In this luscious, contemporary family saga, the Angelini Shoe Company, makers of exquisite wedding shoes since 1903, is one of the last family-owned businesses in Greenwich Village. The company is on the verge of financial collapse. It falls to 33-year-old Valentine Roncalli, the talented and determined apprentice to her grandmother, the master artisan Teodora Angelini, to bring the family's old-world craftsmanship into the 21st century and save the company from ruin.
While juggling a budding romance with dashing chef Roman Falconi, her duty to her family, and a design challenge presented by a prestigious department store, Valentine returns to Italy with her grandmother to learn new techniques and seek one-of-a-kind materials for building a pair of glorious shoes to beat their rivals.
There, in Tuscany, Naples, and on the Isle of Capri, a family secret is revealed as Valentine discovers her artistic voice and much more, turning her life and the family business upside down in ways she never expected.
Very Valentine is a sumptuous treat, a journey of dreams fulfilled, a celebration of love and loss filled with Trigiani's trademark heart and humor.
©2009 The Glory of Everything Company; (P)2009 HarperCollins Publishers
I looked forward to the publicatin of this book and never paid any attention to the Publisher's summary. Maybe I am an old fogey, but being like Sex in the City is not an attraction to me. And maybe that is why this book was not one of the best I have read by this author.
I found the main characters family relations and love pssions erratic. How can she so adore her grandmother and so hate her brother? How can she be so one sided as a lover in America where the two of them are young and building their careers and then be so relaxed in Italy with another man?
My sense is the book was not a complete story because of it being part of a trilogy. Too many fillers had to added to make it "big enough" by itself, yet many critical pieces are withheld to save for the next parts.
I couldn't wait to read Ms. Trigiani's latest book. I have read or listened to all of her books, and I prefer her voice to Ms. Campbell's. I found her voice monotonous and her Italian accents weak. I felt I was listening to a teenager.
The story was just ok. It seemed like I had to listen for a long time for very little to happen. I hope the next two are more action packed!
I ignore genre labels. Some of my favorite books are outside my genre comfort zone. Listening to audiobooks is still reading. Not theater.
The weird thing is I liked this book when I first started reading it. The first hour or so was fine. Then it just seemed to be devolve into another retelling of "life in the typical Italian-American family". And that was too bad. The plot and characters were worth learning more about. More than their ethnic background.
The only un-stereotypical thing about the book was that it wasn't about a crime family. But ... "hey, at least there aren't any mafioso in it" is hardly a ringing endorsement.
I am sure there are fascinating quirks about Italian-American families, or Irish-American or African-American, but there is also a lot of commonality. And I get tired of reading books that as soon as you know the ethnic background of the family of characters you can start writing the dialog yourself. But that probably doesn't bug me nearly as much as it bugs someone actually in that ethnic group.
I LOVE this author and was very excited to have something new from her. I enjoyed this story which, like her others, has a strong Italian-American female as her protagonist. Trigiani is very visceral in her writing. Her love of her Italian heritage, fabrics and food and hand-crafted artisanship comes through on almost every page. Her stories center on strong, intelligent women dealing with the sort of decisions and issues most of us have faced which gives her a universal appeal. What makes this story even more wonderful for me is that about a fourth of it takes place in Italy and I always enjoy another opportunity to visit bella Italia
Love books, all kinds, all shapes, all formats! Audiobooks have made my daily commute so much less stressful! Major fan of Audible.
I so look forward to a new Trigiani. Her descriptions of a time, a place or a person are so clear and compelling - you feel like you are immersed in someone else's life as soon as you start to listen to one of her books. This is one of the really good ones. (My personal favorite will probably always be The Queen of the Big Time!)
What a light and enjoyable book. I enjoyed the details included in the narrative. Characters believable and interesting. Makes me long to go to the isle of Capri.
Addicted to Audible!
This is another fun book by a wondeful author. Ms. Trigiani captures the essence of Italian American life in the NYC area -I've been to Leonards many times! Her descriptions of Italian food had me salivating! Its a light happy story that will boost your spirits! The reader is sublime!
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.
This was a wonderful story about siblings and resentment. In this first book of a trilogy we get to know the family can't wait for book number 2
I used to love to read but now, in retirement I'm enjoying listening to new books!
I didn't expect to enjoy this book as much as the 'Stone Gap" series because it isn't read by the author herself but, halfway through, I realized that Cassandra Campbell does an excellent job of staying in character while she reads the various characters' lines.
Eagerly, I then purchased Brava Valentine in order to follow the family evolution which I have enjoyed as though reading factual history instead of fiction.
But the best of the batch is LUCIA, LUCIA and I'm looking forward to the rest.
The Villages, Flloriida 32162
I like the writing style of this author. Valentine comes to some sobering conclusions about herself by the end of the book and the listener enjoys the journey and all of the characters especially Valentines family and dear Gram. I will listen to the whole trilogy.
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