From “a master of visual and palpable detail” (The Washington Post), comes a lush, immersive novel about three generations of Tuscan artisans with one remarkable secret. Epic in scope and resplendent with the glorious themes of identity and belonging, The Good Left Undone unfolds in breathtaking turns.
Matelda, the Cabrelli family’s matriarch, has always been brusque and opinionated. Now, as she faces the end of her life, she is determined to share a long-held secret with her family about her own mother’s great love story: with her childhood friend, Silvio, and with dashing Scottish sea captain John Lawrie McVicars, the father Matelda never knew. . . .
In the halcyon past, Domenica Cabrelli thrives in the coastal town of Viareggio until her beloved home becomes unsafe when Italy teeters on the brink of World War II. Her journey takes her from the rocky shores of Marseille to the mystical beauty of Scotland to the dangers of wartime Liverpool—where Italian Scots are imprisoned without cause—as Domenica experiences love, loss, and grief while she longs for home. A hundred years later, her daughter, Matelda, and her granddaughter, Anina, face the same big questions about life and their family’s legacy, while Matelda contemplates what is worth fighting for. But Matelda is running out of time, and the two timelines intersect and weave together in unexpected and heartbreaking ways that lead the family to shocking revelations and, ultimately, redemption.
Adriana Trigiani is the New York Times bestselling author of twenty books of fiction and nonfiction, including The Shoemaker’s Wife. Her books have been published in thirty-eight languages around the world. She is an award-winning playwright, television writer/producer, and filmmaker. Among her screen credits, Trigiani wrote and directed the major motion picture adaptation of her debut novel, Big Stone Gap. Adriana grew up in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia, where she co-founded the Origin Project. Trigiani is proud to serve on the New York State Council on the Arts. She lives in New York City with her family.
“The Good Left Undone is deliciously told, with fully explored characters, mouthwatering descriptions of Italian food, and charming yet quirky towns. What’s exceptional about the novel is how seamlessly she knits together different stories from many places and times, bringing it all together in one poignant and satisfying book. This is a gorgeously written story about intergenerational love and heartbreak, the futility of regret and the power of a life well lived. It’s also a love letter to Italy and its beautiful and painful history.” - BookPage (starred)
“The beauty of any book by Adriana Trigiani is her ability to interweave life and fiction. This book is immersive, but it will also have you pausing to consider your own ancestors… or to seek them out. It’s a testimony to the power of family and history, to the value of understanding where we came from. This epic tale is at once real and hopeful, filled with adventure, and yes… stories. Don’t miss your chance to take this unforgettable journey with the Cabrelli women!” - Lisa Wingate, Book of the Month
"The Good Left Undone is a poignant expose on the value of the unsung heroes in a multigenerational, working-class family, and through the power of story, author Adriana Trigiani reminds us that our own family stories are important." - The New York Journal of Books
"[A] captivating historical novel." - Bustle
"An enthralling story." - Veranda
“[A] captivating page-turner.” - Woman's World
“Adriana Trigiani never fails to sweep you away with her richly transportive prose. The Good Left Undone takes you through time and across the globe from the Italian coast to the Scottish Highlands as long-held secrets of the Cabrelli family come to light. An emotional and beautiful tale of family, love, and loss.” - Taylor Jenkins Reid
“The Good Left Undone is a sprawling, majestic historical fiction feast that spans countries and generations to find the heart and soul of a beautiful family. This is Adriana Trigiani at her best.” - Laura Dave
“The Good Left Undone is at once epic and intimate, a delightful novel about the mysterious lore of an unforgettable Italian family whose characters walk right off the page.” - Jess Walter
“Adriana Trigiani is a gifted, natural storyteller and The Good Left Undone is her at the top of her game. This beautiful, sweeping historical epic about three generations of women paints an exquisite portrait of love, loss, the ravages of time and the price a family pays for its secrets. Brava!” - Kristin Hannah
"An epic multigenerational love story. . . . Trigiani's adept character portrayals, deliciously described settings, and carefully considered details build momentum and intrigue from beginning to end." - Kirkus Reviews
"In The Good Left Undone, master storyteller Adriana Trigiani gifts us with an immersive epic that follows one family through generations and across the world. With her trademark humor and eye for detail, Adriana weaves a warm, rich, and majestic tapestry of matriarchs, secrets, and delights. No one with a beating heart will be able to resist the Cabrelli family, or soon forget their love or resilience—proof of Adriana's wisdom that 'a family is only as strong as their stories'." - Qian Julie Wang
“Sweeping epic. . . . One to savor.” - Publishers Weekly
“An immersive multigenerational saga that centers around the women in one family in a seaside town. . . . A must for women's fiction collections.” - Booklist
"There are many reasons to love this novel—the incredible characters, the rich family history woven throughout, the beautiful setting—but first among them is the story that Trigiani tells." - Bookreporter
“Adriana Trigiani is a treasure and The Good Left Undone is a gem: a sweeping epic that spans a century. Chronicling the fallout from the cataclysmic sinking of the Arandora Star — torpedoed by a German U-Boat in 1940 — this extraordinary novel manages to mourn the dead, celebrate the living, and remind us that every family has secrets that are heartbreaking, heartwarming, and (yes) inspiring.” - Chris Bohjalian