Trigiani, Adriana. Don't Sing at the Table: Life Lessons from my Grandmothers. New York: Harper, 2010. Print.
I knew I was going to love this book when I read the author's forward: "This book is a work of nonfiction based upon my conversations with and observations of my grandmothers, Yolanda Perin Trigiani and Lucia Spada Bonicelli. This is a portrait of my life with them as I knew it. I have told these stories on these pages from my point of view, painted with a personal brush, in colors I chose, for the purpose of sharing my personal experience. Any resemblance to others, living or dead, is completely coincidental."
I have not read Trigiani before this book, but I think I will enjoy reading her fiction because I enjoyed her style. There are so many lessons we learn from others---even when we don't realize we are learning the lessons. Trigiani does a wonderful job creating vivid pictures of her grandmothers. Even though both were from Italy, each woman's personality was unique.
As I read this book, I couldn't help but think about my own grandmothers---two women who led vastly different lifestyles. For example, one of my grandmothers was a member of the garden club; the other grandmother worked in a garden. Both loved me and taught me.
I marked several "lessons" in this book to post on this blog. The title reference is on page 164.
- "Nobody has to see how many times you rip out the hem" (Trigiani 74).
- "The first rule of savings is sacrifice. Before you pay any bill, pay yourself" (Trigiani 85).
- "Begin each day in a state of calm" (Trigiani 102).
- "There is nothing we can say to comfort the grieving, but there is definitely something we can do. We can show up" (Trigiani 151).
- "Do what you can and know that it's just right" (Trigiani 165).
- "When you can, walk" (Trigiani 169).
- "When you truly love someone, you want the best for them, and their happiness is more precious to you than your own" (Trigiani 172).