Authors Spotlight: Donna D. Vitucci



Family, mystery, love and grief…
When you slam the door shut on your boyfriend’s pleas you don’t expect to never see him again. A simple silly argument, you expect to get past it. You expect to love, to fight, to make up and love some more. You’re young and there’s plenty of joy to come.

Bobby Trivette loves starry-eyed Dru Ann Finch, boy loses girl, boy dies in a tragic accident in Kentucky’s back hills, but Bobby’s streak through the Finch family is only the beginning. Dru Ann’s future turns to pure free fall. Her grief spiral sets everyone connected to her evaluating the ones they love, their secrets and past ills, and the ways they’ve lived in the small town of Paris, Kentucky, forever in the shadow and the spirit of the Cane Ridge Shrine.

Comments from other Authors

From the wondrous opening line to the novel’s conclusion, Donna Vitucci fuses a poet’s gift for language with the compelling scenes and characters of a natural-born storyteller. Beautiful, heartbreaking, and true, At Bobby Trivette’s Grave confirms this author merits a wide and appreciative national audience.
–Ron Rash, author of Serena and The World Made Straight
A young couple argue and break up, triggering a chain of events that will
transform two families.  Donna Vitucci’s debut novel tackles a vital human question:  How do we prevail when the weight of loss and regret threatens to drag us under?  Vitucci’s writing is compassionate and wise.  At Bobby Trivette’s Grave is a story to savor and, finally, be heartened by. 
     —David Long, author of The Falling Boy and The Inhabited World

Top Customer Reviews

on August 7, 2016
Format: Paperback|Verified Purchase

At Bobby Trivette’s Grave

I read this book over the weekend.

This is a wonderful novel set in rural Kentucky about family, love, loss and forgiveness. Vitucci has done a masterful job of capturing the details of life in a small town in Kentucky, but the story she has told is universal.

I don’t think I’m giving away anything (given the title) to reveal that Bobby Trivette is the boyfriend of DruAnn Finch a high school senior. He dies in a car accident and his death obviously has a life-changing effect on DruAnn, but also on her parents, Reece and Beverly, both of whom have secrets from their youth which have shaped and haunted their adult lives.

Vitucci conveys a passionate and poignant story with a clear eye. It’s heartbreaking without being mawkish or sentimental. This is high quality literary fiction, but I hope it also finds a market with young adults. Her teenage characters – their love and their loss – is treated with the respect and the compassion that they deserve.

Highly recommend this book.

on October 12, 2016
Format: Paperback|Verified Purchase

I have been paying attention and following Donna Vitucci’s writing for a bunch of years now. For this I am sensitive to small things, a phrase, a word, a brief description that the reader unfamiliar with her work may not notice. I like reference to underground botany.

With At Bobby Trivette’s Grave I find a language that slowly builds to lift the story into a metaphor of the living, and a context for the suddenly dead.

Concurrently, as I write, this is the week in which Donald Trump is called out as to what he likes to grab. Subsequently millions of women go on to tweet stories of sexual assault. This is a relevant detail to relate to an appreciation of At Bobby Trivette’s Grave. It is prescient of one of the details of the novel that I found perplexing, not that an assault would not occur, but to the extent that such an understated act of aggression becomes a deeply buried motivation that takes over the remainder of one’s life. Though in this novel the travails of gender politics are not solely oriented toward girls and women, every character, including the boys and men, have their quiet and secret burden from which they are unable to escape.

Donna brings forward her prose in such a manner that the characters, the universal themes, when the reading is completed, they carry on beyond.

on August 4, 2016
Format: Paperback

When considering how best to review Donna Vitucci’s “At Bobby Trivette’s Grave,” my initial inclination was to simply say: “Congratulations, Donna, on a great book, and thank you for an excellent read.” While such a perfunctory response might satisfy someone like the author who obviously knew the work in question intimately, it was manifestly inadequate when I later tried to express my reaction to the book to a friend of mine. Excellent in what way, exactly? Good question. As a former academic heavily invested in the study of English literature, answering that question meant relying heavily on that old analytical warhorse “compare and contrast.”

After my most recent reading of ABTG, I realized that it reminded me of a favorite book of mine. Note the following similarities between ABTG and this “favorite”: both novels take place in the south, both revolve around families in crisis, a crisis that is exposed and exacerbated by the death of a loved one, a death that occurs very early in the narrative, a narrative that is presented via multiple points of view, including that of the deceased who speaks from beyond the grave. In other words, ABTG reminded me of William Faulkner’s “As I Lay Dying.” The two stories resonate with readers for similar reasons: the subject matter and the techniques used to convey that subject matter. In AILD, the primary concern is finding some way of getting Addie Bundren’s corpse in the ground, properly and finally, while recounting the journey required to accomplish that. In ABTG, the characters are concerned with finding a way of accepting that Bobby’s corpse has been laid to rest, while coming to terms with the various journeys some of the characters took before his death and some that occur in the aftermath of his death. As mentioned above, both Faulkner and Donna use multiple points of view to tell their tales (though, admittedly, Faulkner uses a few more than Donna does). And while Donna’s prose is definitely not as baroque as Faulkner’s can be, it is, to my mind, often just as poetic and as accomplished.

The value of such a comparison is limited, of course. If you have not read Faulkner’s book, saying ABTG is similar will be meaningless, unless you have some inkling of Faulkner’s reputation which would then allow you to infer that the comparison is, at the very least, complimentary in some way. And if you have read AILD, the differences between the two books might seem more pertinent than the similarities. So, the point is this: I read and enjoyed ABTG *full stop*—but it also reminded me of a great book I had previously read and enjoyed. As to what conclusion about ABTG one might draw from this? I would suggest that before arriving at that conclusion, a reader should first find a copy of “At Bobby Trivette’s Grave,” read it, and then decide. (And read “As I Lay Dying,” too, if necessary.) Whatever you choose to do, I am confident you won’t be disappointed. And thanks again, Donna, for a really great read.

on July 5, 2016
Format: Paperback
A tragedy opens the doors kept closed from one another by an average American family. The story objectively goes inside the lives of this Kentucky family as they struggle to recover and unite with one another after the tragic death of their daughter’s boyfriend. Outstanding characterization and poetics puts you inside the heads and hearts of these characters in a story that’s relatable to readers of all genres.
on June 27, 2016
Format: Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This book investigates the spokes of a wheel that all center to Bobby Trivette, a teenage kid, in a small Kentucky town. Choices made that haunt and define the lives of the residents here in a story that is relatable to everyone. The descriptions put you in the heart of beautiful rural Kentucky with an ageless story of love, regret and hope.
on October 1, 2016
Format: Paperback
Young love, heartbreak, healing. I truly loved this story – was sorry to see it end as Reece, Bev and Dru, Claude and Junie move on in life but, even after tragedy, life does go on, doesn’t it? The conclusion of the book was so well done – yep, I cried and read it again anyway. Thank you, Donna Vitucci, for sharing your gift of storytelling with all of us.
on July 4, 2016
Format: Paperback
This is a great read! Characters I came to care about. Descriptions out of this world. I felt as if I was there, in Kentucky, breathing that air. Loved it.

About The Author Donna Vitucci


Donna is Development Director of Covington Ladies Home, the only free-standing personal care home exclusively for older women in Northern Kentucky.  She is a life-long writer, and was a finalist for the Bellwether Prize in 2010. Her short fiction has appeared in dozens of print and online journals and anthologies. AT BOBBY TRIVETTE’S GRAVE takes place ninety miles south of Donna’s home in Covington, Kentucky. She lives, works, and shares the best of urban living with her partner in the city’s Historic Licking Riverside District. Her historic home is a continual work-in-progress.

Visit Donna’s webpage click here


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