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Review: The Shoemaker’s Wife

April 5, 2012

Enza is the oldest child in a large Italian family and willingly shoulders a lot of responsibility.  After his father’s death, Ciro’s mother leaves him and his brother at a convent when she could no longer cope.  When one of Enza’s younger siblings passes away, Ciro comes to dig the grave and the two meet.  That meeting stays in both their hearts.

Enza and her father immigrate to America to earn money to build a house for their family.  Ciro is forced out of the convent when he witnesses an assignation between a priest and a parishioner.  Since they both end up around New York, they have a few chance encounters.  It seems they were destined to be together but something is keeping them apart.

Adriana Trigiani is one of my favorite authors so I was really excited to see that she has a new book out and I couldn’t wait to get my hands on it.  The Shoemaker’s Wife is unlike any book she’s written before.  It takes readers from the Italian Alps in 1905 to New York and the Metropolitan Opera ten years later and finally to Minnesota.  The book is full of rich descriptions so it’s easy to picture the world Enza and Ciro inhabit.

The characters on the pages come to life in Trigiani’s capable hands.  Enza is a strong, determined young woman who puts her family first and works hard for them.  She’s loyal and makes friends for life.  She’s a force to be reckoned with when she makes up her mind.  Ciro is hard working too, but he plays hard as well.  Handsome and charming, he’s a ladies man, but he dreams of a bright future and is willing to make sacrifices.

I love a good immigrant story and was thrilled when I discovered this is a fictionalized version of Trigiani’s own grandparents’ lives.  I appreciated Enza’s and Ciro’s perseverance and loved that they both came to consider themselves American.  Their story made me have a greater appreciation of my own grandparents bravery and hard work when they immigrated to this country.

With its beautiful writing, lush descriptions, historical details, wonderful characters, and love story, The Shoemaker’s Wife has something to please every reader.  It made me smile and cry – it’s a book you don’t want to miss.

Review copy provided by Harper Collins.  I am an Indiebound Affiliate.
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37 Comments leave one →
  1. April 5, 2012 6:01 am

    I too love immigrant stories.

  2. April 5, 2012 6:48 am

    Sounds good. Thanks.

  3. April 5, 2012 6:49 am

    Glad to hear that her new book is as good as earlier books. Sounds like a winner to me.

  4. Beth F permalink
    April 5, 2012 6:50 am

    Hoping to read this next week … can’t wait to get to it.

  5. sandynawrot permalink
    April 5, 2012 6:56 am

    I thought this was part of the Valentine series…isn’t that one about shoes too? It sounds like a wonderful immigrant story, which is irresistible to me.

    • April 5, 2012 7:40 am

      The Valentine series is about shoes (and family) but this is a whole different story.

  6. bookingmama permalink
    April 5, 2012 7:47 am

    Great review! I think you did a great job of expressing the feelings this novel evokes in its readers.

  7. April 5, 2012 7:49 am

    Great review and I am glad I am not the only one who cried!

  8. April 5, 2012 7:58 am

    Trigani is on my summer reading list, for sure. But since I haven’t read any of her novels, I’m wondering where you think I should start? Thanks, Kathy!

  9. April 5, 2012 8:39 am

    I’m really looking forward to reading this one. I’m so nostalgic for Italy lately…I booked my summer trip to Rome to see my family and I just can’t wait!

  10. April 5, 2012 8:40 am

    Oh, I have never read any of Trigani’s book but I would love to. This one sounds really good and emotional.I agree with you, I enjoy a great immigrant story.

  11. April 5, 2012 9:01 am

    My review of this posted today too. I LOVED this story. It blew me away.

  12. April 5, 2012 9:20 am

    This author has so many devoted fans!

  13. Beth Hoffman permalink
    April 5, 2012 9:32 am

    This is on my list. Wonderful review, Kathy!

  14. April 5, 2012 10:18 am

    I’m reading this right now and loving it!

  15. April 5, 2012 10:30 am

    Great review Kathy! I can’t wait to read this one!

  16. April 5, 2012 10:49 am

    I can’t wait to read it. I think I may need to quit my job to be able to read all the books I want to read.
    I began to read her books after seeing/hearing/reading/looking at all the posts you BEA’ers did on the luncheon you had with her last year. Thanks!

  17. April 5, 2012 11:08 am

    Sounds like a wonderful story. Looking forward to reading it sometime.

  18. April 5, 2012 11:45 am

    Sounds wonderful! And I adore the cover.

  19. April 5, 2012 11:47 am

    Knowing that it has a basis in fact (even loosely) makes fiction appeal to me much more. I hadn’t realized that it was a fictionalized version of her grandparents’ lives. I’m definitely more drawn to it now than I was before.

  20. April 5, 2012 12:10 pm

    I’m going to read this next, can’t wait.

    http://tributebooksmama.blogspot.com/2012/04/booking-through-thursday.html

  21. April 5, 2012 1:28 pm

    This does sound excellent! Terrific review!

  22. April 5, 2012 2:22 pm

    I read..oh I can’t recall it but it was a book before that one and I did enjoy it :D

  23. April 5, 2012 2:57 pm

    I’ve been wanting to give this author a try. When I do, I’m definitely starting with this book!

  24. April 5, 2012 3:24 pm

    Maybe I should start with this book since both you and Julie have raved about it.

  25. April 5, 2012 3:52 pm

    I love this author and look forward to this book! I’ve read a few good reviews so far!

  26. Staci@LifeintheThumb permalink
    April 5, 2012 6:48 pm

    I love this author too, Kathy and can’t wait to read this one!

  27. April 5, 2012 6:48 pm

    I am just past the part where Ciro emigrates to the US and so far I am loving this book. I have never read any Trigiani before!

  28. April 5, 2012 10:02 pm

    Oh I’ve heard such good things about Trigiani. Glad you enjoyed this.

  29. April 6, 2012 7:33 am

    I have always really loved Trigiani’s books, and think that this one sounds excellent! I remember flying through the Big Stone Gap series in a matter of days, so I know just what you mean about her books being wonderful and addicting. I need to see if I can grab this one. Thanks for the great review on it today. It sounds like my kind of book!

  30. April 6, 2012 4:29 pm

    Looks like I loved this book as much as you! Such a good historical epic!

  31. April 10, 2012 12:08 am

    I loved Big Stone Gap and really need to move on with that series!

  32. April 10, 2012 7:38 pm

    I love immigrant stories too, and this time period. I know Trigiani is one of your favorite authors that I must read one of these days.

  33. April 10, 2012 7:46 pm

    I love Adriana Trigiani! Both Very Valentine and Brava, Valentine were such fantastic audiobooks. I’ve had my eye on this one and I can’t wait to read it.

  34. April 11, 2012 3:01 pm

    i’m seeing so many great reviews for this book! i’ll have to add this one to my wishlist for sure now.

  35. escapingjourney permalink
    April 12, 2012 3:07 pm

    I’m glad to see you enjoyed this, I’ve heard wonderful things. I’m not sure if I’ll read it or not..the author seems to be hit or miss with me.

  36. April 23, 2012 7:55 am

    I cried a couple of times…and I’m not a crier…in one particular crying spot, the language is so beautiful and gentle that I actually had to read it again just to experience the words :)

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