cover image Tony’s Wife

Tony’s Wife

Adriana Trigiani. Harper, $28.99 (496p) ISBN 978-0-06-231925-8

Trigiani (Kiss Carlo) fills this novel with the musical delights of the big band era and a love that lasts a lifetime. Saverio Armandonada leaves his Detroit home on Christmas Eve in 1932 when his father kicks him out for wanting to pursue a career in singing. Though he never lacks for female companionship as a singer traveling with a band, Saverio is particularly intrigued when he meets Chi Chi Donatelli in Sea Isle City, N.J. Chi Chi joins Saverio’s band and sees firsthand Saverio’s endless string of romances; though she disapproves, the two remain friends throughout the years even as he gains greater success and changes his name to Tony Arma. During WWII, Saverio joins the Navy and spends his time in a military submarine reminiscing about his past. He decides his life will be complete with Chi Chi as his wife. Chi Chi finally agrees to marry Saverio after his repeated insistence that she is the only woman for him. The ups and downs of their marriage are complicated by Saverio’s fractured relationship with his father and his fear of loneliness while on the road singing and making movies. Packed with melodies, memories, humor, and love and loss, this effortlessly plotted novel is an emotional page-turner. (Nov.)