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About the Book

Adriana Trigiani explores the vibrant, complex Italian-American experience in this dazzling novel that brings to life the golden years of post-war America—a celebration of ambition, risk, love, reinvention, and one remarkable family with a secret, the Palazzinis.

It's 1949 in south Philadelphia. Diligent, hard-working, and proud, the Palazzinis have built a solid life for themselves and their three sons. Now that World War II is over, their sons, each one a decorated veteran, have returned home to the family cab company, to rejoin their world as it was before they left.

But their future and fortunes are forever changed by a telegram, and the nephew who delivers it.

Nicky Castone has lived with the Palazzinis since he was orphaned as a boy. Doted on by his aunt, loved by his cousins and employed by his uncle, he, too, has returned, without a medal, to his room in the family's basement and his job as a hack.

While the boys were away, their father installed a Western Union Telegraph Office in the garage at the insistence of his wife, so she might be the first to hear of any news about her sons overseas. The telegrams are sent and received by the cab dispatcher Hortense Mooney, an African-American woman who has worked for the family for twenty years. In the early hours of an ordinary morning in 1949, the office receives a telegram bearing urgent news for the small Italian-American village of Roseto, sixty miles northeast of the city. Hortense dispatches Nicky to make the long, pre-dawn drive to deliver the telegram.

When Nicky arrives in Roseto as the sun is rising, he has an epiphany—a revelation that will change the course of his life and the lives of the Palazzini family, Hortense Mooney, and the people of Roseto, including the despondent young widow Mamie Confalone, the beat cop Eddie Giaquinto, the town mayor Giorgio DeNegri, and his daughter Rosa.

A captivating, multilayered novel about the power of family secrets, the triumph of true love over grief, and the courage to risk everything for the American dream, Italian style—Kiss Carlo is Adriana Trigiani at her inimitable best.

Educator and Librarian Resources

Critical Praise

Praise for Kiss Carlo: “For Adri-addicts and newcomers alike, Kiss Carlo is a delightfully retro read from novelist Adriana Trigiani, best-selling author of The Shoemaker’s Wife. Carlo is a sprawling story that stretches from Italy to Philadelphia and New York to interweave the lives of hard-working Italian families making a living in the years after World War II. . . . Nicky and Calla’s chemistry is crackling; they don’t talk so much as banter. The path they must travel to each other’s side is winding but rewarding, mostly because of the characters they meet along the way. . . . At a time when crass seems to trump class in popular culture, Kiss Carlo may be just what we need, a warmhearted romp that’s a welcome escape from novels about girls who are gone/on a train/tattooed. Kiss Carlo is set in a world where people don’t eat pasta, they eat macaroni, and the secret isn’t in the sauce but in the gravy. Now that’s Italian—and an incredibly satisfying dish to dig into. Three and a half out of four stars.” —USA Today

Trigiani’s boisterous, maddening, devoted Italian clan will have you wishing they’d adopt you too.” —People

“If you are looking for a page turner this summer, pick up Adriana Trigiani’s Kiss Carlo. . . I look forward to every new book by Adriana Trigiani. She is not only delightful in person, but her books are a joy to read. That includes her latest novel Kiss Carlo, this month’s book buyer pick. . .The sweeping multigenerational story effortlessly transports readers from Italy to the streets of South Philly to New York City, while the characters explore the ties that bind, tradition, wanting more from life, Shakespeare and much more. As they examine what they want for themselves, they also celebrate love, hope and family. . . Best of all? Trigiani tells this story with her trademark wit and joie de vivre.”    The Costco Connection

“Using motifs and themes from the Bard, Kiss Carlo is an epic novel about family, secrets, and pursuing your dreams.” —Popsugar

“Accompanying Nicky on his journey of self-discovery is worth the trip.” —Richmond Times-Dispatch

“An important story that goes beyond the meaning of family to the deeper question of what it means to have a life well-lived.” —The Mountain Times

 “A world of warm, lively characters whose charming idiosyncrasies lead them to collide and ricochet along the way to love.... A delightfully sprawling comedy full of extended families.” —Kirkus Reviews

Praise for Adriana Trigiani: “A comedy writer with a heart of gold” —New York Times

“Delightful, energetic.... Trigiani is a seemingly effortless storyteller.” —Boston Globe

“Seamlessly superb storytelling.... Trigiani never loses hold of the hearts of her characters of the wisdom that tragedy and redemption are also part of life.” —St. Louis Post-Dispatch

“If you’re meeting her work for the first time, get ready for a lifelong love affair.” —Kathryn Stockett, author of The Help

“Trigiani is a master of palpable and visual detail.” —Washington Post

Product Details

  • ISBN: 9780062660527
  • ISBN 10: 0062660527
  • Imprint: Harper
  • On Sale: 06/20/2017
  • Pages: 544
  • List Price: 21.99 CAD
  • BISAC1: FICTION / Historical
  • BISAC2: FICTION / Sagas
  • BISAC3: FICTION / Family Life

Kiss Carlo by Adriana Trigiani

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