Tony's Wife by Adriana Trigiani
Published by Harper ISBN 9780062319258
Hardcover, $28.99, 496 pages
Saverio's job is to bolt the driver's door handle on 978 cars every day, ten hours a day, six days a week. On the seventh day, Saverio sings in the church choir. He has the loveliest voice in the choir, everyone said so.
On Christmas Eve, he was all set to give fellow choir member Cheryl a beautiful necklace and declare his love. When his love life doesn't work out as he planned, he gets an offer to audition for a band. His father is furious that Saverio would give up a good steady job for the unknown life as a singer, and throws him out of the house.
Chi Chi Donatelli lives in New Jersey with her family, where they all work in a textile factory. But Chi Chi dreams of being a singer, and her father supports her, even building a studio in their garage to record Chi Chi and her sisters in the hopes of becoming the next big girl group.
Chi Chi meets Saverio, hoping that he can get her record to a music label. They spend the day at the beach, and Tony is smitten with Chi Chi, although she is wary of his playboy ways. Tony is invited to the Donatellis for Sunday dinner, and he envies Chi Chi the warmth of her family. How he wished he had that!
Saverio and Chi Chi both dream of becoming stars, and they fall in love and marry. Chi Chi fears that becoming a wife and mother will force her to give up the life she has come to relish- writing and recording songs, performing on stage with Sav (now known as Tony Arma).
They move to Hollywood, where Chi Chi writes songs and cares for their children, while Tony tours the country and works as an actor in films. Chi Chi wants the traditional Italian family that she grew up with, but it appears that Tony may no longer want that. Can their marriage survive?
Anyone who loves the music of the 1940s and 1950s will adore Tony's Wife. Trigiani names each chapter as a direction in music- Feroce, Crescendo, Teneramente- adding to the authenticity of this engaging story. She even includes song lyrics throughout and a Tony Arma discography at the end of the book.
I found Chi Chi's story so very captivating. She is such a strong woman, a woman who took care of her family's finances and took charge of her career and life, all the time remaining traditional to her family values. I absolutely fell in love with her!
As with everyone, there are ups and downs in Chi Chi's life, happy times and incredibly sad and challenging times too. Once again, the cover art work is astonishing, and the descriptions of family meals and the beautiful clothing so evocative that you use all of your senses while reading this gorgeous story.
Tony's Wife would make a perfect hostess gift if you are traveling for Thanksgiving, as well as a lovely gift during this holiday season. Pair it with a Frank Sinatra record and a bottle of good Chianti as a gift to your best friend as well as for yourself. I highly recommend Tony's Wife.
Adriana Trigiani's website is here, and you can follow her on Facebook here.
Thanks to TLC Tours for putting me on Adriana Trigiani's tour. The rest of her stops are here: