Trigiani (The Shoemaker’s Wife) explores the delicate balance (and unbalance) between work, family, and love. Valentine Roncalli, a shoemaker at her family’s business, Angelini Shoe Company, is going to marry her tanner, Gianluca Vechiarelli. Gianluca wants to return to his native Italy; Valentine is committed to keeping the family concern running in Greenwich Village. Further complicating things is a difficult moment between Valentine and an old friend, which threatens the marriage. The way the couple juggle their jobs and their complicated families with understanding, sympathy, and love is often hilarious, in spite of the frustration it brings to both of them. A twist near the end of the book is not unexpected, but tense shifts get a little dizzying and it’s easy to get ahead of the story. The pages detailing how Valentine practices her craft of shoemaking are superb. Trigiani’s ability to bring the large, warm, enveloping—if somewhat dysfunctional—family to life will keep any reader engrossed and entertained. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 09/09/2013 Release date: 11/26/2013 Genre: Fiction
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