Tuesday, April 12, 2022

Review: The Good Left Undone by Adriana Trigiani

The Good Left Undone
by Adriana Trigiani

Publisher: Dutton Books
Pages: 448
Format: eARC
Buy the Book: Amazon

Goodreads:  Matelda, the Cabrelli family's matriarch, has always been brusque and opinionated. Now, as she faces the end of her life, she is determined to share a long-held secret with her family about her own mother's great love story: with her childhood friend, Silvio, and with dashing Scottish sea captain John Lawrie McVicars, the father Matelda never knew. . . .

In the halcyon past, Domenica Cabrelli thrives in the coastal town of Viareggio until her beloved home becomes unsafe when Italy teeters on the brink of World War II. Her journey takes her from the rocky shores of Marseille to the mystical beauty of Scotland to the dangers of wartime Liverpool--where Italian Scots are imprisoned without cause--as Domenica experiences love, loss, and grief while she longs for home. A hundred years later, her daughter, Matelda, and her granddaughter, Anina, face the same big questions about life and their family's legacy, while Matelda contemplates what is worth fighting for. But Matelda is running out of time, and the two timelines intersect and weave together in unexpected and heartbreaking ways that lead the family to shocking revelations and, ultimately, redemption.

Kritters Thoughts:  Epic is the word I use for all Adriana Trigiani books.  They typically span many years and have these big stories that are just so much and I love them.

In this book, Matelda is sharing her mother's story as she had a great love, but the war tore them apart and in my opinion she never recovered from that epic love.  In one of the storylines in this book, Matelda is sharing her mother's story with her granddaughter and they will both learn that all families have secrets and sometimes the whole story is hard to share.  In the other storyline, Matelda's mother Domenica is thriving in the coastal town of Viareggio until she makes one decision that will change the course of her life.  As a nurse, during a time of war, Domenica will see things that not many women at this time will and it will change her life.  

I love a dual storyline and I love it even more when the reader knows the connections between the two early on and the discovery of the life and the journey matter instead of the connection of the stories.  While I appreciated Matelda telling her story, for me it felt weird that it was skipping a generation and she was sharing this story with her granddaughter, maybe I like things in order too much!    

I also love a historical fiction that teaches me something.  I did not know of the story of the sinking of the Arandora Star and what a tragedy that was.  When a book urges me to go find and read more about a subject, I call that a good read!

I know when I am picking up a Adriana Trigiani that I am settling in to a few days with some characters that are going to share this grand story and I can't wait to immerse myself in their world, but am also sad when it ends!

Rating: absolutely loved it and want a sequel

Ebook 2022 Challenge: 29 out of 100

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one copy of this book free of charge from Penguin Random House.  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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