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Extended Audio Sample The Queen of the Big Time: A Novel Audiobook, by Adriana Trigiani Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (4,635 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Adriana Trigiani Narrator: Adriana Trigiani Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Abridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: July 2004 ISBN: 9780739303672
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Known and loved around the world for her sweeping Big Stone Gap trilogy and the instant New York Times bestseller Lucia, Lucia, Adriana Trigiani returns to the charm and drama of small-town life with The Queen of the Big Time. This heartfelt story of the limits and power of love chronicles the remarkable lives of the Castellucas, an Italian-American family, over the course of three generations.

In the late 1800s, the residents of a small village in the Bari region of Italy, on the shores of the Adriatic Sea, made a mass migration to the promised land of America. They settled in Roseto, Pennsylvania, and recreated their former lives in their new home–down to the very last detail of who lived next door to whom. The village’s annual celebration of Our Lady of Mount Carmel—or “the Big Time,” as the occasion is called by the young women who compete to be the pageant’s Queen—is the centerpiece of Roseto’s colorful old-world tradition.

The industrious Castellucas farm the land outside Roseto. Nella, the middle daughter of five, aspires to a genteel life “in town,” far from the rigors of farm life, which have taken a toll on her mother and forced her father to take extra work in the slate quarries to make ends meet. But Nella’s dreams of making her own fortune shift when she meets Renato Lanzara, the son of a prominent Roseto family. Renato is a worldly, handsome, devil-may-care poet who has a way with words that makes him irresistible. Their friendship ignites into a fiery romance that Nella is certain will lead to marriage. But Nella is not alone in her pursuit: every girl in town seems to want Renato. When he disappears without explanation, Nella is left with a shattered heart. Four years later, Renato’s sudden return to Roseto the night before Nella’s wedding to the steadfast Franco Zollerano leaves her and the Castelluca family shaken. For although Renato has chosen a path very different from Nella’s, they are fated to live and work in Roseto, where the past hangs over them like a brewing storm.

An epic of small-town life, etched in glorious detail in the trademark Trigiani style, The Queen of the Big Time is the story of a determined, passionate woman who can never forget her first love.

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Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Amy | 2/20/2014

    " I was choosing between 3 and 4 stars for this book. I really enjoyed the beginning of this book especially as it parallels my own mothers life in an Italian family in upstate PA in a coal mining town. My only criticism (without spoiling the end of the book)is that I would have liked the author to tell more about Nella's married life and later life. Having said that, it was still a very enjoyable read. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Amy | 2/16/2014

    " This was a nice easy read. I really liked learning about the Italian immigrants in PA. The story was OK, not bad, just not too exciting. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Carroll | 2/13/2014

    " A heart warming romance. Coming from a small town I could relate with the close friendships and interactions of the towns people. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jules | 1/31/2014

    " I loved the storyline about learning and working in the factory. The love interest was a little flat for me. This story made me consider my life quite a bit and wonder if I live it to the fullest. I don't want to come to the end of my life and realize that I had it good all along. I do have it pretty good and hopefully will appreciate life more now. That made it a worthwhile read. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Margie Morris | 1/28/2014

    " I couldn't put this book down,it is a complete joy to read,and it is as real as life was in the era that this story takes place. Wonderful,wonderful book and Triginia is the best! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Dawn rizzi | 1/21/2014

    " Just about finished. Loved it. One of her best. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Marisa | 1/18/2014

    " another nice engaging book from adriana trigiani - i got on a kick listening to her books awhile back, and enjoyed them. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Becky | 1/15/2014

    " Not as good as the Big Stone Gap novels, but still entertaining. The novel follows a similiiar pattern to those novels, so it was nothing overly exciting. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 DeAnna Rigney | 12/29/2013

    " Very simple story, told in a very simple way. *Yawn* "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Melissa | 12/15/2013

    " Maybe my favorite Trigiani book. It spreads over the main characters whole life so there are many years that are just skipped. I wouldn't have minded here doing a 3 or 4 book series instead like she did with Big Stone Gap. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Teresa | 12/3/2013

    " I liked the first 2/3 of the book a lot, but the end felt like I was reading a Reader's Digest condensed version. I wish she'd taken the same care in the last part as she did the first. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Lupe | 11/22/2013

    " I teared up at the ending. Loved it. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Bee | 11/13/2013

    " I listened to this on tape last year and it was just okay for me. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jeanne Marie | 8/26/2013

    " A beautiful story of first love. . . Italian style with all the appropriate drama! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 D'Arcy | 7/16/2013

    " Really enjoyed this novel. I do so love a romance and this one smacks of reality which I rather enjoyed. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Pammy | 7/14/2013

    " I read this story of love and spunk and daily living challenges as I was visiting in Boston's Little Italy. How appropriate (but unplanned). It made the book come alive. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Amy | 5/18/2013

    " Story of first love. Enjoyed story of struggle amongst the sisters and how they overcame their situation. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Glenda L | 5/9/2013

    " This is about a small mining town in Pennsylvania. By the time you come to the end you really come to know the townspeople and their traditions. A story of Italian immigrants that spans almost fifty years of love, life, and drama "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Susan Baranoff | 12/25/2012

    " I always love her books, this is no exception. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Marie | 9/26/2012

    " It was great summer reading. The characters were endearing and the story although somewhat predictable still kept my interest. It did bring up a few deeper messages, particularly a reminder of appreciating what we have and not longing for what might have been. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kim | 9/22/2012

    " I listened to this book and it was a lovely story. I was sorry when it was over. It meandered and had lots of nuggets. The author's interview at the end was a big bonus! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Karen Mccallion addesso | 9/13/2012

    " Second favorite by this author. My favorite is The Shoemaker's Wife. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Helena | 9/10/2012

    " Beautifully written. Funny and sad. I loved it! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jenni | 8/24/2012

    " This was a quick read. The plot was simple and I predicted all that happened. It was vaguely similar to Eve's Daughters but not nearly as good. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 shannon | 12/7/2011

    " These novels are so sweet, if predictable, and always make me tear up. They should be movies on the Hallmark Channel. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Nicole | 7/12/2011

    " great storytelling, first love, from farm to riches, trips to Italy...i'm hooked on Trigiani's love stories. Italian romance leaves little else to be desired. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Florence | 7/10/2011

    " A novel that shows that true living means taking risks, to be willing to take both the pain and joy. That living happens in the quiet day to day despite challenges and disappointments. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Michele | 6/15/2011

    " Have not read anything else by her, but thought this book was very poorly written. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Mary | 6/3/2011

    " Although I love the historical perspective I wanted more from this book. It needed more drama for my liking. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Maryann | 6/2/2011

    " Wow! What a great book! It had me laughing and crying throughout the entire story. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Emily | 4/30/2011

    " Epic story encompassing three generations of italian life in Pennsylvania. I loved the story and the characters, especially Nella, the protagonist. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lisa | 4/19/2011

    " I thoroughly enjoyed this one! Anyone recommend any of Adriana's other books? Jenni? "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Teresa | 4/19/2011

    " I liked the first 2/3 of the book a lot, but the end felt like I was reading a Reader's Digest condensed version. I wish she'd taken the same care in the last part as she did the first. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Caroline | 4/12/2011

    " Yet another book by Trigiani that I could barely put down. A charming, relatable story of a farm girl determined to make something of herself and follow her dreams. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Gail | 4/10/2011

    " What a wonderful story about immigrants from Italy and how hard they worked and loved needed tissues by the end I did not want it to end. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Joyce | 2/28/2011

    " This big is more like Lucia, Lucia than like the Big Stone Gap series. Fun to read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Melissa | 2/13/2011

    " Maybe my favorite Trigiani book. It spreads over the main characters whole life so there are many years that are just skipped. I wouldn't have minded here doing a 3 or 4 book series instead like she did with Big Stone Gap. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Alberta | 2/2/2011

    " just ok, not as good as the valentine series, same genre "

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About the Author
Author Adriana Trigiani

Adriana Trigiani is an award-winning playwright, television writer, and documentary filmmaker. The author of the bestselling Big Stone Gap series, Very Valentine; Brava, Valentine; Lucia, Lucia; The Queen of the Big Time; and Rococo, she also wrote the bestselling memoir Don’t Sing at the Table and the young adult novels Viola in Reel Life and Viola in the Spotlight. Her books have been published in thirty-six countries around the world. She has written and will direct the big screen version of her first novel, Big Stone Gap. She lives in New York City with her husband and daughter.