Lucia is a 1950s career gal, a seamstress at a Manhattan department store who won't settle for playing housewife. But she unravels when she meets a handsome, mysterious stranger. Trigiani(Big Stone Gap) starts with an extraneous modern-day narrator sitting down for tea with an old Lucia, who picks up her own fairy tale. Once Lucia gets going, her compelling story -- not to mention the decadent descriptions of high-society fashion and her family's Italian cooking -- makes for a breezy read. But it doesn't go any deeper than the tea-party conversation it supposedly is. ''You are too enamored of the surface,'' Lucia's father tells her. That goes for the book, too.