©2004 Adriana Trigiani; (P)2004 Books on Tape, Inc.
I enjoyed this book very much. The main character, Nella, gives the story of her life starting at the age of 14. Her feelings and relationships are well developed. The narrator has a very smooth voice and add an Italian accent when it is called for. She reads the book much the way I would have. This is definitely a book I plan to listen to again, from time to time.
This is a terrific book (as are all of Adriana Trigiani's books). She's a fabulous storyteller.
I wanted to make note here that the description of this book, as it appears here on audible.com, has a lot of errors in it. Nella is not the eldest (which is important to the story), she's the middle of 5 girls. And the so-called "rumors" of Lanzara's disappearance are also wrongly described here. I won't spoil it, but felt these errors should be noted.
I couldn't stop listening. The story made me feel as if I went back in time of my own family's upbringing, traditions and loyalties. Very touching.
Although I enjoyed "Lucia, Lucia" more than this book, it is still worth anyone's time and money to get this title. Probably what I found to be most significant is that a story can still be enjoyable without sex and vulgarity weaved in every other thought.
The characters have their difficulties and are not all lily-white. And that is the beauty of the story-telling. The narration parallels this well. This family does not always get along with each other. Events do not always go as planned. The main character is not the best mother there ever was. Yet their story is told for us to learn from and enjoy.
Make it an enjoyable listen by choosing this book. You won't regret it. I just wish audible would offer an unabridged version of The Stone Gap.
Addicted to Audible!
I love Adriana's work. In all her books she developes her characters so well that they seem like they were your aunts or uncles! Real people living ordinary lives. Being of Italian heritage myself,her writing really does describe what it's like to be part of a big Italian family. Lucia Lucia was another favorite of mine.
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 think I enjoyed Nella's mother and father the most, with the thick Italian accent. Cassandra gives the Italian accent a realistic slant and she is easy to listen to. Her voice is soft yet crisp.
Queen of the Big Time was an odd title for this book as it referred to a contest that the protagonist's niece entered rather late in the book. I don't think I would have given the book that title. More likely, I would have named the book The Nella Blouse Factory. (a la The Supreme Macaroni Company). I really enjoy Adriana Trigiani's writing style and really love the Italian families she portrays. From the epilogue and interview at the end of this audiobook, it is clear that this book was taken from Ms. Trigiani's own family story. My only criticism of this book is that this is the third book written by the author in which the protagonists's husband dies. (The Shoemaker's Wife, Brava Valentine are two others)
It's almost at the point where I would expect it in the next book I read. However, the characters are very real and well developed. Overall, this was a very enjoyable read.
Again I really enjoyed Adriana's writing, the story of Nella and her family, loves, her work and her children. I would love to know these characters in real life! Keep writing Adriana!
This book was awesome. This was not your run of the mill story where everything turns out with what the reader expects. It was like the kind of experiences that meet us in real life - not always what we want, but what we are forced to face. And it was told in such a way that kept my interest and piqued my interest the more I listened. It made my think about my own life and what things I have that I don't always cherish. Not many books will bring tears to my eyes, but this one did at the end. This book definitely makes my top 10 list; I would highly recommend it. And as an added bonus the narrator was superb!
This was an easy choice because I LOVE Adriana Trigiani's books (Very Valentine one of my personal favorites) and Cassandra Campbell, who I discovered when I listened to The Help, so I search for books that she's done these days!
The characters are well developed and she draws the readers into their lives...got emotionally invested in this wonderful story - laughed, cried, felt anger at times...worth keeping in my library for a long time to come.
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