NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • One small Italian American town in America gets the makeover it never expected in this “eccentric, unpredictable, entertaining” (The Boston Globe) novel from the author of the beloved Big Stone Gap series
“An artfully designed tale [with] characters so lively they bounce off the page [and] wit so subtle that even the best jokes seem effortless.”—People
Bartolomeo di Crespi is the acclaimed interior decorator—not to mention the most eligible bachelor—in Our Lady of Fatima, New Jersey. From the dazzling shores of the Garden State to the legendary fabric houses of New York City, from the prickly purveyors of fine art in London to the Mediterranean coast of Italy, Bartolomeo is on a mission to bring talent, sophistication, and his aesthetic vision to his hometown. So when the renovation of the local church is scheduled, he assumes there is only one man to oversee the job.
Recruiting an artist and a stained-glass artisan to help with the project—two handsome men who create romantic mayhem among Bartolomeo’s sister, his erstwhile fiancée, and all the other lovelorn ladies of OLOF—Bartolomeo struggles to create art while remaining the steadfast linchpin of the volatile di Crespi clan. Together, Bartolomeo and his team will do more than blow the dust off the old Fatima frescoes—they will turn the town upside down, challenge the faithful, and restore hope where there once was none.
Bestseller Trigiani (Lucia, Lucia) offers Italian recipes, family dramas and oodles of decorating ideas (if little narrative tension) in her latest novel, a feel-good story about a New Jersey interior designer tackling his dream job. In Our Lady of Fatima, N.J., plucky narrator Bartolomeo di Crespi, aka B, reigns supreme: he can doll up an ottoman with kicky trim and sparkly crystals with the best of 'em, and he decorates all the area's best houses, including the manse belonging to the mother of his putative fianc e, Capri Mandelbaum. (Really they're just friends, but Aurelia, Capri's mother, is certain they'll marry.) When the local church comes due for a major renovation, B gets the commission, after Father Porporino is convinced (forcibly, it's later revealed) that a tony Philadelphia firm won't do. But can B come up with a timeless yet innovative design for the church he loves? He calls in the experts all of them sexy takes trips to London and Italy, and benefits from a minor miracle amid a cast of family and friends who fight, fall in love, have babies and come out of the closet. While overlong and undramatic, the book still manages to soothe, in part because of its cozy design talk and in part because of the likable, competent B.