Ballantine Books, Paperback, 9780812967814, 283pp.
Publication Date: April 25, 2006
Bartolomeo di Crespi is the acclaimed interior decorator of Our Lady of Fatima, New Jersey. To date, Bartolomeo has hand-selected every chandelier, sconce, and ottoman in OLOF, so when the renovation of the local church is scheduled, he assumes there is only one man for the job.
From the dazzling shores of New Jersey to the legendary fabric houses of New York City, from the prickly purveyors of fine art in London to luscious Santa Margherita on the Mediterranean coast of Italy, Bartolomeo is on a mission to bring talent, sophistication, and his aesthetic vision to his hometown.
Trigiani's glittering mosaic of small-town characters sparkles: Bartolomeo's hilarious sister, Toot, is in desperate need of a postdivorce transformation thirteen years after the fact; The Benefactor, Aurelia Mandelbaum, the richest woman in New Jersey, has a lust for French interiors and a long-held hope that Bartolomeo will marry her myopic daughter, Capri; Father Porporino, the pastor with a secret, does his best to keep a lid on a simmering scandal; and Eydie Von Gunne, the chic international designer, steps in and changes the course of Bartolomeo's creative life, while his confidante, cousin Christina Menecola, awaits rescue from an inconsolable grief.
Plaster of Paris, polished marble, and unbridled testosterone arrive in buckets when Bartolomeo recruits Rufus McSherry, a strapping, handsome artist, and Pedro Allercon, a stained-glass artisan, to work with him on the church's interior. Together, the three of them will do more than blow the dust off the old Fatima frescoes they will turn the town upside down, challenge the faithful, and restore hope where there once was none.
Brilliantly funny and as fanciful as flocked wallpaper, filled with glamorous locales from New Jersey to Europe, from Sunday Mass to the American Society of Interior Designers soiree at the Plaza Hotel, Rococo is Trigiani's masterpiece, a classic comedy with a heart of gold leaf.
"A veritable crazy quilt of quirky Italian Americans ... Trigiani weaves all these subplots together with wonderful ease; every seam is perfectly straight, every pleat in place. Bartolomeo would expect no less. A-." -- Entertainment Weekly
"Clever ... Creating characters so lively they bounce off the page and possessing a wit so subtle that even the best jokes seem effortless, Trigiani is a master storyteller. Equal parts sass and silliness, Rococo is an artfully designed tale with enough brio to make Frank Gehry proud."-- People
"From the Hardcover edition.
Praise for Adriana Trigiani
The Queen of the Big Time
“Full-bodied and elegantly written . . . [Trigiani builds The Queen of the Big Time] around an old-fashioned love story. . . . Pure pleasure.”
–The Washington Post Book World
“Moving and poignant . . . Trigiani has again defied categorization. She is more than a one-hit wonder, more than a Southern writer, more than a women’s novelist. She is an amazing young talent.”
“This heartwarming tale is full of lessons about taking risks in life and love.”
“Trigiani’s writing is as dazzling as Lucia’s dresses.”
“Seamlessly superb storytelling . . . Trigiani never loses hold of the hearts of her characters–or of the wisdom that tragedy and redemption are also part of life.”
–St. Louis Post-Dispatch