grandmothers Paperback – Large Print, Oct 21 2010
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“Best-selling author Trigiani (Very Valentine) presents a loving paean to her Italian grandmothers... there is much warmth in these remembrances that will resonate with readers who enjoyed strong relationships with their own grandparents and know the value they can bring to our lives.” (Library Journal)
“[C]harming… comforting lessons for readers seeking a simpler way of life.” (Kirkus)
“Soothingly and with clarity…. Readers will find her strength and optimism helpful, and her legions of loyal fans will enjoy learning more about the women who influenced, inspired, and, according to Trigiani, made possible some of her best-selling fiction.” (Booklist)
“Trigiani combines family and American history, reflections on lives well-lived, and sound advice to excellent effect, as a legacy to her daughter and a remembrance of two inimitable women.” (Publishers Weekly)
“One of the reigning queens of women’s fiction.” (USA Today)
“Delightful, energetic. . . . Trigiani is a seemingly effortless storyteller.” (Boston Globe)
“Trigiani has certainly not lost her ability to breathe life into everything she writes.” (Roanoke Times)
“Well crafted work with sometime lyrical, sometimes flat-out-funny writing.” (Fort Worth Star-Telegram)
“Adriana Trigiani listens to her readers, then gives them what they want. ” (Richmond Times-Dispatch)
“Dazzling.” (USA Today)
From the Back Cover
A treasure trove of common sense from two very uncommon women
As devoted readers of Adriana Trigiani's New York Times bestselling novels know, this "seemingly effortless storyteller" (Boston Globe) frequently draws inspiration from her own family history, in particular, the lives of her two remarkable grandmothers, who have found their way into all of Trigiani's treasured novels. In Don't Sing at the Table, this much-beloved writer has gathered their estimable life lessons, revealing how her grandmothers' simple values have shaped her own life, sharing the experiences, humor, and wisdom of her beloved mentors that will delight readers of all ages.See all Product Description
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Women like Lucy and Viola are the people who made this country great, and they jump off the pages in this delightful book. They have more than their fair share of troubles, (both of them are widowed), but their sheer will and strength of character will inspire other women to persevere and succeed as they did.
Although she is an Italian immigrant, Lucy moves to Minnesota and takes on the stoic characteristics of American midwesterners. She loses her husband at an early age and raises her three children on her own, all while running her own business. Viola was a pistol, running her own clothing factory, raising her family, entertaining friends in her lovely home, traveling.
Both women had terrific advice for their granddaughter, and the way that Trigiani structures the book, first telling their life stories, then sharing the how living their lives were examples we could all follow today, makes this book so enjoyable. DON'T SING AT THE TABLE would make a great gift for the women in your life, both those starting out and those whose wisdom should be shared with their own families.
As an Italian American woman, I related to Adriana's grandmothers. Many of my generation had grandmothers & great-aunts who were self-employed, independent, whose husbands served in the United States Military during World War I (the forgotten war), got their citizenship, and during that time, their wives became automatic citizens once they married. Many lost their husbands at a young age, most didn't remarry. My own grandmother set priorities and raised my mother alone, working hard at sometimes more than one job, while running a household.
I saw my own grandfather and great-uncles in her grandfather. These were people, though they were immigrants, were much more at ease in the American culture. All of that generation had a strong sense of identity, they were comfortable with who they were. They had a set of rules that not only they followed but expected everyone else to adhere to. Adriana emphasized how important their expectations were. She also did a great job of blending the old world and the new world. She devoted a few pages explaining how much outsourcing has affected us..how we have lost quality and craftsmanship. All in all, I highly recommend this book if you are a Trigiani fan, as she has let you into her life. It gives you an understanding on what inspires Adriana Trigiani.
Lucy's story begins as the eldest of eight children, living in the Italian Alps. The family fell upon hard times. Their circumstances were so dire, in fact, that Lucy offered to travel with her father to the United States to find work. They planned to send money home and then eventually return to buy a house that would make the family secure. When she finally arrived here, Lucy found a job in a mill operating a sewing machine that paid $2 a week. She also met her future husband, a handsome shoemaker named Carlo Bonicelli. Theirs was not only a love match; they were a working team, with Carlo opening a shoe shop while Lucy ran her own dressmaking business. When Lucy was just 35, she was a widow. Still, she managed to raise a family and send her children to college by selling factory-made shoes and by sewing and altering garments. Although she had no blood relations nearby, she built a community of friends who were always available for her and her kids.
Yolanda Trigiani was called Viola --- except for the business she owned with her husband, "The Yolanda Manufacturing Company." She grew up on a farm and always believed in a productive but gracious home life. Even as she kept a perfect home, she ran her business in a constant quest for flawlessness. Like Lucy, Yolanda began working in a factory at a young age. As a testament to her drive, she ably made the leap from working girl to eventually owning her own factory. Viola was an ambitious, hard-working businesswoman, determined that their business would succeed. Details about the workings of the factory are quite fascinating.
Trigiani's love, respect and admiration for Lucy and Viola are obvious in her warm and descriptive writing. She tells us that Viola's urgency, passion and dedication are qualities that she draws upon for her writing. As a legacy from both grandmothers, she learned how to parent (some of those child-rearing theories, such as the admonition not to be a child's friend, are intriguingly contrary to many popular notions). She also draws on their examples of how to maintain friendships and how to be a valuable part of the community. Each grandmother, although constantly busy, managed to make time for a personal spiritual quest. This inspires their granddaughter, who describes her own feelings about religion and spirituality in an absorbing essay.
While DON'T SING AT THE TABLE is sure to appeal to Adriana Trigiani's fans, it should also attract new readers who have yet to discover the delights of a Trigiani novel. These lucky souls are likely to be struck by the generous spirit of the author, who invites us into her family so that we, too, can enrich our lives by gleaning wisdom from these remarkable women. Lucy and Viola would certainly approve.
--- Reviewed by Terry Miller Shannon
While she imparts the wisdom and values they shared with her, she can be a bit preachy. It probably meant a great deal to her to showcase her grandmothers
Each reader will have to decide how much it means to them.
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