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The Queen of the Big Time: A Novel by…

The Queen of the Big Time: A Novel (original 2004; edition 2005)

by Adriana Trigiani

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8642315,569 (3.67)30
Title:The Queen of the Big Time: A Novel
Authors:Adriana Trigiani
Info:Ballantine Books (2005), Edition: Good, Paperback, 304 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:Adult Fiction, romance, Italian Families

Work details

The Queen of the Big Time by Adriana Trigiani (2004)


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English (22)  German (1)  All languages (23)
Showing 1-5 of 22 (next | show all)
I liked the first 2/3 of the book a lot, but the end felt like I was reading a Reader's Digest condensed version. I wish she'd taken the same care in the last part as she did the first. ( )
  tkcs | Feb 23, 2019 |
A light but very enjoyable read
  readinglife11 | Sep 11, 2017 |
This the story of a young Italian American girl called Nella. We first meet her in 1924 when she is fourteen. Nella and her family live on a farm, and she is the middle daughter of five.

The book is about her growing up and her adult life. It's primarily a character-based book, based in part on reminiscences from the author’s father and grandmother. I enjoyed Nella’s take on life, the reasons for the decisions she makes, and her growing awareness of who she really is, something that doesn’t hit her fully until she’s in her fifties.

I know almost nothing about the Italian American communities, but there’s an authentic touch that made them come alive in my mind. The author is skilled in painting pictures of people’s lives and occupations without any hint of being overtly educational.

There are some unexpected and tragic incidents in the novel, but they’re sensitively dealt with. Given the era and the circumstances, they’re probably realistic. The ending is gentle and open, and there’s then a bittersweet epilogue which rounds it off in a way that helped bring it to completion.

Recommended to anyone who likes historical fiction with no real plot other than the unfolding and developing of somebody’s life. ( )
  SueinCyprus | Jul 7, 2016 |
3.5 stars
Nella Costelucca narrates her story of growing up on a farm in PA but loving school and wanting to be a teacher. However, her father's injury forces her to quit school and go to work at the blouse factory, where she thrives and prospers. Trigiani lets the reader into her characters lives, with all the twists and turns life's road takes. ( )
  BookConcierge | Feb 12, 2016 |
Beginning in early 20th-century TQOTBT chronicles the
lives of the Castellucas, an Italian-American family, over the course of three generations.
" In the late 1800s, the residents of a small village in the Bari region of Italy, on the shores of the Adriatic Sea, made a mass migration to the promised land: America. They settled in Roseto, Pennsylvania, and re-created their former lives in their new home -- down to the very last detail "

I loved the immigrant flavor and experience............
I was surprised at the verve of middle daughter Nell as her dreams are shattered and yet she forges ahead and reconstructs her life.

Lots of laughter, lots of tears.
I became emotionally involved with the characters.
The only "down" point was the reading by the author.
She was matter of fact and I probably saw the story in a different light than she.

However the end result was that I really enjoyed the read ( )
  pennsylady | Jan 23, 2016 |
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In memory of my grandmother Yolanda P. Trigiani
First words
Today is the day my teacher, Miss Stoddard, comes to see my parents.
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Disambiguation notice
This book is not part of the Big Stone Gap series.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0812967801, Paperback)

Known and loved around the world for her sweeping Big Stone Gap trilogy and the instant New York Times bestseller Lucia, Lucia, Adriana Trigiani returns to the charm and drama of small-town life with Queens of the Big Time. This heartfelt story of the limits and power of love chronicles the remarkable lives of the Castellucas, an Italian-American family, over the course of three generations.

In the late 1800s, the residents of a small village in the Bari region of Italy, on the shores of the Adriatic Sea, made a mass migration to the promised land of America. They settled in Roseto, Pennsylvania, and re-created their former lives in their new home–down to the very last detail of who lived next door to whom. The village’s annual celebration of Our Lady of Mount Carmel–or “the Big Time,” as the occasion is called by the young women who compete to be the pageant’s Queen–is the centerpiece of Roseto’s colorful old-world tradition.

The industrious Castellucas farm the land outside Roseto. Nella, the middle daughter of five, aspires to a genteel life “in town,” far from the rigors of farm life, which have taken a toll on her mother and forced her father to take extra work in the slate quarries to make ends meet. But Nella’s dreams of making her own fortune shift when she meets Renato Lanzara, the son of a prominent Roseto family. Renato is a worldly, handsome, devil-may-care poet who has a way with words that makes him irresistible. Their friendship ignites into a fiery romance that Nella is certain will lead to marriage. But Nella is not alone in her pursuit: every girl in town seems to want Renato. When he disappears without explanation, Nella is left with a shattered heart. Four years later, Renato’s sudden return to Roseto the night before Nella’s wedding to the steadfast Franco Zollerano leaves her and the Castelluca family shaken. For although Renato has chosen a path very different from Nella’s, they are fated to live and work in Roseto, where the past hangs over them like a brewing storm.

An epic of small-town life, etched in glorious detail in the trademark Trigiani style, The Queen of the Big Time is the story of a determined, passionate woman who can never forget her first love.

From the Hardcover edition.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:24:19 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

A woman who's boyfriend transports cocaine in his airplane must learn to survive in the tough world of drugs after he is killed.

(summary from another edition)

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Average: (3.67)
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