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Very Valentine Hardcover – 3 February 2009
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- Publisher : HarperCollins (3 February 2009)
- Language : English
- Hardcover : 371 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0061257052
- ISBN-13 : 978-0061257056
- Dimensions : 15.24 x 3.07 x 22.86 cm
- Customer Reviews:
From the Back Cover
Meet the Roncalli and Angelini families, a vibrant cast of colorful characters who navigate tricky family dynamics with hilarity and brio, from magical Manhattan to the picturesque hills of bella Italia. Very Valentine is the first novel in a trilogy and is sure to be the new favorite of Trigiani's millions of fans around the world.
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 thirty-three-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 twenty-first 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.
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Two things made me want to dislike this book. First, as a European, it annoys me when Americans call themselves Italians. Italians are Italians. They come from Italy.
Second, we are past 10% into the book before an initiating event occurs that starts the story moving. That’s 10% of the book that is pure introduction, exposition and wondering if something is going to happen soon.
I'm telling you this so you know Trigiani won me over in spite of all this.
The Italian American problem didn’t matter so much because Trigiani is able to vividly reproduce this American subculture with writing that is both beautiful and funny. Thus 10% of the book being exposition feels like having dinner with someone delightful sharing stories about a family wedding. It doesn’t matter what I think about American’s imagining they’re Italians – Trigiani shows us what this means to them and how it permeates their lives.
As for the romance, this is a love story between Valentine and her dream – making shoes - as much as it is Valentine and Roman. As her relationships help her discover more about herself, you’ll join a journey of self-discover and self-affirmation delightfully positive and real. The research into shoemaking is top notch and Trigiani writes this so well it fascinates
I rather miss Valentine now the book is finished – although this is the first of a trilogy so I can always find out what happens next. But this book was satisfying, complete, and human. I wouldn’t hesitate to read more of this author’s work
A truly superb pair of books,