Customer Reviews for

Very Valentine (Valentine Trilogy #1)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

13 out of 13 people found this review helpful.

Another winner from Adriana!

I can hardly wait for the second book in this trilogy. What a fun and heartwarming book. I love Italy and felt like I was there. The characters were believable and very likeable! Go Adriana -- keep those books coming!

posted by patoxley on February 15, 2009

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Most Helpful Critical Review

6 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

Boring!

I loved Lucia, Lucia and really wanted to love this book. I forced myself through the book and skimmed most pages. I ended up skipping the last 5 chapters and sure enough, everything was recapped in the last chapter. Too bad....

posted by 445744 on March 2, 2009

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  • Posted February 15, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Another winner from Adriana!

    I can hardly wait for the second book in this trilogy. What a fun and heartwarming book. I love Italy and felt like I was there. The characters were believable and very likeable! Go Adriana -- keep those books coming!

    13 out of 13 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 15, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    A great story!

    This one is very compelling. It pulled me right in and made me care about the characters and wonder about what was going to happen next. I see that this will be the first in a trilogy for this author, so I am defintely looking forward to reading more!

    7 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 23, 2008

    VIVIDLY VERY VALENTINE

    For all of Trigiani's fans and for newcomers get ready for a wonderful novel in 2009! VERY VALENTINE which I had the privilege and pleasure of reading recently is a story that comes alive with real life characters and situations led by the protagonist, Valentine Roncalli. Val is a female who makes us proud! What a gal! Devoted to family and tradition she leads her life with strength and commitment. As her grandmother's apprentice she designs and builds wedding shoes - custom made works of art, just ask Bergdorf Goodman. The business was begun by Val's great grandfather and continued by her grandfather. Now, it's Gram and Val working side by side with Val trying to hang on to the business and the building. Aware of her advancing years - she's a very old 33 - she becomes involved with Roman, a chef. Two demanding careers don't make for a successful romantic relationship - imagine seeing Capri without your lover! Val's mother reminds me so much of Toot from Adriana's novel, ROCOCO because of her fashion non-sense and her wit. I could tell you more and spoil it for you but I'll leave it here by saying, 'Come ride the waves with Val, Gram and her boyfriend, Dad's illness, Bergdorf Goodman's contest, the wisdom imparted by an Italian cobbler and the beautiful poetic descriptions throughout the book by our beloved author. The cover design is beautiful, too.

    6 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 19, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    WHAT A JOURNEY!

    Thirty-three year old Valentine Roncalli is an apprentice to her grandmother in the family-owned Angelini Shoe Company, in Greenwich Village. The two women make custom wedding shoes, a good business, but one which has lost its marketing power to larger companies which make mass-produced shoes. It has all the ear marks of bankruptcy. Valentine's brother is a successful businessman and is trying to convince them to sell their office building and discontinue the business. Her Grandmother is tired of trying to keep the business afloat but Valentine is determined to keep the company going. She studies up on management and finance in the middle of family crisis and other tensions that life has a habit of throwing at us. Then there's a boyfriend, Bergdorf's competition, an eye-opening, exciting journey to Italy.beautiful! Naples, Capri.exquisite fabrics and new beginnings.A wonderful storyline!

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 16, 2009

    What's Not to Like????

    I LOVED this book; and am thrilled it's a triology; I can't wait for the others to come out. This book, like AT's others (I've read all of them) is a page turner; each chapter left me wanting more. Being an Italian NYer, I loved that the story took place in NY, and the family business was SHOES -very different storyline, and as usual, her detailed writing, from the scenery to the shoes to the clothes put you "there". AT defintely leaves you with clear images of all the characters. The reference she made to LUCIA, LUCIA was fun; I'm sure all AT readers will enjoy that. I thought this book contained the most humor out of all of her books(it actually made me laugh out loud).
    The chapters in this book are longer than her others, but still a great read!! Highly recommend it!

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 16, 2009

    For those who love Italian Characters and Italy

    Once again Trigiani has given us a wonderful and typical Italian family to read about. Her characters are so easy to fall in love with and to miss once you've finished the book. The part of the book that is set in Italy was my favorite. Trigiani can make you feel as though you are actually there. Of course, typical Trigiani, you will be hungry throughout the entire book as you read about the delicious food of Italy.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 28, 2009

    Another Adriana Classic, so glad there are more to follow

    Adriana is my all time favorite author so I am a little partial from the beginning, but this is a wonderful story of romance and old-world charm. With so many of us looking for the quality and comforts of years gone by the characters of this book make you feel like you are part of their world. Fabulous settings throughout and characters that have you cheering for their success, this book is a must read. My heart still belongs to Lucia Lucia, but I am so glad there will be more to come in the Roncalli family. Thank you Adriana!!

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 15, 2009

    Love all her books!

    I found this book to be written in the same style of all of Trigiani's books. She draws a great picture of all of the settings and the characters. I read this book while on vacation and had finished it within a weekend. Can't wait for her next one!

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 24, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    You will laugh, you will cry, but you will finish this book with a feeling of joy.

    How can you call a novel about a 34 year old a coming of age story, well you'll just have to take my word for it because that's exactly the fact finding mission that Valentine Roncalli is on, to find her role in her family, in her career and in life in general.
    Deep in the island known as Manhattan on a quiet street called Perry sits a quaint old building that houses the Angelini Shoe Company started in Italy in 1903 and built on the back of Valentine Roncalli's great-grandfather, grandfather and grandmother she now finds herself in the precarious position of next in line to take the reins of this now struggling family business.
    A few short years ago Valentine quit her teaching job to start a new career one in her blood, that of creating one of a kind wedding shoes and in this struggling economy she needs to find a way to bring the business she loves into the 21st century and into the black. Along with her beloved grandmother she finds new and inventive ways to re-brand the name. Along the way she is met with the force known as her family and love she didn't expect to find. Her family is a solid feature in her Italian-American life, but love, not so much.
    Adriana introduces her readers to her larger than life Italian family known as the Angelini/Roncallis and they are an immovable force and bring to life her wonderful tale of love, family and finding a place to belong. The characters are the real stars of this novel they are rambunctious, loud, loving, hateful. You name it you get it and each one is an integral part of the telling of her story. Her protagonist Valentine is the typical middle child, always the peace keeper and never quite finding the right spot in the hierarchy of the family. But she is a real three dimensional character and you will find yourself turning page after page to find out what madcap thing can happen to her next. Adriana's dialogue is flowing and prose like when describing her wonderful scenes of Italy and very boisterous when depicting the many family interactions. This is not a romance but there is a love story involved here and the author handles it with care and dignity and would not offend any reader.
    This novel will delight any reader who loves literary fiction, a great family read, a love story and a coming of age long after it's due tale. And after you're finished with this then run don't walk to the next read in the series out now called Brava Valentine.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 9, 2009

    "Very Valentine" is a must read for book lovers!

    Every once in a while you discover an author whose work makes you feel like you can't wait for their next book because the writing is so wonderful. Adriana Trigiani is that kind of author. I got hooked when I read "Big Stone Gap" and since then I've read every single one of her books. "Very Valentine" is a Valentine to Adriana's readers! It is beautifully written, her descriptions exquisite, and because it's so touching, lovely, and funny, you don't want it to end. I fell in love with the characters and am so glad that the book is part of a trilogy because I want to know more about their lives. It's a book for anyone and everyone! Ms. Trigiani has out done herself!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 6, 2009

    Loved the book.

    I really enjoyed the book. I guess because of the family aspect and the
    characters. It was wonderful to read about a craft being passed down,
    especially shoes!!! The romance was good but I was also glad that she
    didn't get engaged or married in this book yet, especially since it is
    going to be a trilogy.

    The characters her mom, sisters, and grandmother are what I imagine what
    a close family would be like. The only thing I wasn't real excited about was the dad's cancer. Hopefully he will be cured and live to see his grand children. I know authors put this in books now a days because it is what is happening all around us but since it has touched my life way to often, I'd rather not dwell on it in a book.
    I would recommend this book to everyone who loves tradition, romance and just a good story.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 16, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Intriguing story

    This is the first of a trilogy, and it promises to be a very good series. The characters are nicely developed and you get to know them pretty well in this first book. The storyline is unique and it takes you from NYC to Italy and back. It explores the world of tradition in a large Italian family, custom-made wedding shoes, the high-end fashion world, family values, competition and love. Valentine is a fascinating woman and seems to be coming into her own by the end of this book. Her grandmother is pretty special too. The author is obviously familiar with NYC and Italy, and her grandfather was a shoemaker which adds to the attention to detail displayed in the story. I hated for this book to end and am very axnious for the next instalment.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 9, 2009

    Very Valentine

    I loved this book in a new trilogy. The characters are interesting and take me back to my youth in New York state. It reminds me of so many of my friends there. I waited, not very patiently, for this new book, and was not disappointed.

    I would like to hear more in the Big Stone Gap theme as well and hope that more is coming there as well.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 1, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    A Valentine Gift for Every Day!

    There are so many wonderful things about VERY VALENTINE by Adriana Trigiani but the best is that it is the first book of a trilogy so there will more of these delightful characters and the wonderful story to look forward to.Set partially in New York's Greenwich Village,home to the Angelini Shoe Company,and across the sea to Tuscany and Capri where secrets of more than one kind are revealed, Valentine Roncalli is a 33 year old former teacher who has become an apprentice shoemaker.Quite a switch one might say until they realize that Valentine lives with her grandmother,Teodora Angelini,whose family has created one-of-a-kind, custom made wedding shoes since the early 1900's.Valentine has inherited the talent,enthusiasm,and dedication the family business needs in order to carry on its rich tradition. Unfortunately, the tradition may be rich,but the company is struggling.Grandmother Teodora and Angelini Shoes are on the verge of bankruptcy due to improper handling of financial matters,and Valentine's business loving,somewhat merciless brother is trying to get his grandmother to sell the property which would mean the end of Angelini Shoes.Valentine fiercely opposes selling the business and when an opportunity to enter a design challenge that could save their company comes along,she attacks it head on.Designing THE shoe for the competition becomes a priority to Valentine.Part of a trip to Italy with her grandmother is to get materials and ideas for the show to win the competition.This is only one part of this expansive, delightful family saga and love story.The interaction and family drama within Valentine's family range from a beloved father who is diagnosed with a life-threatening illness to the picky relationships between brothers,sisters,parents,and in-laws.But what would this story be without the love element?Yes,Valentine tries to balance a deepening relationship with an amazingly talented Italian chef,Roman Falconi,with her work and her family obligations.Theirs is a slowly developing relationship that begins in a very unusual way which seems to be a common thread in the way things go between Valentine and Roman.Just when things are going well with the two of them,one or the other allows their dedication to their work,which is probably their real passion,to take over.Roman isn't the only love interest in the story for Valentine.As she travels with her grandmother to Italy,Valentine is not only thrilled by the exquisite trims and leathers they're there to purchase for the shoe company.A man also enters who could replace Roman in Valentine's heart, or could he?And what is the secret that is uncovered while Valentine and Tiadora are on this trip?The theme of love and loss plays an important role throughout the story and effects more than just one character.Expect the unexpected and even then you'll still be left wanting more and having to wait for more of it in the next book.The character driven plot is exciting,humorous,heart wrenching and all the things one has come to love in the author's novels in the past.Although centered on Valentine,every character plays an important role as you come to care about each and every one of them.VERY VALENTINE will not disappoint Andriana Trigiani's legions of fans.This book is en excellent book club read and one I highly recommend to everyone-a totally joyous, loving,and compassionate story with a strong female lead character that the reader will admire and believe in.A story to enjoy,a book treasure.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 25, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    NARRATOR LOVES TO TELL A STORY AND SHE DOES IT VERY WELL

    Voice performer Cassandra Campbell has said, "I love the opportunity to tell a story. As an actor, it's really being part of a tradition that goes all the way back to the Homeric epic."
    One can easily tell that Campbell does indeed love to tell a story as it is obvious in the exuberance that she brings to happy scenes as well as her perfect pronunciation, almost loving articulation of words from other lands, whether it be Spain, Bulgaria or Italy.
    Rich in timbre her voice is for this lsitener ageless, one can imagine it belonging to a woman of many or few years. She has been quoted as saying that professionally she now concentrates on audio books as both a performer and director. Fortunate for the listener!
    With Very Valentine we meet 33-year-old Valentine Roncalli who works with her grandmother and Teodora Angelini (an expert craftswoman) in the family
    shoe business, the Angelini Shoe Company, makers of the finest wedding shoes since 1903. The business is in deep trouble and may very well fold (what else is new today?)
    Luck steps in when a company making a movie nearby is in need of a pair of shoes and Valentine gives them a pair. Following that there is an invitation to compete for a place in Bergdorf Goodman's Christmas window. Valentine is energized, believing this is a way to save the company.
    She and her grandmother travel to Italy in search of the most glorious shoe fabrics and perhaps inspiration. This journey allows listeners to visit some of the most beautiful spots in the world - Naples, Capri. Valentine finds more on this trip than lovelyl fabric.
    Trigiani's story is enriched with the ingredients of a family's life - disagreements, forgiveness, love, loyalty,
    Enjoy!
    - Gail Cooke

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 9, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Very Valentine

    Intriguing...maybe more about making shoes than I'll ever use, but enchanting books with a believable heroine. Valentines to Trigiani. I love all her books, but admit Lucia, Lucia is still my favorite. Maybe it's chick lit....but it's not junk and it's not trash and somehow, I can relate to it although I'm a Jewish senior citizen. Please let her keep writing.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 29, 2008

    The Best Trigiani yet !

    Adriana Trigiani has outdone herself in this beginnig chapter of what will certainly become her most compelling, charming, and entertaining saga of a completely new collection of characters. Her wit, vision into the subtle nuance of personality quirks, and insight into the human condition are propelled by her ability to capture the intricasies of relationships without pretense. The complexities of the relationships within a large family are revealed with compassion and humor and are familiar to us all. She has elevated her writing style to the next plateau and will draw new converts to her long list of avid readers. The dialogue is crisp, believeable and real. The descriptions pull you into small vignettes which seem to paint the surroundings of each scene so beautifully that the sights, sounds and smells are all present. This is a book that will turn a corner for Trigiani and make her a household name. It is a joyously fun read that you will not be able to put down until the last page is turned. We can only hope she will hurry to finish the next in the series.

    1 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 21, 2013

    Fabulous.

    A colorful story. Read in 2 days. Best book I've read in awile.

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  • Posted December 11, 2013

    Check out the full review at Kritters Ramblings The first of a

    Check out the full review at Kritters Ramblings

    The first of a trilogy that centers around Valentine who is a young woman who has decided to leave her job as a teacher and go into the family business that has been their mainstay for over 100 years.  Valentine must forgo many things to follow in her grand parents and great grand parents footsteps.  

    The reason I started this book was because I am on tour for the third book in the trilogy and decided to start back at square one.  I spent one fantastic fall weekend soaking up some sun outside and reading the first two in this trilogy.  I fell in love with both Valentine and her family.  Adriana Trigiani paints fantastic pictures of both characters and setting - the reader wants to be a part of the family and go with them on their adventures.  With an older brother and three sisters, this family had plenty of drama, but never too much!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 18, 2013

    Great

    Loved The Shoemaker's Wife and purchased two others of Trigiani's books for future reading.

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