About Lucia, Lucia by Adriana Trigiani: Lucia Sartori is the beautiful daughter of a fine Italian immigrant family living in Greenwich Village, New York, in 1950. Fuelled by the post-war boom, in which ambitious girls are encouraged to follow their dreams, Lucia becomes an apprentice for a clothing designer at a chic department store on Fifth Avenue. Though she is sought after as a potential wife by the best Italian families, Lucia is determined to have a career. She juggles the roles of dutiful daughter and ambitious working girl perfectly.
When a handsome stranger comes into the story … it is love at first sight. In order to win Lucia’s hand, he must first win over her traditional family and make the proper offer of marriage. Their love affair takes an unexpected turn as secrets are revealed, Lucia’s family honor is tested, and her own reputation becomes the center of a sizzling scandal.
My two centsI’m ashamed to say I bought this book for its cover … a hard cover with beautiful artwork and a floral flyleaf. It sure looked like a book worth keeping.
The back cover also said “As well as being one of Whoopi Goldberg’s favourite novels, Sarah Jessica Parker ‘couldn’t put it down’. Which is our recommendation exactly – Glamor.” Then there was sticker that said “Shortlisted by Richard and Judy’s Book Club British Book Awards.”
Well, Glamor isn’t exactly known for its book reviews is it? I give more weight to Whoopi’s and SJP’s taste though. I wonder who Richard and Judy are?
I enjoy languid descriptions, like whole chapters in Anna Karenina, for example, describing the minutest details that put you right in the story … and Lucia, Lucia has that same quality. You can get lost in all those lovely descriptions about how her fiance looked like an actor she adored, Lucia’s gold lame dress, and of New York life in the 50s.
I’m a little ambivalent about this book. While it’s a quick and enjoyable read (finished it one lazy weekend at home), the storyline and characters are somewhat trite and predictable. Lucia’s character seemed artificial and, well, lacked “character.” Sure, she was beautiful, smart and ambitious … but horribly stupid in love. It’s the same all story retold. Even her redemption at the end didn’t really move me.
I wanted to kick Lucia in the butt many many times. But maybe I should be the one to be kicked … because I suddenly re-read the cover and it actually says: “Praise for Big Stone Gap.” Aha. So it was Trigiani’s other book that Whoopi and SJP liked so much. I think I’ll pass on that though.
I wonder who’d like to have this book? I don’t think I’m cut out for this type of chick lit. Ho-hum.