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Rococo

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Adriana Trigiani’s sixth novel, Rococo, is a veritable crazy quilt of quirky Italian Americans. Not that our narrator would be caught dead with a crazy quilt — Bartolomeo di Crespi is the premier decorator in coastal New Jersey. He’s finally landed the job of his dreams: renovating Our Lady of Fatima Church in his hometown. Of course, Fatima’s face-lift is merely a metaphor for the revitalization the townsfolk need. Big sister Toot (”as in the song ‘Toot, Toot, Tootsie”’) craves male companionship, mousy family-imposed fiancée Capri wants to get away from Mama, and widowed cousin Christina can’t seem to move on. Trigiani weaves all these subplots together with wonderful ease; every seam is perfectly straight, every pleat in place. Bartolomeo would expect no less.

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