If You Like Rococo by Adriana Trigiani

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Rococo: A Novel by Adriana Trigiani
In Our Lady of Fatima, N.J., plucky narrator Bartolomeo di Crespi, aka B, reigns supreme: he can doll up an ottoman with kicky trim and sparkly crystals with the best of 'em, and he decorates all the area's best houses, including the manse belonging to the mother of his putative fiancè, Capri Mandelbaum. (Really they're just friends, but Aurelia, Capri's mother, is certain they'll marry.) When the local church comes due for a major renovation, B gets the commission, after Father Porporino is convinced (forcibly, it's later revealed) that a tony Philadelphia firm won't do. But can B come up with a timeless yet innovative design for the church he loves? He calls in the experts-all of them sexy-takes trips to London and Italy, and benefits from a minor miracle amid a cast of family and friends who fight, fall in love, have babies and come out of the closet. (catalog summary)

 

Romance and lust and family dynamics feature prominently in Rococo by Adriana Trigiani. Some other titles that you might like:



Baker Towers
by Jennifer Haigh
Bakerton is a community of company houses and church festivals, of union squabbles and firemen's parades. Its neighborhoods include Little Italy, Swedetown, and Polish Hill. For its tight-knit citizens—and the five children of the Novak family—the 1940s will be a decade of excitement, tragedy, and stunning change. Baker Towers is a family saga and a love story, a hymn to a time and place long gone, to America's industrial past, and to the men and women we now call the Greatest Generation. It is a feat of imagination from an extraordinary voice in American fiction, a writer of enormous power and skill. (catalog summary)

 

 


Bet Your Bottom Dollar
by Karin Gillespie
Welcome to the Bottom Dollar Emporium, where everything from coconut mallow cookies to Clabber Girl Baking Powder costs only a dollar, and coffee and gossip are free. For Elizabeth, Mavis, and Attalee, logging nine to five at the Bottom Dollar is not just work time, it's family time. So when news gets out that the Super Saver Dollar Store chain plans to set up shop and run the Bottom Dollar out of town, things go catawampus. Manager Elizabeth, who has a good head for business even though she flunked pin-curling in beauty school, teams up with a crew of dedicated do-gooders bent on saving the Bottom Dollar from the fate of spare change. But when Elizabeth's unlikely new love interest—who also happens to be Cayboo Creek's wealthiest bachelor—pitches woo, out come some startling revelations about her past that turn life more than a little interesting for all her friends and neighbors. (catalog summary)

 

 


 

Can't Wait to Get to Heaven by Fannie Flagg
Flagg takes us back to Elmwood Springs, MO, the former home of the late Neighbor Dorothy Radio Show. The fall by one of Dorothy's former listeners, 80-plus-year-old Mrs. Elner Shimfissle, out of her fig tree as wasps attacked her, sets the whole town off into soul-searching journeys of self-assessment and discovery. (catalog summary)



 

 


Shoot the Moon by Billie Letts
In 1972, windswept DeClare, Oklahoma, was consumed by the murder of a young mother, Gaylene Harjo, and the disappearance of her baby, Nicky Jack. When the child's pajama bottoms were discovered on the banks of Willow Creek, everyone feared that he, too, had been killed, although his body was never found. Nearly thirty years later, Nicky Jack mysteriously returns to DeClare, shocking the town and stirring up long-buried memories. But what he discovers about the night he vanished is more astonishing than he or anyone could have imagine. Piece by piece, what emerges is a story of dashed hopes, desperate love, and a secret that still cries out for justice...and redemption. (catalog summary)

 

 



A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian by Marina Lewycka
With this wise, tender, and deeply funny novel, Marina Lewycka takes her place alongside Zadie Smith and Monica Ali as a writer who can capture the unchanging verities of family. When an elderly and newly widowed Ukrainian immigrant announces his intention to remarry, his daughters must set aside their longtime feud to thwart him. For their father's intended is a voluptuous old-country gold digger with a proclivity for green satin underwear and an appetite for the good life of the West. (catalog summary)

 

 



Step-Ball-Change: A Novel by Jeanne Ray
With a ringing phone, Jeanne Ray's charming and amusing new novel gets off to a rollicking start that never lets up. Not for a minute. On the other end of the phone is Caroline's daughter, Kay, a public defender like her father, sobbing at the improbably good news that the richest, most eligible boy in Raleigh, North Carolina, has asked her to marry him. While Caroline and Tom are trying to digest this, the other phone, the "children's line," rings; it is Caroline's sister, Taffy, hysterical over her husband's decision to leave her for a woman two years younger than her daughter. Soon Taffy is wending her way up from Atlanta to seek solace in her sister's home, even though the two have been separated by more than just geography for the past forty years. With her is her little dog, Stamp, who has a penchant for biting ankles and stealing hearts. Tom and Caroline quickly realize that the wedding their future son-in-law's family is envisioning for nine-hundred-plus guests is to be their fiscal responsibility. To top it all off, the foundation of their home is in danger of collapsing and their contractor and his crew have all but moved in. It's a thundering whirlwind of emotion that finally boils down to: Who is in love with whom? And who's going to get the next dance? (catalog summary

 

 




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Truelove and Homegrown Tomatoes by Julie Cannon
Imogene Lavender, her daughter, Jeanette, and her niece, Loutishie, wage their individual battles with grief and find the answer to many of life's questions deep in the red-clay dirt of Euharlee, Georgia. After forty-eight years of marriage, Imo's life is shattered when Silas, her beloved husband dies. She deals with her grief by throwing herself into nurturing both her vegetable garden and her girls. Imo's concern for Jeanette and Lou supercedes any desires for self-fulfillment, and she determines to go on with the "fever of this life on earth" solely to guide Jeanette and Lou through the perils of adolescence and too many visits to the Dairy Queen. However, the longings of Imo's lonely heart and the persuasions of well-meaning friends send her off on a man-hunt. After a beautician at the Kuntry Kut'n Kurl transforms Imo into a woman who looks two decades younger than her sixty -four years, Imo cruises the frozen food aisle of the local grocery, looking for single men buying TV dinners. Lou records her aunt's man-hunt and her love for her vegetable garden in her journal, "Loutishie's Notebook". She also ruminates here about her own grief and her all-consuming fear of the Rapture of the Saints and store-bought tomatoes. Her story is about the family's passage to wholeness and brings us lessons on love, death, disappointment, and acceptance of change. Imo's search for love leads her on a journey that is sometimes painful, sometimes comical, and always surprising. (catalog summary)
 

 


What to do About Annie?
by Millie Criswell
She's outspoken and outrageous. She's tired of swimming in the dating pool. And most of all, Annie Goldman has played bridesmaid for the last time. Of course no one would ever suspect that she still carries a torch for Joe Russo. Fourteen years ago, Joe ruined her with seductive promises of love and a future. That was right before he became a priest. But seeing Joe at her best friend's wedding makes Annie realize: it's time to forget Father What-A-Waste and grow up. Even as a teenager, Annie had a body made for sin. And young Joe had been willing to break a few commandments. Now, more than a decade later, Joe is ready to quit the priesthood and is prepared to face the delectable woman he tried to pray out of his system. He wants her forgiveness-what he gets is an unholy torture that's impossible to resist...(catalog summary)