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Extended Audio Sample The Queen of the Big Time: A Novel, 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:
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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 by 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 by 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 by 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 by 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. "

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