It took me awhile to warm up to Bartolomeo, the main character/narrator of ROCOCO and I'm ashamed to admit that it took me that long because he was a man. I am used to Trigiani's women and I kept looking for the feminine in B. (Bartolomeo's nickname) from page one until the end. B. is a warm-hearted character, a talented designer, a flawed human being but I had real trouble melding with him. Usually Trigiani's characters open up their hearts and invite you inside. B. held a little more back in reserve. I had to work harder to fully understand him--which, as it turned out, B. had to do as well in order to understand himself.
And there lies the genius of Adriana Trigiani. Her writing is smooth, natural, warm and human and uplifting. Her characters become part of my emotional frame of reference. That's how real they are to me. That's how good Trigiani is.
Frankly, I'm in awe.