Tony’s Wife by Adriana Trigiani

Please join us in reading in reading Tony’s Wife, a novel by Adriana Trigiani for our suggested book club reading.

We will be reviewing the book along with our book club discussion questions for January 31, 2019.


Chi Chi Donatelli and Saverio Armandonada meet one summer on the Jersey shore before World War II. Chi Chi is a talented and ambitious singer-songwriter working in a local blouse factory looking for her big break, while Saverio, a singer already on the rise, is fronting a touring band and has the good looks and smooth vocals that make success seem assured.

It isn’t long before Saverio becomes Tony Arma and  he and Chi Chi form a duo; together they navigate the glamorous worlds of nightclubs, radio, and television.

Soon they’re married and all goes well until it becomes clear that they must make a choice: Which of them will put ambition aside to build a family and which will pursue a career? What compromises will they make to achieve their dreams? And on the road to fame and fortune, how will they cope with the impact these compromises have on their marriage, family, and themselves?

From the Jersey shore to Hollywood, New York City to Las Vegas, the hills of northern Italy and the exuberant hayride of the big band circuit in between: Tony’s Wife tells the story of the twentieth century in song, as Tony & Chi Chi make studio recordings and promote them with appearances on The EdSullivan Show and The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson.

As they juggle the demands of their public lives, secrets are revealed, promises are broken, and loyalty is tested as the Armas attempt to keep the music playing and their family together.

Tony’s Wife is a richly layered novel that explores how a traditional Italian-American family grapples with the seismic shifts they face in a rapidly changing world. Replete with a pageant of vivid, complex characters, this deeply human saga of love and sacrifice showcases Adriana Trigiani’s gifts as a captivating storyteller and reveals her understanding that there are many different kinds of families: that over time love can evolve in ways that nobody can predict, especially when the hearts involved are open to forgiveness, the sweet reprise of redemption.

Summary from hardcover book, 465 pages, copyright 2018 and published by Harper Collins

Get your copy here. Or listen to it for free with an Audible trial. (Audible sample available).

Belong to a book club? Check out our suggested book club reading!

6 thoughts on “Tony’s Wife by Adriana Trigiani

  1. I just finished the book yesterday and can’t wait to discuss it. It made me crave some good old macaroni and tomato sauce!

    Also, how do you choose the books to read? There’s so many to choose from! Ever thought about going back to some classics?

    1. Hi Kristine!
      We look forward to discussing Tony’s Wife with you.:)

      We look for books we may enjoy and go from there. There are so many books out there and it’s hard to just pick one each month. But bottom line is if we want to read it because it piques our curiosity then it’s up for consideration. Some books have interesting topics or themes, or we like the author, so they tend to make it the list.
      Classics are great but it’s not always an enjoyable read. If you would like to recommend a book, please let us know. 🙂

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts and I look forward to talking with you soon!

    1. Hi Olivia!
      Tony’s Wife sounds like a fun and interesting read. Since I married into an Italian family, I am particularly interested on how Trigiani will relay to the Italian culture and dating, marriage etc.

      Thanks for stopping by!

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