Trigiani's glittering mosaic of small-town characters sparkles: Bartolomeo's hilarious sister, Toot, is in desperate need of a post-divorce transformation, 13 years after the fact; "The Benefactor", Aurelia Mandelbaum, the richest woman in New Jersey, has a lust for French interiors and a long-held hope that Bartolomeo will marry her myopic daughter, Capri; Father Porporino, the pastor with a secret, does his best to keep a lid on a simmering scandal; and Eydie Von Gunne, the chic international designer, steps in and changes the course of Bartolomeo's creative life, while his confidante, cousin Christina Menecola, awaits rescue from an inconsolable grief.
Brilliantly funny and as fanciful as flocked wallpaper, filled with glamorous locales from New Jersey to Europe, from Sunday Mass to the American Society of Interior Designers soiree at the Plaza Hotel, Rococo is Trigiani's masterpiece, a classic comedy with a heart of gold leaf.
©2005 Adriana Trigiani; (P)2005 Books on Tape, Inc.
I was really surprised by this one. The characters are funny and loveable. Lots of plot twists in this light hearted novel about a warm, wonderful family and not a single wise guy in the bunch. Great character development pushes the story along. I used to be a decorator and I used to live in New Jersey and that is the only reason I bought it but it far exceeded my expectations. I will see if any more of her novels are on audio. My only criticism is that since the novel took place in 1970 and there were several young men in the family, why weren't any of them worried about the draft? Other than naming a baby "Moonstone," there weren't too many references to the time period. A few changes and it could have taken place in the present day. Perhaps the author felt that in the present day, the families are not as tight.
Bartolomeo deCrespi - New Jersey interior decorator, devoted brother and uncle, Italian-American, devout Catholic - dreams of restoring his beloved church, Our Lady of Fatima. The narration by Stephen Hoye was perfect in conveying the heart and soul of this man, his family, and his community. The depiction of religious faith was appealing without being either contentious or evangelical - unusual in today's opinionated culture. Light-hearted entertainment at its best.
One of the funniest books ever, I laughed out loud throughout. Trigiani left me wanting more, and wondering what B is up to now. How is Two doing? What is the hilarious Toot like once she becomes a grandmother? What about Capri and Aurelia?
Stephen Hoye captures the essence of each wonderful character. I found myself longing to read it again and again. I’m begging for a sequel!
I an hooked and am now a Trigiani fan, I’m a Rococo fan!
The narrator Stephen Hoye and his joyous New Jersey accent. The main character Bartolomeo di Crespi and his care for his family and friends and his passion for fabulous fabrics. The fact that this book is not something I would ever have normally picked up (I needed a New Jersey-set book for a reading challenge and my usual reading fare is crime fiction and historical nonfiction about such things as devastating hurricanes, horrifying treks through the Amazon, awful real people committing crimes) but I completely, unabashedly loved this non-cynical narrative about a really nice guy (and professional interior designer) who just wants to redecorate his boyhood church.
Somehow, a sweet story about nice people is not annoying, aggravating, mindless, boring. It is fresh, fun, and happy-making.
Hoye is the perfect choice for this story. His New Jersey-accented narration obviously fits the story perfectly, but just like the story itself, it radiates sincerity.
Bartolomeo di Crespi. He's the main character and someone I'd just love to be friends with --- and go shopping with to find great stuff for my house.
As someone who usually reads violent, disturbing, and riveting fiction and nonfiction, I am surprised I enjoyed this so wholeheartedly and would recommend it to any other open-minded cynic.
Most of Trigiani's books have a strong woman as the central character, so this was a bit of a change. But it was a good change. This did not diminish her ability to catch my interest and keep it throughout the book. I was a little dissappointed by the ending, but it is still a wonderful listen.
I listen to books while doing housework. The more interesting the book, the more housework gets done!
This book has no actual plot, so don't read it expecting one. It is charming though, and entertaining, with observations on family and community life. Recipes and descriptions of furnishing are scattered throughout as you follow the saga of the church renovation and the lives that surround it. If you want a little warmth and comfort in your life at the moment, you will find this a companionable read. If you want tension, self-discovery, murder or mystery, then perhaps wait on this one until you are ready for it.
A first-class narrator, some very funny character sketches, and descriptions of early seventies fashion and interior design that are truly cringe-worthy make this piece of fluff worth a listen.
I am an avid "reader"- I prefer to listen to books rather than read them due to the added dimension added by the narrator.
I really enjoyed the voice of the narrator, especially with "B" 's voice. He added to my vision of this character and helped me visualize him in my mind's eye.
I didn't really find that there were ups and downs in this book… just a solid flow from beginning to end. I enjoyed visualizing the various descriptions of decor including the various parts of the church that "B" was commissioned to renovate.
I found that Mr. Hoye's voice was particularly good for "B" (Bartolomeo)
I would have to say that "B" was the most memorable character… a consummate decorator inside and out. HE was someone I would enjoy meeting and talking to… and I would probably hire him to decorate for me!
I really like Adriana Trigiani's characters and stories. This one was a bit different from others I have read in that there was no burning romance. But one was always left wondering if B would become involved… whether with a man or woman. His sexuality was never developed in the book so we did not know if he was gay or not, not that this would matter or affect the story in any way. A very enjoyable read.
At first I didnt think I would like this book....and took me a little bit to get into it. I listen to these books while I walk...I can tell you I was actually laughing out loud while walking in the neighborhood!! Highly recommend Ms Trigiani's books...
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