cover image Kiss Carlo

Kiss Carlo

Adriana Trigiani. Harper, $27.99 (544p) ISBN 978-0-06-231922-7

Trigiani takes readers on a journey to post–World War II Philadelphia, where one man suddenly realizes that he wants more from life than the path that he has been given. After being orphaned at a young age, Nicky Castone lives with his uncle’s family, the Palazzinis. In 1949, following his military service, Nicky is now driving a cab for his uncle’s company and engaged to Peachy DePino. But he discovers true passion when he fills in as a substitute actor in a Shakespearean play at the nearby theater run by Calla Borelli and her father. When the taxi dispatch office receives a telegram that Carlo Guardinfante, an Italian ambassador, is unable to make an appearance at a local festival in Roseto, Pa., Nicky jumps at the chance to impersonate Carlo and further his acting skills. His experiences in Roseto lead him to question where his life is headed. Trigiani brilliantly brings 1949 South Philadelphia to life, complete with the humor and heartbreak of the close-knit Italian families who live there. Yet the true star is Nicky who, in his quest to break free, is most memorable. (June)