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Publisher's Summary

From the best-selling author of Lucia, Lucia comes a novel about an Italian family living in Roseto, Pennsylvania. The eldest daughter, Nella, is ambitious and determined to make a life for herself far away from the rigors of farm and factory life. But then she meets and falls in love with a handsome carefree poet, Renato Lanzara, the son of the town restaurateur. When he suddenly disappears without an explanation, rumors about a forced marriage to a girl in another town and criminal activity begin to circulate through the village grapevine. Returning after five years, and a week before Nella's wedding, Renato shakes up not only Nella's life but also the lives of Roseto's townspeople. The Queen of the Big Time is a story of one family's struggle to preserve their cultural identity and family unity, and of its matriarch, who cannot forget her first, and true, love.
©2004 Adriana Trigiani (P)2004 Books on Tape, Inc.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4 out of 5 stars
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Performance

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Story

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Sort by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Teresa
  • Marlborough, MA, USA
  • 08-02-04

Excellent book - bad synopsis on this site

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.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Susan
  • bergenfield, NJ, USA
  • 07-28-04

What a lovely book

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.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Patti
  • Chittenango, NY, United States
  • 07-04-05

Highly Recommend

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.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Joanna
  • Shingle Springs, CA, United States
  • 09-05-04

Excellent

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.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Taryn
  • Suffern, NY, United States
  • 01-06-09

Wonderful characters

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.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars

Loved this from beginning to end!!!❤

Loved it, narration was perfection. The characters drew me into their lives. Left me with the sweet nostalgia of many years ago.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • DIANE
  • Thornhill,, Ontario, Canada
  • 01-15-14

Another great family saga

Which character – as performed by Cassandra Campbell – was your favorite?

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.

Any additional comments?

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.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Another Italian family winner!

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!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Karen F
  • Richland Center, WI USA
  • 08-25-12

Soul searching story - don't miss it!

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!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

WINNING COMBINATION - AUTHOR/NARRATOR

What made the experience of listening to The Queen of the Big Time the most enjoyable?

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.