NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • A heartfelt novel of the power of love across three generations of an Italian-American family, from the author of the Big Stone Gap series
“[An] epic of small-town life . . . A personal saga of American history and a romance woven together with warmth and good humor.”—The Oregonian
In the late 1800s, the residents of a small village in coastal Italy migrated to the promised land of America. They eventually settled in Roseto, Pennsylvania, where they re-created every detail of their former lives, including the centerpiece of Roseto’s colorful old-world tradition: the annual pageant for Our Lady of Mount Caramel—or “the Big Time,” as it’s called by the young women competing to be its Queen.
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 life on the farm. But her dreams of making her own fortune shift when she meets and falls in love with Renato Lanzaro, a worldly, handsome, devil-may-care poet. When Renato disappears without explanation, Nella is shattered.
Four years later, Renato’s sudden return just before Nella’s wedding to the steadfast Franco Zollerano leaves her shaken. For although Renato has chosen a path very different from Nella’s, they are fated to live and work side by side for the rest of their lives in Roseto, where the past hangs over them like a brewing storm.
Etched in glorious detail in Adriana Trigiani’s trademark style, The Queen of the Big Time is the story of a determined, passionate woman who can never forget her first love.