Customer Reviews for

Don't Sing at the Table: Life Lessons from My Grandmothers

Average Rating 4
( 40 )
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  • Posted September 16, 2010

    Things To Live By.

    This book is a wealth of knowledge that will enrich everyones life in one way or another. Grandmothers, in this case, Ms. Trigiani's, having lived their lives using common and uncommon sense as the case may be, impart their wisdom to those who came after them. Italian grandmothers always feel an obligation to teach whether it be how to make a pie or how to boil water for pasta. No matter what your ethnic background grandmothers always have great advice to offer since they've experienced life and all that goes with it. Treasure every word they say because it's as pertinent in this day and age as it was in theirs. DON'T SING AT THE TABLE is much more than just about not singing. It is a treasury of life significantly enhanced by the author's recollections and understanding - and love - of her grandmothers' experiences in their lives and of her applying them to her life today. She was fortunate to have had first hand instruction from grandmothers, Lucy and Viola, and now we're the lucky recipients of all that she recalls. What impressed me the most - because I, too, had sage Italian grandmothers - was Ms. Trigiani's emphasis on how we react to situations in life. I think a lot if not all of the end results are due to our reactions. Don't pass up this true to life, non fiction work of art.

    8 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 11, 2010

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    Such a wonderful gift

    Fans of Adriana Trigiani's novels will recognize the women in her non-fiction book- her grandmothers Lucy and Viola have appeared in many of the characters in her fiction. Not only does Trigiani do a marvelous job of recounting the fascinating life stories of these women, she uses their lives to write a primer for living your own life.

    Women like Lucy and Viola are the people who made this country great, and they jump off the pages in this delightful book. They have more than their fair share of troubles, (both of them are widowed), but their sheer will and strength of character will inspire other women to persevere and succeed as they did.

    Although she is an Italian immigrant, Lucy moves to Minnesota and takes on the stoic characteristics of American midwesterners. She loses her husband at an early age and raises her three children on her own, all while running her own business.

    Viola was a pistol, running her own clothing factory, raising her family, entertaining friends in her lovely home, traveling.

    Both women had terrific advice for their granddaughter, and the way that Trigiani structures the book, first telling their life stories, then sharing the how living their lives were examples we could all follow today, makes this book so enjoyable.

    DON'T SING AT THE TABLE would make a great gift for the women in your life, both those starting out and those whose wisdom should be shared with their own families.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 23, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    An entertaining account of memories, wisdom and lessons that will last generations

    A cherished trip down memory lane for Trigiani. An account of generations before that many will enjoy, Italian descent or not.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 31, 2013

    Not Highly Recommended

    Interesting how the author's grandmothers lived and were independent in an era when this was not that common, but not a great read.

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  • Posted March 10, 2012

    Another great one from my favorite writer!!!*****

    I have all of Adriana's Books. She has a wonderful way with words to make the reader feel as though they are part of the story (and her family) They are light-hearted but hold your interest throughout. As I am of Italian descent, her stories all have something I can identify with in my own family...Brava Adriana

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 19, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    A Poignant Memoir~Wise and Wonderful Grandmothers!

    What a treasure of a small book this is. I stayed up into the wee hours of the night because I just couldn't tear myself away from the story of Viola and Lucy and how they operated in the world. To say that Adriana Trigiani benefited from having them as grandmothers is an understatement.

    I loved that both grandmothers had a strong interest in some area of dressmaking. Viola in the heart and hard work of factory sewing, and then her own blouse-making business; and Lucy in her devotion to clients and perfection when she became a "storefront couturier." Talented and beautiful women, they understood the value and power behind a women dressed well in perfectly fitted, classic clothing. They also understood that keeping up their skin/beauty routine, social standing and family reputations were tantamount to good life, good health and good self-esteem; among other important things.

    It seems Adriana learned so much from them about integrity and self-respect, there's no doubt about that. But, she also learned the value of manners, of going after what you want, of having a purpose in life, of minding your reputation. The specifics of these lessons are ones you'll be delighted to read.

    I thought it was delightful and serious at the same time to read Lucy's lessons first on romantic love, then on keeping a marriage strong. Hers is practical wisdom. Her instructions on raising children are some we absolutely could use today. I particularly liked her dictum never to burden a child with adult problems. That lesson alone would change the mental health of so many children in these times.

    There is so much to this book. It's humorous, it's character building, it's serious and it's a lesson book on how to live a life with wisdom. What a blessing Adriana Trigiani had in these two lovely women. No wonder she's a bestselling author with fragments of these things to share with her readers.

    Those of us who had grandmothers like Viola and Lucy will enjoy reading about them and, possibly, taking a nostalgic trip back to our own childhoods. Those of you who didn't have grandmothers like them will gain something very special in the reading.

    5 perfectly heartwarming stars

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  • Posted September 4, 2011

    Great story

    For someone who remembers generations of their family. This is a wonderful read. I have read the majority of her books and like her writing style.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 10, 2011

    Excellent!

    Enjoyed every detailed description of Adriana's wonderful Italian Grandmothers, their values and heart warming traditions.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 10, 2010

    Effortless Is Right

    This book is a charming blend of family history with a sense of nostalgia for days gone by. Trigiani has crafted a book worthy of reading. I'd also recommend that you buy "When God Stopped Keeping Score," which takes an intimate look at the power of God and forgiveness. This book will change your life.

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    Posted December 31, 2010

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