The Good Left Undone – Adriana Trigiani

The Good Left Undone by Adriana Trigiani was published just as I was mentally preparing myself for the one-year anniversary of my mother’s passing.

My mother and I used to love talking about Adriana’s books.  As soon as we heard that one was coming out, we preordered it so we could get it on pub day.  When the book was out, we would read it and discuss it.  This was the first time I was not able to share the experience with my mother.  Though, I have to admit, I did “talk” to her about it in my head.

The Good Left Undone tells the story of Domenica Cabrielli and her family from 1920 through the present.  The story is told in flashbacks as Matelda Roffo is in the end stage of her life. 

Domenica is a headstrong young girl growing up in Viareggio, a city on the Tuscan Coast.  Her best friend Silvio is known in town as “il Bastardo” because he was born out of wedlock.  Even though it was not his fault, the townspeople treated him horribly.  When Silvio is injured by the town bully, Domenica discovers her vocation, nursing.  Due to the incident, Silvio’s mother decides that it is time to leave Viareggio and start a new life elsewhere.  On his last evening in Viareggio, Silvio finally shows his love for Domenica with a kiss.

Domenica’s work as a nurse brings her to Scotland, where she meets a sea captain and falls in love.

As World War II begins, the Italian immigrants face great distrust in their adopted country due to Mussolini’s actions. They are rounded up and sent away. Dominica’s sea captain husband is assigned to work on a ship on which the Italians are transported. What happens on this ship is based on the true story of the SS Arandora Star. Look it up. I had never heard of it.

This family story is full of happiness and tragedy and my Mom would have loved it.

I hope you will give it a try.

You can find the book at your local library, independent bookseller or at Amazon – The Good Left Undone.

Thanks for reading.

One year

It’s been one year. On the daily, I still think “I have to call Mom and tell her…” and then suffer through the gut punch that of remembering you are gone.


I still think about how we used to talk for hours about books. It hit me hard this week because one of our shared favorite authors, Adriana Trigiani, had a new book come out. Normally, you and I would have been doing a countdown to publication day. I did stop, look up, and say “don’t forget to preorder The Good Left Undone so we can start reading it together” last week. In the past I would have devoured the book so we could talk about it. To be honest, I haven’t even started reading it. I just can’t bring myself to start yet. I promise to start reading it next week. I can’t thank you enough for instilling a love of reading in me.

The year of firsts without you is over. First holidays without you. First time I was sick (yep, Covid) without calling you for advice. First Easter without a lamb cake. First Mother’s day without you. I think you get the picture.
I know we all miss you and love you, Mom.