Review: The Shoemaker’s Wife
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.