*I received an Advance Reader’s Copy of this book from the Author.*
I have a special place in my heart for Adriana Trigiani’s books. They’re warm, welcoming, family oriented and they simply make you feel good. A little romance, a little over-the-top Italian family drama, some anachronistic professions that feel quaint in the modern world – they’re simple.
This particular book is about Valentine, a shoemaker, who falls in love with Gianluca, her much older leather supplier. It’s a nice enough story, but it felt a little artificial. Valentine is constantly worrying – about his age, about whether they should have kids, about her ex who is still present in her life, about where to live. On the one hand, these are issues that need to be worked out before marriage. Continue reading
*Although this book has now been released, I received an Advanced Reader’s Copy from the author.
Adriana Trigiani’s warm and inviting stories are about Italians living in or immigrating to America, and their families, lovers and friends. The Shoemaker’s Wife is the love story of Ciro and Enza, who meet as children in their small mountain Italian town and both immigrate to America – Ciro for punishment, Enza to support her family. Over the years, as Enza works her way up the seamstress ladder to become the main seamstress for a Metropolitan Opera star, and Ciro firmly establishes himself as an entrepreneurial shoemaker, they occasionally bump into each other, rekindling their childhood feelings for each other.
Enza was my favorite part of this novel. She’s one of the truly strong, brave, hardworking female characters Trigiani is known for. She worships her family, moving abroad to support them and earning enough money over time to build them a house. She wants something for herself, something more than marriage, and along with her Irish best friend, she works tirelessly to get it. She’s kind, sensitive and wonderfully creative – I loved the chapters about her and her friend Laura working as seamstresses at the Met. It was both exciting, and grueling, to read about.
If you’re looking for a will-they-or-won’t-they love story rich in historical details, I highly recommend The Shoemaker’s Wife. However, there were a few things I didn’t enjoy (potential spoilers after the jump). Continue reading