Adriana Trigiani's enchanting new novel will find a warm welcome from every reader who has encountered a fork in the road to love and taken the more perilous path.

Lucia Sartori is a dynamic young Italian-American woman living in Greenwich Village in the early 1950s. She loves her close-knit family, her church and her job as apprentice to a designer on the fast track at B. Altman's department store. For Lucia, her work as a seamstress is more than a job: it's her passion.

Lucia is engaged to Dante DeMartino, a devoted, if unexciting, young man who bears a strong resemblance to her favorite movie star, Don Ameche. She has overlooked many of Dante's faults until she is challenged one night by Dante's old-fashioned, controlling mother, who insists that her prospective daughter-in-law give up her beloved career as a seamstress and stay at home after the wedding. Shouldn't her life revolve around her new husband? Isn't this the existence every Italian girl aspires to? For Lucia, the answer is a resounding "No, never!" She ends the engagement and sees her life take an irrevocable turn with the arrival of the mysterious, devastatingly attractive John Talbot. The shift from a secure, surefooted lifestyle to one in which Lucia must constantly cope with shifting sands heralds the beginning of a journey that ultimately reveals what will truly bring her happiness.

Trigiani, a television writer who first came to the attention of readers with her popular Big Stone Gap series, has created in Lucia a strong-willed, yet vulnerable heroine whose innocence, determination and optimism charm everyone who crosses her path. While the story ostensibly focuses on Lucia's romantic hijinks, it is, even more, a testament to the power of familial love and friendship. Readers may find the decidedly wholesome backdrop to the story surprising (remember, we're back in the 1950s). Perhaps that is Trigiani's greatest gift to her reader: the recognition that devotion, loyalty and forgiveness will ultimately win the day.

Claire Gerus writes from Norwich, Connecticut.


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