Set in the glittering, vibrant New York City of 1950, Lucia, Lucia is the enthralling story of a passionate, determined young woman whose decision to follow her heart changes her life forever.
Lucia Sartori is the beautiful twenty-five-year-old daughter of a prosperous Italian grocer in Greenwich Village. The postwar boom is ripe with opportunities for talented girls with ambition, and Lucia becomes an apprentice to an up-and-coming designer at chic B. Altman’s department store on Fifth Avenue. Engaged to her childhood sweetheart, the steadfast Dante DeMartino, Lucia is torn when she meets a handsome stranger who promises a life of uptown luxury that career girls like her only read about in the society pages. Forced to choose between duty to her family and her own dreams, Lucia finds herself in the midst of a sizzling scandal in which secrets are revealed, her beloved career is jeopardized, and the Sartoris’ honor is tested.
Lucia is surrounded by richly drawn New York characters, including her best friend, the quick-witted fashion protégé Ruth Kaspian; their boss, Delmarr, B. Altman’s head designer and glamorous man-about-town; her devoted brothers, Roberto, Orlando, Angelo, and Exodus, self-appointed protectors of the jewel of the family; and her doting father, Antonio. Filled with the warmth and humor that have earned Adriana Trigiani hundreds of thousands of devoted readers with her Big Stone Gap trilogy, Lucia, Lucia also bursts with a New York sensibility that shows the depth and range of this beloved author. As richly detailed as the couture garments Lucia sews, as emotional as the bonds in her big Italian family, it is the story of one woman who believes that in a world brimming with so much promise, she can—and should be able to—have it all.
Greenwich Village is a far cry from the rural Virginia of Trigiani's best-selling trilogy (Big Stone Gap; Big Cherry Holler; Milk Glass Moon), but the emotional terrain covered in the author's first novel is warmly familiar. Poignant and feeling, it looks back on the experiences of the beautiful daughter of an Italian-American family in Greenwich Village in the early '50s. Kit Zanetti, a young playwright in present-day New York, accepts an invitation to the apartment of "Aunt Lu," as she is known in their building. Aunt Lu on first glance is an eccentric lady in her 70s who trails around in a fur. Once Kit can be bothered to listen, however, she finds out that Aunt Lu was once the most beautiful girl in Greenwich Village, Lucia Sartori, an intelligent and ambitious seamstress in the custom department at B. Altman's, who's determined not to let the traditions of her loving family lock her into the patterns of the past. When her impending marriage to childhood sweetheart Dante threatens just that, she refuses him, startling her beloved family. Then, fatefully, she meets the dapper John Talbot, who seems the man of her dreams, even draping her in full-length mink, and she ignores the signs that he is trouble and plans marriage. Jilted on her wedding day, Lucia finds out that he is a con man. Despite her pain, she decides to go to California to follow her dream, but when her mother falls ill she does exactly what she was trying to avoid: she becomes the maiden aunt and caretaker of the Sartori clan. Will some well-meant meddling by Kit disarray Lucia's carefully controlled life? This old-fashioned drama wears its heart on its sleeve subtlety is not its strong suit but readers will laugh with and weep for Lucia and her lost dreams. 10-city author tour.
Customer ReviewsSee All
I absolutely loved this book. I identified very much with Lucia. I read it shortly after a break up, and ironically, the man in her life (antagonist!) strongly resembled the man I had just ended a relationship with. This book opened my eyes and made me realize how much better off I was. Lucia, a seamstress and aspiring fashion designer, is absolutely darling. She stylish, sophisticated, funny & Italian, in New York City. You really can't get much better than that. :)
Fun story of close knit Italian family!