Monday, July 3, 2017

Review: Kiss Carlo by Adriana Trigiani

Kiss Carlo
by Adriana Trigiani

Publisher: Harper
Pages: 544
Format: ARC
Buy the Book: HarperCollins

Goodreads:  It’s 1949 and South Philadelphia bursts with opportunity during the post-war boom. The Palazzini Cab Company & Western Union Telegraph Office, owned and operated by Dominic Palazzini and his three sons, is flourishing: business is good, they’re surrounded by sympathetic wives and daughters-in-law, with grandchildren on the way. But a decades-long feud that split Dominic and his brother Mike and their once-close families sets the stage for a re-match. 

Amidst the hoopla, the arrival of an urgent telegram from Italy upends the life of Nicky Castone (Dominic and his wife’s orphaned nephew) who lives and works with his Uncle Dom and his family. Nicky decides, at 30, that he wants more—more than just a job driving Car #4 and more than his longtime fiancée Peachy DePino, a bookkeeper, can offer. When he admits to his fiancée that he’s been secretly moonlighting at the local Shakespeare theater company, Nicky finds himself drawn to the stage, its colorful players and to the determined Calla Borelli, who inherited the enterprise from her father, Nicky must choose between the conventional life his family expects of him or chart a new course and risk losing everything he cherishes.

Kritters Thoughts:  Let me start by saying that I am HUGE Adriana Trigiani fan and I love her depiction of Italians and The Shoemaker's Wife may be one of my top 10 favorite books of all time, so when I heard that she was doing another epic Italian family story my heart soared, but to put it short and sweet - I didn't love this one anywhere close to my love for The Shoemaker's Wife.

Set in Philadelphia in a neighborhood where many Italians have settled, two brothers are in the midst of a feud and each are operating a cab company.  The story mostly focuses on a nephew of the brothers who has been engaged to a young woman for awhile and isn't quite ready for the next phase of life.  I loved Nicky as a character and enjoyed reading his journey, but there were a few things that just didn't work for me.

So yes, I loved Nicky as a character, but the beginning to get to Nicky just took awhile.  There was quite a bit of set up and I was ready for the story to start.  The rest of the story itself just moved a little slow for me, I wanted the pace and the story to pick up and go and it just never did.  

There also seemed like a lot packed into this book, yes it all connected to Nicky, but some of the plot points seemed extra and maybe could have been left unsaid.  There were a few moments where I wanted to just cut a bit here and there and keep it all concentrating on Nicky and his great story.  

I say all this and want to express that I am still excited for her next book and will be ready to read it when it arrives.

Rating: definitely a good read, but can't read two in a row

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one copy of this book free of charge from TLC Book Tours.  I was not required to write a positive review in exchange for receipt of the book; rather, the opinions expressed in this review are my own.


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