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.