Friday 30 November 2018

Audio: Tony's Wife - Adriana Trigiani

Audio CD, 12 h
Narrator. Edoardo Ballerini
Published November 20th 2018 by HarperAudio
historical fiction
Thank you Harper for this review copy!

MY Thoughts
That blurb sure makes it seem like these two meet one summer and fall in love. No they did not.

ChiChi wants to become a singer, and she tries everything to make it happen. She writes her own song, she records albums (in her garage). She is driven and smart.

Severio becomes a singer even if that was maybe not the road he really wanted to take. But well on it he wants more and more of everything.

They meet in the summer of 1938, and then go back at doing their own things. Their story will span until 2000. They become friends and coworkers. ChiChi writes hits, he sings. He flirts with women, she builds something. But obviously they will try something more, and I kept waiting for it, since after all the book is called Tony's girl.

I liked how ChiCi was always I will not be a doormat, I will choose my own fate. But then she becomes a biddable Italian wife. And she feels resentful that she is the one giving everything up. But he never asks that of her. And that is not the person he fell in love with either. She shapes herself into something she does not want to, nor he. Their story is not a happy one. He has wandering hands and I felt like if she had stayed true to herself then maybe he had too. Or maybe he was just a smex addict.

It is a book about working hard and trying to make something of yourself. About falling in and out of love. About how men think they can have it all, while the women carry the burden.

I enjoyed it, even if I had wished for his hands not to wander so much. But then this was not a romance.

I did like his voice for everyone, and I also liked how he aged them. From 16 to 80. He had a smooth voice that fitted the story.

Set in the lush Big Band era of the 1940s and World War II, this spellbinding saga from beloved New York Times bestselling author 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. 


  1. Hmm..I wouldn't like that Tony had wandering hands either. Hard to like a guy when he cheats. :/ Glad you still enjoyed this in spite of it not being a romance. :)

    1. He was a good guy, he just kept wanting more, the idiot

  2. Wasn't Chi Chi fabulous? I loved her backbone.

  3. These types of books leave me too depressed even if I think they're more realistic. I used to read a lot of them but only want fake happy, happy these days lol

    Karen @ For What It's Worth

  4. Not my kind of book but glad that you enjoyed it.

  5. Not sure this would be for me, but it does sound like there way more to it than expected.

    ~Mogsy @ BiblioSanctum

    1. There really was a lot more, I did not expect that either

  6. Something is not quite right with that cover...

  7. I am impressed that the narrator aged the character.

  8. Wandering hands can be a problem. Sounds like an interesting one though.

    1. I should have disliked him, but I mostly felt sorry for him

  9. I love when a narrator is good at aging a character. I've listened to some that it sounds like a completely different person. Glad this one worked for you.

    Melanie @ Hot Listens & Books of My Heart

    1. I was impressed. She really was 80! And it still was her at 80.

  10. Interesting find. The cover is weird tho...



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