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Lucia, Lucia Hardcover – 2003

331 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Set in the glittering, vibrant New York City of 1950, Lucia, Lucia is the enthralling story of a passionate, determined young woman whose decision to follow her heart changes her life forever. Lucia Sartori is the beautiful twenty-five-year-old daughter of a prosperous Italian grocer in Greenwich Village. The postwar boom is ripe with opportunities for talented girls with ambition, and Lucia becomes an apprentice to an up-and-coming designer at chic B. Altman's department store on Fifth Avenue. Engaged to her childhood sweetheart, the steadfast Dante DeMartino, Lucia is torn when she meets a handsome stranger who promises a life of uptown luxury that career girls like her only read about in the society pages. Forced to choose between duty to her family and her own dreams, Lucia finds herself in the midst of a sizzling scandal in which secrets are revealed, her beloved career is jeopardized, and the Sartoris' honor is tested. Lucia is surrounded by richly drawn New York characters, including her best friend, the quick-witted fashion protégé Ruth Kaspian; their boss, Delmarr, B. Altman's head designer and glamorous man-about-town; her devoted brothers, Roberto, Orlando, Angelo, and Exodus, self-appointed protectors of the jewel of the family; and her doting father, Antonio. Filled with the warmth and humor that have earned Adriana Trigiani hundreds of thousands of devoted readers with her Big Stone Gap trilogy, Lucia, Lucia also bursts with a New York sensibility that shows the depth and range of this beloved author. As richly detailed as the couture garments Lucia sews, as emotional as the bonds in her big Italian family, it is the story of one woman who believes that in a world brimming with so much promise, she can-and should be able to-have it all.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover
  • Publisher: Random House; First Edition edition (2003)
  • ISBN-10: 1588362876
  • ISBN-13: 978-1588362872
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (331 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #11,158,401 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Adriana Trigiani is beloved by millions of readers around the world for fifteen bestsellers, including the blockbuster epic The Shoemaker's Wife; the Big Stone Gap series; Lucia, Lucia; the Valentine series; the Viola series for young adults and the bestselling memoir Don't Sing at the Table. She is the award-winning filmmaker of the documentary Queens of the Big Time. Trigiani wrote and directed the major motion picture Big Stone Gap, based on her debut novel and filmed entirely on location in her Virginia hometown, to be released nationwide in the fall of 2015. She lives in Greenwich Village with her family.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

36 of 36 people found the following review helpful By Diana Faillace Von Behren TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on December 2, 2005
Format: Paperback
In her novel, "Lucia, Lucia",author Adriana Trigiani fashions the wonderfully likeable Lucia Sartori, living in 1950s Manhattan caught between the yearning to succeed as a proud career woman and need to follow the traditional route as wife and mother that she is most familiar with as the daughter of a close-knit Italian American family.

Lucia, indisputably "the most beautiful girl in Greenwich Village", believes she can have it all. As her candid voice weaves through the ups and downs of her family life as it tangles with a sophisticated affair that promises to transform Lucia's Americanized buoyancy into a dire Italian pessimism of operatic proportions, the reader cannot help but smile down upon this 23 year old, naïve as she is, and wish for a better conclusion to her cautionary tale.

Perhaps the outcome waxes a bit predictable, but nevertheless, Trigiani authenticates the world of fashion and post-WW2 sensibilities with a seamstress's exquisite detail that would have made Edith Head relinquish one of her Costume Design Oscars for at least a day. Trigiani excels at prolific dialogue that offers insight into the paradoxical expectations for women of that time period. Her chats between the girls at B.Altman's suggest both wisdom and trepidation with regard to the sometimes concentric and sometimes non parallel worlds of men, marriage, career and family.

Best of all is Trigiani's interpretation of the dilemma of second and third generation Italian Americans: to either assimilate into the American mindset by refuting the at times suffocating shackle of family or to entrench further into one's parent's traditional existence.
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25 of 27 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 10, 2003
Format: Hardcover
I haven't read her other books but do plan to now. From the moment I opened Lucia, Lucia it was as though the book was glued to my hands. It was as though I was transported as an invisible voyuer in to the Sartori home - I felt every emotion because she wrote it so brilliantly. I laughed, I got angry and I sobbed more than once. By the end you feel as though you knew all these people from Lucia to Dellmar to her brothers - all of them. And it's hard to say good bye when you reach the last page because in a mere 260 pages you come to feel you were on the journey with her. To me the sign of a great book is one in which you just can't bare to reach the last page and have it end. Bellisima!
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By BostonMama on May 8, 2005
Format: Hardcover
I have a weakness for novels that can effectively take me to a certain time or place and make me want to stay there. Trigiani beautifully recreates and draws the reader into the glamorous and dream-like New York fashion world of the 1950's. Its setting alone is enough to make me like this book, but there is more to it than that. The reader cannot help but like Lucia, a girl with her own mind and ahead of her time. Trigiani tells her story so that the reader knows from the first paragraph Lucia's somewhat sad outcome. The reader, entering Lucia's world with almost with a feeling of superiority, waits for the dumb mistake or terrible tragedy that must have landed her in her position. But as we learn Lucia's story, we can't help but cheer her decisions as she follows her heart, even when those decisions ultimately lead her down the difficult path that leads to where we find her. The reader struggles somewhat uncomfortably, knowing the negative consequences of Lucia's decisions, but ultimately unable to disagree with them. Trigiani reminds us that following one's heart involves serious risks-- and those risks can have troubling consequences, without a happy ending. It is this simple truth that separates her novel from the rest of the novels in the "large-and strict-but-loveable-ethnic-family-with-headstrong-daughter-getting-married" genre. So, Trigiani's novel would have been more powerful if she'd left the final portion (with its 'sort of' happy ending added on) on the "cutting room floor." Trigiani is clearly a good writer, but leaving Lucia's story be would have shown more courage and artistic maturity, in my opinion. (As an aside, the use of the present tense throughout the novel also irritated me.) All in all, a good, easy read, though.
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39 of 48 people found the following review helpful By Alicia Walker on December 8, 2003
Format: Hardcover
At first, I was loving every page of this book. Even though I do not sew and don't care a tremendous amount about fashion, Trigiani really did a great job of pulling me into Lucia's world: the care she gave to sewing, how it made her feel, the clothing she wore and worked on.
Lucia was very sympathetic. She wanted something more than what women aspired to in 1951 and even her friends could not understand her dreams. How terrible to be one of the early feminists and not have a peer group!
The book is good until the last 1/4--which seems to be a trend lately. I suppose the last 1/4 of the book must be the most difficult to write. The book kind of rushed through the ending. Additionally, what should have been the climax for the book ended up falling a bit flat--since we the reader saw this coming--and then flailed around a bit.
I truly felt Lucia's relationship with John Talbot weakened the book somewhat. Lucia is a career woman and doesn't even want to get married, yet this whole thing with John Talbot... I don't want to give it away, but it would have made MORE sense to me if Lucia herself would merely decided to call something off herself and come to this conclusion on her own, not as part of a reaction to not getting what she wants. It just seemed that the author could have done a better job of handling that. She danced around it with a conversation between Delmarr and Lucia, but she never nailed it.
This could have been a stronger story, but it wasn't a bad story. It was light reading, enjoyable, but ultimately a bit of a let-down in the end. If you enjoy stories about this time period, pick it this up. I enjoyed this read very much until the last 1/4.
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