Thursday, October 27, 2011

Don't Sing at the Table by Adriana Trigiani

About Don’t Sing at the Table

• Paperback: 240 pages
• Publisher: Harper Paperbacks (October 4, 2011)
New York Timesbestselling author Adriana Trigiani’s gift for illuminating the profound challenges and issues defining women’s lives has propelled her novels to the top of bestseller lists and earned her a wide, devoted readership. Now, she shares the roots of those insights—the wisdom handed down to her from her unforgettable grandmothers, Lucia and Viola, which she began collecting for her own daughter—with readers everywhere.
Filled with practical, sage advice, and infused with Trigiani’s trademark warmth, love, and humor, Don’t Sing at the Table introduces a pair of feisty, intelligent, and strong forces of nature whose lives embody the story of 20th-century America itself. Between them, the extraordinary Lucia and Viola lived through the century from beginning to end, surviving immigration, young widowhood, single motherhood, four wars, and the Great Depression. Culled from their remarkable experiences, this heartfelt guide, at turns hilarious and poignant, offers answers to the seminal questions in a woman’s life, from getting married to saving money, nurturing the soul to keeping calm in a crisis, raising children to finding private comfort.

My take: This is a surprisingly quiet yet profound book. The author has collected pieces of both grandmothers and provided a compared, contrasted, then combined philosophy on the struggles of women. She offers no apologies but provides insight into her grandmother's lives and events that molded them which then molded her and she continues with her own daughter.

The reader can find solid and sage advice on working, planning, love and marriage, parenting, loving, growing up and growing old. My favorite section is that the best years are after the age of 40. 

Taking anecdotes from both grandmothers, including their heartaches, heartbreaks, joys and coping mechanisms, Adriana draws together the strings that have made her the woman she is today. Both women knew how to laugh, work, cry, grieve, live, and love. Her grandmothers were very different people but shared many of the same ethics and beliefs.

This one is a keeper for my own bookshelf. It's one I can pull out again and again to gain perspective and remind myself of my own grandmothers and the wisdom they imparted upon me, their favorite grandchild (my opinion, not my sibs or cousins).

About Adriana Trigiani

Award-winning playwright, television writer, and documentary filmmaker Adriana Trigiani is the author of the bestselling Very Valentine and Brava, Valentine, part of the Valentine series, Viola in Reel Life and Viola in the Spotlight, part of her new young adult series, as well as the bestselling Big Stone Gap series, and the bestselling novelLucia, Lucia. She also has written and will direct the big-screen version of her first novel, Big Stone Gap. She lives in New York City with her husband and daughter.
Visit Adriana at her website:, like her on Facebook, and follow her on Twitter., her Facebook page, and Twitter.


heathertlc said...

I can see me keeping this one on MY shelf as well - it sounds like a truly wonderful read!

Thanks for being a part of the tour. I'm featuring your review on TLC's Facebook page today.

Alison's Book Marks said...

I loved this book, and I'm so glad to see you felt the same way!

"Fiesty" - perfect word! :)

Sophia Rose said...

I am not familiar with this author, but this review and posting gave me a desire to read this book. I love these kinds of stories fraught with advise.

Thanks for posting.

Kim said...

I've read several of Trigiani's books, and enjoyed them.

I'm sure this is a book I'd enjoy - I'll have to check my library.

And my grandfather wouldn't let me sing or whistle at the table, either.