Adrianna Trigiani writes about her grandmothers in her latest, Don’t Sing at the Table
. Both of my grandmothers were similarly born near the turn of the century, and I found myself musing about my own grandmotherly memories while reading this book. Their generation needed to know how to do all of the domestic chores and niceties that Martha Stewart is teaching our generation, such as canning, baking, knitting, making sausages, etc. My Nana made bread every week and I especially remember when she pinched some of the dough off at breakfast to make fried cakes with brown sugar. Don’t Sing
is full of advice, admonitions and anecdotes from Viola, her no-nonsense businesswoman grandmother; and Lucy, her gentle seamstress grandmother. Both lost their husbands at an early age and never remarried, but lived fulfilling and long lives delighting in their grandchildren. Trigiani used some of their characteristics in her Big Stone Gap fiction series. Some advise from the back cover; make your own living, leave your children your values not your stuff, be bold, be direct, be different. Trigiani specifically wrote the book for her daughter Lucia, but its universal advice spans the years and generations.