Customer Reviews for

The Shoemaker's Wife

Average Rating 4.5
( 505 )
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(53)

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(22)

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(15)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

41 out of 55 people found this review helpful.

An Epic Tale of a Forgotten Era

Adriana Trigiani has more than proven herself as an outstanding author & storyteller, however with The Shoemaker's Wife, she has brought home to us an important era in history that has been almost completely forgotten. Adriana's novel reminds us of the true character of...
Adriana Trigiani has more than proven herself as an outstanding author & storyteller, however with The Shoemaker's Wife, she has brought home to us an important era in history that has been almost completely forgotten. Adriana's novel reminds us of the true character of people who immigrated to America from Europe during the mass migration of early 1900s. This novel parallels the lives of 2 people, Ciro & Enza, who were born just miles apart in the Italian Alps, and met only once during a tragic time in Enza's life. It was a lasting impression on both, however, both were forced by circumstances to leave for America, neither expected to see each other again.

As an Italian American who had a grandmother, grandfather & many great-aunts and uncles who immigrated to the United States during that time, I could see each of the women in Enza, the heroine in The Shoemakers wife. Enza is a woman who, because she is the oldest child, takes on responsibilities many of us today cannot relate to. Coming to America with her father while still in her mid-teens was the only option she had to secure the financial stability of the family.

I loved everything about Ciro. He is light-hearted, kind and lovable throughout the novel. In the early stages of his life, Ciro & his brother Eduardo are brought to the convent by their mother after their father was killed in a mining accident America. Because of health and financial issues, their mother could no longer care for them. The first day at the convent, Ciro found a way to charm the nuns, and makes a potentially bad situation a good experience. The relationship between the brothers is very touching, with Eduardo, the serious brother, feeling responsible for his younger brother. Both of their lives changed again by something Ciro accidentally witnesses, after doing his duties at the church. He is sent to America to live with a relative of one of the nuns, where he learned to craft of making shoes, while his brother was sent to become a priest.

The novel takes you through Italy, New York, New Jersey, and Minnesota, and back to Italy one more time. There are many great relationships that developed throughout the novel. One of my favorites was the deep lifelong friendship between Enza & Laura, a young Irish-American Enza meets at the factory. Like Enza, Laura is a highly talented seamstress. Through both of their talents and Enza's tenacious personality, they find jobs working on costumes for opera singer Caruso. During their time with Caruso, they learn of the better things in life. Romance comes to Enza during these years, and finding Ciro once more keeps you wondering what will happen next.

What I enjoyed about the book was that I not only related to many of the characters, but it clearly brought out the pride and precision in everything the people of that era did, from working to how they lived in their homes. These immigrants came to America with skills and talents. Their work ethic was beyond normal expectations. Plus they had a love for their culture, and respect for the cultures of those from other countries. They loved their families, and knew that whatever they did would affect generations that followed them. Many assimilated into the culture of the new world (especially during World War 1, when many of the male immigrants felt it was their duty to serve), and developed friendships with other immigrants from various nations as well as Americans. This was the generation,

posted by Bavaro on April 15, 2012

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Most Helpful Critical Review

5 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

Childish

Childish with no depth at all

posted by Anonymous on December 26, 2013

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  • Posted April 25, 2012

    What a sweet surprise! This is an epic tale that engulfs the re

    What a sweet surprise! This is an epic tale that engulfs the reader. The characters are well-drawn, and their plights are believable, understandable, and richly described. I wished that the book had concentrated more on Ciro and Enza's adult life as opposed to their childhoods. I thought their experiences and lives in NYC and Minnesota were captivating and that the ending was a bit rushed. Still, it was a beautiful book and I savored every word. I hated to see it end.

    11 out of 13 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 5, 2012

    Highly Recommended

    A beautiful love story that spans generations. Very relatable to those of us who come have grandparents who were immigrants.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 21, 2013

    Well written historical fiction The Shoemaker's Wife is a very

    Well written historical fiction

    The Shoemaker's Wife is a very enjoyable novel. The author definitely knows how to grab the reader in right away. Great character development and a great story. Highly recommended!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 2, 2013

    Highly recommended.

    I enjoyed this historical fiction. Well written and researched, it is a novel that keeps you thinking about the characters and their lives even after you have finished reading the book I learned so much about immigrants and their struggles. This is a love story for those who appreciate music, fashion, cooking, family and faith.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 13, 2012

    Very good book!

    I didn't want to put the book down, & when I had to I would keep thinking about it.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 29, 2012

    Review 1335704055279

    This is a really nice book! 1335704055279

    2 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 24, 2014

    Amazing

    I could not put this story down and I found myself completely immersed into Ciro and Enza's story. a must read

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 16, 2013

    I enjoyed Enza and Ciro's story

    I really enjoyed reading "The Shoemaker's Wife". I loved the characters and the story. I would definitely read again.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 10, 2013

    Very good book

    This book hit all of my emotions

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 8, 2013

    Wonderful characters! Strong storyline.

    The Shoemakers Wife is a well written story that follows the lives of two children through their adulthood. What begins in small, mountain towns in northern Italy takes us to the early 1900s immigrant scene in NYC and then on to a small town Minnesota. The settings are clearly drawn, historically accurate and varied. It is the intertwining of the characters' lives and the completely believeable way in which they handle the joys, challenges and sorrows of those lives, that make this a satisfying read. Enjoy.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 5, 2013

    Great book!

    Once I started reading it, it was hard to put it down. It's one of those books that you find yourself thinking about the story way after you're done reading it.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 22, 2012

    Another Great Book

    Great author, have read all her books. Have never been disappointed.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 13, 2012

    Anonymous

    The first half of the book is very engaging. Beautiful descriptions of the pre-WW I Italian Alps and NYC's Little Italy along with engaging characters kept me involved. But somewhere in the second half, I had the sense that the author just needed to hurry up and finish her book for some reason. She turns to mostly simple narration of events and drops the colorful description and character details that were so revealing in the first half. I only had to skim the pages to finish the story. Disappointing.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 13, 2015

    Perfect

    Absolutely captured my mind and heart!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 15, 2014

    An engaging story

    A good story that holds the readers interest. Somewhat unrealistic, but I enjoyed the characters anyway.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 7, 2014

    A Beautiful Believable Love Story

    Set in Italy and NYC and then of all places, Minnesota, the book tracks the inevitable love of two young Italians who take separate paths to America and find each other again.

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  • Posted January 10, 2014

    A love story through time

    Although the book had a lot of description that could get a tiny bit tedious, much of the description added to the Italian setting. This is a love story, but not in a mushy, overdone way. I enjoyed the characters and how they were both independent and vulnerable as well. It was a good read.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 29, 2013

    Good

    So far goood

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 18, 2013

    Very good

    Nice story about the lives of immigrants

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 17, 2013

    Great Book

    Would have loved a little of the deepest thoughts of each of the main characters, but what a delightful book.

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