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Brava, Valentine: A Novel | [Adriana Trigiani]

Brava, Valentine: A Novel

Adriana Trigiani’s best-selling novels, called “dazzling”* and “tiramisu for the soul,” are beloved by millions of readers around the world. From the Big Stone Gap series to Lucia, Lucia, each is a sumptuous treat as Trigiani tells hilarious and romantic stories that we want to return to again and again.
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Audible Editor Reviews

Adriana Trigiani’s Brava Valentine has arrived just in time to blow the small-town Texas cobwebs off the family saga genre. Her affectionate and hilarious study of the Roncalli family is smart, contemporary, and cliché free. And Cassandra Campbell’s warm and emotionally rich narration captures the many colors of the threads that weave this family together perfectly.

The themes Trigiani is working with aren’t revolutionary. She’s looking at how three generations of independent, intelligent, and resourceful women sort through the complexities of nurturing and balancing self, family, career, and love. What she does that’s so refreshing is create a world that is distinctly urban, ethnic, and hip.

Told through the eyes of 30-something Valentine Roncalli, Campbell takes us inside her struggles to understand and navigate the journey to love. With her gift for emotional intimacy, expressing Valentine’s conflicts and qualities is where Campbell’s narration is most satisfying. But she also finds a great terrific range of nuances to differentiate the many voices of this big New York Italian family. Using variations in accents, pace, and tone, you know the character’s age, attitude, and role in the family easily. And watch for the Thanksgiving dinner scene — Campbell’s comic timing is as smooth and delicious as the tiramisu.

Campbell has a thoughtful warmth to her narration that fits beautifully with Trigiani’s exploration of the two-steps-forward, one-step-back path to love. Valentine Roncalli is a woman who works hard to learn and grow as a person, and Campbell opens a window into her heart that resonates, staying with you long after the story ends. —Nancy Carter

Publisher's Summary

Adriana Trigiani’s best-selling novels are beloved by millions of readers around the world. From the Big Stone Gap series to Lucia, Lucia, each is a sumptuous treat as Trigiani tells hilarious and romantic stories that we want to return to again and again.

Very Valentine, an instant New York Times bestseller and the first in a series about the life of shoemaker Valentine Roncalli introduced the contemporary family saga of the Roncalli and Angelini families, artisans of handcrafted wedding shoes in Greenwich Village since 1903.

As Brava, Valentine begins, snow falls like glitter over Tuscany at the wedding of her grandmother, Teodora, and longtime love, Dominic. Valentine’s dreams are dashed when Gram announces that Alfred, “the prince”, Valentine’s only brother and nemesis, has been named her partner at Angelini Shoes.

Devastated, Valentine falls into the arms of Gianluca, a sexy Tuscan tanner who made his romantic intentions known on the Isle of Capri. Despite their passion for one another and Gianluca’s heartfelt letters, a long-distance relationship seems impossible.As Valentine turns away from romance and devotes herself to her work, mentor and pattern cutter June Lawton guides her through her power struggle with Alfred, while best friend and confidante Gabriel Biondi moves into 166 Perry Street, transforming her home and point of view. Savvy financier Bret Fitzpatrick, Valentine’s first love and former fiancée who still carries a torch for her, encourages Valentine to exploit her full potential as a designer and a business woman with a plan that will bring her singular creations to the world.

A once-in-a-lifetime business opportunity takes Valentine from the winding streets of Greenwich Village to the sun-kissed cobblestones of Buenos Aires, where she finds a long-buried secret hidden deep within a family scandal. Once unearthed, the truth rocks the Roncallis and Valentine is determined to hold her family together. More so, she longs to create one of her own, but is torn between a past love that nurtured her, and a new one that promises to sustain her. Brava, Valentine is Trigiani’s best novel yet, delivering a hilarious and poignant mix of colorful worlds and unforgettable characters as only she can create them, proving once again she is “one of the reigning queens of women’s fiction.”

©2010 Adriana Trigiani (P)2010 HarperCollins Publishers

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.9 (211 )
5 star
 (76)
4 star
 (63)
3 star
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4.1 (87 )
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3 star
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1 star
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Story
4.4 (85 )
5 star
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4 star
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3 star
 (5)
2 star
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Taryn Suffern, NY, United States 03-22-10
    Taryn Suffern, NY, United States 03-22-10 Member Since 2005

    Addicted to Audible!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "You have to understand NY Italians"

    I love Adriana's books and this was no exception. There wasn't that much "excitement" in the plot, but the way she tells the story is what makes it fun. I guess part of why I like her writing is that she accurately describes the experiences of Italian American families from NY - the good and the bad. I would love to have lunch with Adriana on the rooftop of the apt in the village, she makes it all come to life!

    6 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lee Farmington Hills, MI, United States 10-12-11
    Lee Farmington Hills, MI, United States 10-12-11 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
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    10
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    "Chick lit gone awry"
    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    Such a disappointing read. The story was tedious and overly long.....more than 11 hours. Probably 3 hours of actual plot and the remaining time spent musing over lost love, to-love-or-not-to-love, career vs. love, family, friendship, etc. Felt like chick lit trying to be a literary experience. Have enjoyed the author's previous books. Not sure I will attempt another one.


    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    M. T. Allor Michigan 11-21-12
    M. T. Allor Michigan 11-21-12 Member Since 2012

    .

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    "Too much romance; not so much story"

    Maybe I just didn't like the ending but I got very tired of John Luca. I enjoyed the story of the shoe company and Valentine's relationships and professional values - just not her romantic dependence on John Luca. Not nearly as satisfying or interesting as 'The Shoemaker's Wife'.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Patti Chittenango, NY, United States 05-30-11
    Patti Chittenango, NY, United States 05-30-11 Member Since 2003
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Not the Best of Author and Narrator"

    Although this book was enjoyable, it did not have the "snap" her previous books have had. Like someone else said, I kept waiting for more to happen. It also seemed to recant the love woes of a teenager with Valentine's going back and forth about Jeanluca (sp?). The other parts of the book, relating to family relations, were better.

    I had to go back and see who narrated "Very Valentine" as Campbell was not at her best in this book, as well. It seemed she was always talking in a breathless, quiet "I am about to tell you a secre" voice regardless of what was being said. I don't remember it being that way in her previous narrations.

    All in all, if you like Trigiani, you will like this. And I wanted to keep up with the series. But it isn't her best work.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lajuan Idabel, OK, United States 03-13-10
    Lajuan Idabel, OK, United States 03-13-10 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "The literary version of driving through the desert"

    In my opinion this is not a bad book, not a good book. It is just flat. I like the narrator. I listened to all of it because I kept hoping something would develop. I realize my life is not all that interesting but who would want to read it? We love books because they take us into something better, worse, or exciting,mysterious, scary and/or we learn something new.

    4 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    S. Sarabasha West Danby, NY USA 03-08-10
    S. Sarabasha West Danby, NY USA 03-08-10 Member Since 2008

    patient heart

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Disappointing"

    He loves me he loves me not is the theme of this one. I have enjoyed most of Trigiani's books but this one is more like teenage angst than anything else. Too bad as it has many elements which would make it great - taking over a business, finding lost relatives but the greatest part of the story is about how lonely the main character is and the agita stirred up by her family.

    4 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    DIANE Thornhill,, Ontario, Canada 01-09-14
    DIANE Thornhill,, Ontario, Canada 01-09-14 Member Since 2009

    I am an avid "reader"- I prefer to listen to books rather than read them due to the added dimension added by the narrator.

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    "Brava Valentine"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Anyone who enjoys Adriana's writing would enjoy this book.


    What did you like best about this story?

    I enjoyed the various characters. Gabriel, Valentine, Aunt Feen and others, came alive with the help of Cassandra Campbell.


    What does Cassandra Campbell bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    I felt she did a number of the voices very well, especially Valentine's mother. The voice of Gabriel was a bit too similar to Valentine's mother but also fairly well done.


    If you could rename Brava, Valentine, what would you call it?

    I'd call it "Heart on the Line"


    Any additional comments?

    I find that Adriana Trigiani's heroines have a seemingly difficult time with commitment in relationships and I sometimes feel as if I need to shake them to get them to take the leap into the relationships that are good for them. These are enjoyable, solid reads.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dorothy Newburgh, NY, United States 02-12-13
    Dorothy Newburgh, NY, United States 02-12-13 Member Since 2011

    Tell us about yourself! I love to read or listen( audio), nothing abridged ,I want every word the author penned that is what I want.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "The inner workings of an Italian American family"

    In book 2 of a trilogy the family comes together skeletons come out of the closet and love is in the air can't wait for book 3

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    ciparliamo Long Island 02-05-13
    ciparliamo Long Island 02-05-13 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
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    "Love the audible books"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes, it was well read and very clear...


    What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

    Loved it...and was glad it ended the way it did....


    Which scene was your favorite?

    no favorite...all were good


    If you could rename Brava, Valentine, what would you call it?

    N/A


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Susan La jolla, CA, United States 02-04-13
    Susan La jolla, CA, United States 02-04-13 Member Since 2010
    ratings
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    1
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    "Trite"
    What disappointed you about Brava, Valentine?

    The story was stupid. The narrator cloyingly sweet. I couldn't tolerate listening to all of it


    Would you ever listen to anything by Adriana Trigiani again?

    Nope


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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