“Like Trigiani’s (Kiss Carlo, 2017) best work, Tony’s Wife is an immersive experience, with well- rounded, warm characters, pre-WWII fashion, Jersey accents, and homemade pasta. Moving and delightful.” –Booklist Online
“A heartfelt tale of love too stubborn to surrender to human frailties.” –Kirkus Review
“Tony’s Wife is a bit of a misnomer, as the strength of the book is Chi Chi’s story, but Trigiani is the master of writing complex Italian families, full of characters who love and live with passionate (and sometimes fractured) hearts … Trigiani delivers another solid historical saga, and her readers will be pleased.” –Library Journal
“Trigiani…fills this novel with the musical delights of the big band era and a love that lasts a lifetime … Packed with melodies, memories, humor, and love and loss, this effortlessly plotted novel is an emotional page-turner.” –Publishers Weekly
Set in the lush Big Band era of the 1940s and World War II, this spellbinding saga from beloved New York Times bestselling author Adriana Trigiani tells the story of two talented working class kids who marry and become a successful singing act, until time, temptation, and the responsibilities of home and family derail their dreams.
Shortly before World War II, Chi Chi Donatelli and Saverio Armandonada meet one summer on the Jersey shore and fall in love. Both are talented and ambitious, and both share the dream of becoming singers for the legendary orchestras of the time: Glenn Miller, Tommy Dorsey, Benny Goodman. They’re soon married, and it isn’t long before Chiara and Tony find that their careers are on the way up as they navigate the glamorous worlds of night clubs, radio, and television. All goes well until it becomes clear that they must make a choice: Which of them will put their ambitions aside to raise a family and which will pursue a career? And how will they cope with the impact that decision has on their lives and their marriage?
From the Jersey shore to Las Vegas to Hollywood, and all the dance halls in between, this multi-layered story is vivid with historical color and steeped in the popular music that serves as its score. Tony’s Wife is a magnificent epic of life in a traditional Italian family undergoing seismic change in a fast paced, modern world. Filled with vivid, funny, and unforgettable characters, this richly human story showcases Adriana Trigiani’s gifts as a storyteller and her deep understanding of family, love, and the pursuit of the American dream.
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
2 tablespoons fresh Italian parsley, chopped
2 cups ground beef, veal or chicken
2 cups plain bread crumbs
1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
2 eggs, beaten
2 egg yolks
Salt and pepper to taste
In a heavy pan, melt the butter and sauté the garlic and parsley until the garlic is a light brown. Add the meat and cook gently until browned, about 10 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and let the meat cool. Then add all the other ingredients and mix well. The filling is now ready to add to the pasta form.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and grease and 11×7-inch baking dish.
Stuff each tube or shell with 1/4 cup of the mixture.
Spread about 1/2 cup of basic tomato sauce on the bottom of the baking dish. Arrange the tubes or shells in a single layer, then cover with another 1/2 cup (or so) of tomato sauce. Bake until heated through, about 25 minutes. Have grated Parmigiano-Reggiano and a little extra sauce on the table.