Adriana Trigiani offers a charming look at midcentury Italian-American family life and a humorous glimpse into the travails of celebrity ... A few scenes drag (a tawdry hotel encounter with an old crush, a long-winded deathbed confession). But Tony’s Wife shows the rewards and regrets of a long life, and offers the lesson that 'happiness is all about accepting what’s enough.'
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...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.
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 ... 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.
Tony's Wife is deeply entrenched in Trigiani’s own world of Italian American family, culture, tradition and food. She expertly draws from her multilayered experience with ease, making the story both charming and authentic. Although it is a long, slow read that requires you to get used to the languid pace, the most dominant (and my favorite) aspect of the novel is Chi Chi. She’s strong and resilient, a powerhouse and an unbeatable force of nature. If you like Chi Chi, you will adore this unforgettable book.
A mistress of the sweeping family saga, bestselling author Trigiani...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.
Trigiani...fills this novel with the musical delights of the big band era and a love that lasts a lifetime ... Packed with melodies, memories, humor, and love and loss, this effortlessly plotted novel is an emotional page-turner.