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Cover image for Tony's wife : a novel
Format:
Title:
Tony's wife : a novel
ISBN:
9780062319258

9780062873545
Edition:
First edition.
Publication:
New York, NY : Harper, an imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers, [2018]
Physical Description:
473 pages ; 24 cm
Contents:
Feroce -- Risoluto -- Capriccio -- Accelerando -- Volante -- Dolcemente -- Crescendo -- Marziale -- Diminuendo -- Pizzicato -- Teneramente -- Inquieto -- Calando -- Triste.
Summary:
"Chi Chi Donatelli and Saverio Armandonada meet one summer on the Jersey shore before World War II. Chi Chi is a talented and ambitious singer-songwriter working in a local blouse factory looking for her big break, while Saverio, a singer already on the rise, is fronting a touring band and has the good looks and smooth vocals that make success seem assured. It isn't long before Saverio becomes Tony Arma and he and Chi Chi form a duo; together they navigate the glamorous worlds of nightclubs, radio, and television. Soon they're married and all goes well until it becomes clear that they must make a choice: Which of them will put ambition aside to build a family and which will pursue a career? What compromises will they make to achieve their dreams? And on the road to fame and fortune, how will they cope with the impact these compromises have on their marriage, family, and themselves?" -- Dust jacket.
Holds:

Available:*

Library
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FIC TRIGIANI
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Trigiani, A. Tony's
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FICTION - TRIGIANI
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Trigiani, A.
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FIC TRIGIANI 2018
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FICTION TRIGIANI
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Trigiani, A.
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Trigiani, A.
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Trigiani, A.
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Trigiani, A.
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Trigiani, A.
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Trigiani, A.
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TRIGIANI Adriana
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Trigiani, A.
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Trigiani, A.
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Trigiani
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Summary

Summary

Love, ambition, and the consequences of both lie at the heart of this spellbinding epic of two working-class kids who become a successful singing act during the big band era of the 1940s.

Chi Chi Donatelli and Saverio Armandonada meet one summer on the Jersey shore before World War II. Chi Chi is a talented and ambitious singer-songwriter working in a local blouse factory looking for her big break, while Saverio, a singer already on the rise, is fronting a touring band and has the good looks and smooth vocals that make success seem assured. It isn't long before Saverio becomes Tony Arma and he and Chi Chi form a duo; together they navigate the glamorous worlds of nightclubs, radio, and television. Soon they're married and all goes well until it becomes clear that they must make a choice: Which of them will put ambition aside to build a family and which will pursue a career? What compromises will they make to achieve their dreams? And on the road to fame and fortune, how will they cope with the impact these compromises have on their marriage, family, and themselves?

From the Jersey shore to Hollywood, New York City to Las Vegas, the hills of northern Italy and the exuberant hayride of the big band circuit in between: Tony's Wife tells the story of the twentieth century in song, as Tony & Chi Chi make studio recordings and promote them with appearances on The Ed Sullivan Show and The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson. As they juggle the demands of their public lives, secrets are revealed, promises are broken, and loyalty is tested as the Armas attempt to keep the music playing and their family together.

Tony's Wife is a richly layered novel that explores how a traditional Italian-American family grapples with the seismic shifts they face in a rapidly changing world. Replete with a pageant of vivid, complex characters, this deeply human saga of love and sacrifice showcases Adriana Trigiani's gifts as a captivating storyteller and reveals her understanding that there are many different kinds of families: that over time love can evolve in ways that nobody can predict, especially when the hearts involved are open to forgiveness, the sweet reprise of redemption.


Author Notes

Adriana Trigiani grew up in Big Stone Gap, Virginia and graduated from Saint Mary's College in South Bend, Indiana. After graduation, she moved to New York City and founded the all-female comedy troupe The Outcasts, which performed on the cabaret circuit for seven years. She was a writer/producer on The Cosby Show and A Different World and executive producer/head writer for City Kids for Jim Henson Productions. In 1996, she wrote and directed the documentary film Queens of the Big Time, which won the Audience Award at the Hamptons Film Festival.

Her debut novel, Big Stone Gap, was published in 2001. Her young adult and adult novels include Big Cherry Holler, Milk Glass Moon, Home to Big Stone Gap, The Queen of the Big Time, Rococo, Encore Valentine, Viola in Reel Life, The Supreme Macaroni Company, The Shoemaker's Wife, and All the Stars in the Heavens. She wrote the film adaptation for her novels Big Stone Gap, Very Valentine, and Lucia, Lucia. She also wrote a cookbook entitled Cooking with My Sisters and a non-fiction book entitled Don't Sing at the Table: Life Lessons from My Grandmothers.

(Bowker Author Biography)


Reviews 4

Publisher's Weekly Review

Trigiani (Kiss Carlo) fills this novel with the musical delights of the big band era and a love that lasts a lifetime. Saverio Armandonada leaves his Detroit home on Christmas Eve in 1932 when his father kicks him out for wanting to pursue a career in singing. Though he never lacks for female companionship as a singer traveling with a band, Saverio is particularly intrigued when he meets Chi Chi Donatelli in Sea Isle City, N.J. Chi Chi joins Saverio's band and sees firsthand Saverio's endless string of romances; though she disapproves, the two remain friends throughout the years even as he gains greater success and changes his name to Tony Arma. During WWII, Saverio joins the Navy and spends his time in a military submarine reminiscing about his past. He decides his life will be complete with Chi Chi as his wife. Chi Chi finally agrees to marry Saverio after his repeated insistence that she is the only woman for him. The ups and downs of their marriage are complicated by Saverio's fractured relationship with his father and his fear of loneliness while on the road singing and making movies. Packed with melodies, memories, humor, and love and loss, this effortlessly plotted novel is an emotional page-turner. (Nov.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.


Kirkus Review

When Chi Chi Donatelli gave famous crooner Saverio Armandonada a manicure on a 1930s New Jersey beach, little did she know that the swanky singer would change her life.After his childhood sweetheart married another man, Saverio left the security of his job on the factory line in Detroit, earning his father's disapproval but opening wide the door to success as a big-band singer. Along his way to stardom, Saverio changed his name to Tony Arma and discovered a talent for romancingbut never marryingthe ladies. But once he meets Chi Chi, his bachelor days are numbered. From a large, boisterous Italian family, Chi Chi is eager to have a life like Tony's, with the freedom to sing and travel the country. She wants no part of marriage with its shackles. Soon Chi Chi and Tony are touring together, eventually developing a profitable shtick, with Chi Chi writing bestselling songs and Tony serenading them to dreamy audiences. It's only a matter of time before Tony proposes. After all, unlike his other girls, Chi Chi offers Tony not only beauty and charm, but also the stability of a home. The lovers' work in the entertainment industry gives way to a marriage blessed with babies yet held apart by war. Once reunited, Chi Chi's independence and Tony's philandering further fracture their marriage. But as Tony's path wends from woman to woman, Chi Chi forges a new life on her own terms. A mistress of the sweeping family saga, bestselling author Trigiani (Kiss Carlo, 2017, etc.) sets Chi Chi and Tony's lifelong love affair against the grand stage of World War II through the postwar boom years and the women's liberation movement, tracing a society catching up with Chi Chi's determination to control her own financial and personal freedom.A heartfelt tale of love too stubborn to surrender to human frailties. Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.


Booklist Review

In 1932 Detroit, 16-year-old Saverio Armandonada tells his old man that factory life isn't enough and that he wants to pursue a career in music. Six years later, he's at Sea Isle City on the Jersey Shore when he meets Chi Chi Donatelli, an ambitious songwriter with a loud, supportive family. They drift in and out of each other's lives for years until Chi Chi auditions to be the "girl singer" for the Paul Godfrey Orchestra, alongside Tony Arma, aka Saverio. Tony continues to admire her spunk and her smarts she renegotiated her family's mortgage after her father died, for one but he has a little bit of a showgirl problem. Though they eventually marry, this is not a conventional love story. Instead, it's the tale of a Jersey Girl who rails against a society that expects her to be dependent on a man and the one man she loves but cannot depend on. Like Trigiani's (Kiss Carlo, 2017) best work, Tony's Wife is an immersive experience, with well-rounded, warm characters, pre-WWII fashion, Jersey accents, and homemade pasta. Moving and delightful.--Susan Maguire Copyright 2018 Booklist


Library Journal Review

Saverio Armandonada (later Tony Arma) and Chi Chi Donatelli meet in the 1930s, when they're both two young musicians on fire to change the world through music, and maybe give their own dreams a boost in the process. Trigiani (All the Stars in the Heavens) follows the idealistic pair through several decades of change in the American music scene. "Tony's wife" is a bit of a misnomer, as the strength of the book is Chi Chi's story, but Trigiani is the master of writing complex Italian families, full of characters who love and live with passionate (and sometimes fractured) hearts. Coming of age in the press of the Great Depression and the fires of World War II, Tony hangs on to past hurts, while Chi Chi thrives through life-changing events. Their disparate personalities mean they view the world through different prisms. VERDICT Trigiani delivers another solid historical saga, and her readers will be pleased. As in Laurie Lico Albanese's Stolen Beauty, Jane MacKenzie's Tapestry of War, and titles by Sarah Jio, readers will follow characters around the world and through the years with interest. [See Prepub Alert, 5/21/18.]-Christine Barth, Scott Cty. Lib. Syst., IA © Copyright 2018. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.