Brava, Valentine (Valentine Trilogy #2)

Brava, Valentine (Valentine Trilogy #2)

4.2 212
by Adriana Trigiani
     
 

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“Delightful, energetic. . . . Trigiani is a seemingly effortless storyteller.” — Boston Globe

Award-winning playwright, television writer, and documentary filmmaker Adriana Trigiani returns with Brava, Valentine, continuing the heartwarming and hilarious story of Valentine Roncalli, her family, her love life, and the

Overview

“Delightful, energetic. . . . Trigiani is a seemingly effortless storyteller.” — Boston Globe

Award-winning playwright, television writer, and documentary filmmaker Adriana Trigiani returns with Brava, Valentine, continuing the heartwarming and hilarious story of Valentine Roncalli, her family, her love life, and the Angelini Shoe Company. Following on the heels of the New York Times bestseller Very Valentine (hailed by People magazine as “Sex and the City meets Moonstruck”), Brava, Valentine is another tour-de-force from the beloved author of bestselling novels Lucia, Lucia, The Queen of the Big Time, and the Big Stone Gap series.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Trigiani's sequel to Very Valentine is a sweet second act for shoemaker and designer Valentine Roncalli. Val takes over the New York family-run shoe business with feet-of-clay older brother, Alfred; falls for the dashing, older Gianluca in Italy; and takes a business risk in South America, where she unearths a dusty chapter of family history. There are plenty of picturesque globe-trotting adventures in Tuscany, Manhattan, and Buenos Aires, and, for artistic and independent Val, a grown-up commitment evolves. “There is no art without love. Only love can open someone up to the possibilities of living and creating art,” Val writes to the wary Gianluca. And the startling twist of family history finally challenges an old-fashioned, insular clan to join the modern world. But it's always the endearing, unnerving and rowdy Roncallis who steal the show. Look for a heartbreaking exit of one beloved character, and a cliffhanger breakup in this charming valentine to love, forgiveness, and family. (Feb.)
Library Journal
The second novel in Trigiani's Valentine trilogy (after Very Valentine) brings back Valentine Roncalli and her argumentative but loving Italian American family. With her grandmother remarried and living in Italy, Valentine and her brother are now in charge of the Angelina Shoe Company. She's a strong businesswoman, but family and romantic relationships knock her off stride. The marriage problems she sees in her own family don't allow her to trust in a man or her own happiness. Her discovery of a family scandal that leads to Buenos Aires only stirs up more family troubles and romantic difficulties. And the loss of a beloved friend forces Valentine to question her future and look past tearful farewells for love and happiness. VERDICT Trigiani spoke to women's hearts with Big Stone Gap, and her Valentine series continues to do so. Brimming over with life, her latest will be essential reading for fans of humorous, touching family fiction. Trigiani's readers will be hard-pressed to wait a year for the final installment, Ciao, Valentine. [See Prepub Alert, LJ 10/15/09.]—Lesa Holstine, Glendale P.L., AZ
Kirkus Reviews
Lukewarm follow-up to Very Valentine (2009). In that novel, Valentine's 80-year-old grandmother Teodora surprised everyone by getting engaged to her secret boyfriend, a tanner she met on trips to Italy while buying supplies for her custom shoe business. Here, the whole family assembles in Italy for Teodora's wedding. It's a bittersweet event for Valentine. Not only is she losing her mentor and roommate (she and Gram shared an apartment above the Greenwich Village shop), now she has to run her decisions by supercilious brother Alfred, her most severe critic and new business partner (Gram named him CFO). A talented designer, Valentine has big plans to expand the business from couture wedding shoes to mass-produced daywear. Ex-fiance Bret is working with Alfred on the money end, while Valentine flies to Buenos Aires to reconnect with a long-lost cousin in the shoe-manufacturing business. Meanwhile, her gay friend Gabriel moves in to redecorate her apartment in fabulous Hollywood Regency style, and pious Alfred begins an extramarital affair with a representative from the Small Business Bureau. None of this compares in excitement to Valentine's long-distance romance with Teodora's new stepson. Hunky, 50ish Gianluca began wooing Valentine before the wedding; now he's turned up the heat and writes long romantic letters declaring his love. But Valentine is a modern woman, filled with the usual angst and uncertainty about how to manage love and career, so of course she pushes perfect Gianluca away. Trigiani's Italian-American family is appealing, but this middle installment of a planned trilogy delivers a very thin plot via an endless interior monologue by Valentine. A likable heroine doesn'tcompensate for a lackluster narrative.
(Style Watch Edition) - People Magazine
"Trigiani’s endearing heroine, Valentine, struggles to balance her life as a shoe designer with her love life. A smart chick-lit read."
People

“Trigiani’s endearing heroine, Valentine, struggles to balance her life as a shoe designer with her love life. A smart chick-lit read.”

BookPage
“Valentine is one of Adriana Trigiani’s most winsome characters (yes, she even rivals the Big Stone Gap gang).... Brava, Valentine is laugh-out-loud funny...but it’s also an unexpectedly poignant examination of the power and pull of family, faith and love.”
Today Show
“A sweet and sexy love story.”
People (Style Watch Edition)
“Trigiani’s endearing heroine, Valentine, struggles to balance her life as a shoe designer with her love life. A smart chick-lit read.”

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780061969423
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
03/16/2010
Series:
Valentine Trilogy Series , #2
Sold by:
HARPERCOLLINS
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
352
Sales rank:
28,490
File size:
749 KB

Read an Excerpt

Brava, Valentine
A Novel

Chapter One

Shake Down the Stars

The most magical thing happened on the morning of my grandmother's wedding in Tuscany. It snowed.

This is definitely Italian snow, not the New York City variety of midwinter precipitation. It doesn't fall in big, chunky flakes, nor is it heavy February hail that stings faces and turns sidewalks into solid sheets of ice. Rather, this is a flurry of white glitter that sifts through the air and melts instantly when it lands on the stone streets.

From my window at the Spolti Inn, it seems the entire village of Arezzo is swathed in a lace bridal veil. I sip hot milk and espresso from a warm mug as I watch an old horse-drawn carriage pull up in front of the inn to take us to the church. It doesn't feel like 2010. It could easily be a hundred years ago, not a modern touch in sight. Time stands still when people are happy. The ticking of real time resumes as soon as the rings are exchanged—for all of us.

Gram and Dominic's wedding plans were made quickly and effortlessly (the beauty of an eighty-year-old bride is that she really knows what she does and doesn't want). The airline tickets were bought online after a series of negotiations that eventually led to the splendid group rate that brought the Angelini and Roncalli families to this Italian village, into this moment, this morning.

We've all got roles in this romantic tale. The great-granddaughters are flower girls and the great-grandsons miniature groomsmen. My sisters Tess and Jaclyn and I are bridesmaids, as is our sister-in-law Pamela, while my mother is matron of honor. Dominic's granddaughter Orsola will represent his side of the family in the bridal party. My father will walk his mother-in-law down the aisle and into the arms of Dominic Vechiarelli.

"It snowed that day," I imagine I'll tell my children. I'll explain that after ten years as a widow, my grandmother found love again. Teodora Angelini's story relies on fate, timing, and the best of luck. It's also a story filled with hope—reminding all of us who haven't found love that, regardless of age, experience, or locale, it's a bad idea to close the book before "The End." You just never know. Not one of us, not even the bride, saw this day coming.

"Somebody shoot me!" my mother shouts from the hallway.

"My hair is a wet mop!"

"Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, Mike. We're in a freakin' hotel. Pipe down," I hear my father bark back.

"Do you have to yell?" Tess hollers from her room. "Why does this family always have to yell?" she yells.

"Shh. You'll wake the bay-bee!" Jaclyn whisper-shouts from her doorway.

My door bursts open. My mother stands in her full black slip with her hands on her hips. "I blew out my flatiron," she announces. A flatiron blowout in my family is worse than finding a lump. And we have found our share of lumps.

Mom's face is made up, alabaster-perfect and powdered down, ready for photographs from all angles. Her fake eyelashes give her enough oomph to pass as one of Beyoncé's backup singers. Her cheeks have a peachy Bobbi Brown glow, but that's all that's sparkling about my mother. She's beyond frazzled and close to tears.

"What's the matter, Ma? You're not yourself."

"You noticed?"

"What can I do to help?"

"I don't know. I'm just a-a-a.. . mess." She plops down on my bed. Half of her head is done, straight, glossy strands of freshly dyed chestnut brown, and the other half is still damp and crimped. Mom has naturally curly hair, but you would never know it from her left profile. From the front, however, she looks like a split-screen hair model on the Home Shopping Network: before and after the anti-frizz cream has been applied. She smoothes the front panels of her black slip over her thighs and pulls the hem over her knees.

I sit down next to her. "What's the problem?"

"Where do I begin?" Her eyes fill with tears. She pulls a tissue from under her slip strap and dabs the inner corners of her eyes so as not to irrigate the eyelash glue and cause the mink spikes to float away in her tears like paper canoes down the Nile.

"You look great."

"Do I?" The tears insta-dry in my mother's eyes, and she sits up straight. All it takes is a compliment to pull my mother back to her emotional center.

"Like a million bucks," I promise her.

"I brought my Clarisonic. So at least I'm exfoliated. That didn't blow in the outlet, thank God."

"Thank God."

"I don't know, Valentine. I just don't know. I'm completely off my game. I'm shaking. Look." Mom holds up her hand. It flutters partly from nerves, and partly because she's making it flutter. "This is so strange to me. To be a maid of honor at my own mother's wedding."

"Matron," I correct her. "The last over-sixty maid of anything was Mother Teresa."

Mom ignores the comment. She continues, "There's something so out of kilter about this whole thing."

"Gram is happy."

"Yes, yes, and I've adjusted to all of it! It began with the news that my mother, eighty years young, fell in love. Then once I swallowed that, she decided to marry. I accepted her decision. Then she announces that not only will she become Dominic's bride, she has decided to move to Italy. For good. It's been a series of whammies, I'll admit it. One beaut after another, I'll tell ya. But I survived the shock of each little bomb she dropped and put aside my doubts and misgivings and went with it. Don't I always go with the flow?"

Brava, Valentine
A Novel
. Copyright © by Adriana Trigiani. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

Meet the Author

Adriana Trigiani is beloved by millions of readers around the world for fifteen bestsellers, including the blockbuster epic The Shoemaker's Wife; the Big Stone Gap series; Lucia, Lucia; the Valentine series; the Viola series for young adults; and the bestselling memoir Don't Sing at the Table. Trigiani reaches new heights with All the Stars in the Heavens, an epic tale from the golden age of Hollywood. She is the award-winning filmmaker of the documentary Queens of the Big Time. Trigiani wrote and directed the major motion picture Big Stone Gap, based on her debut novel and filmed entirely on location in her Virginia hometown, to be released nationwide on October 9th, 2015. She lives in Greenwich Village with her family.

Brief Biography

Hometown:
New York, New York
Place of Birth:
Roseto, Pennsylvania; (Grew up in Big Stone Gap, Virginia)
Education:
B.A. in Theatre from Saint Mary¿s College
Website:
http://www.adrianatrigiani.com

Customer Reviews

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Brava, Valentine 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 212 reviews.
imarose More than 1 year ago
......and I thought it couldn't get any better! VERY VALENTINE, this trilogy's first installment was definitely five stars-good but BRAVA, VALENTINE is at least a 7-plus-er! Valentine Roncalli, "Angelini Shoes since 1903" entrepreneur crawls, walks and sometimes runs through life in Greenwich Village, Tuscany and Argentina. Along the way life is interesting, insightful and entertaining. Her strong desire to survive in her chosen, handed down career propels her to branch out into mass shoe production from her custom made wedding shoes line. In this novel Ms. Trigiani presents us with a multi-dimensional work of art similar to Val's shoes designs. As in her other novels, or perhaps more so in this one, poetry abounds in this author's description of everything we read except for the hilarious dialogue that goes on between the colorful characters in Val's life. With a long lost cousin rediscovered in Buenos Aires intrigue is interjected in the story line. An affair and two potential divorces and Clickety Click's rant - or is it Cluckety Clack"? we have dra-ma! Adding to that is June, a treasured long time employee who has at it with her direct assessment of the Roncalli family. She swings with both fists! 80 year old Gram's wedding in Tuscany to her long time love, Dominic, would have been relatively uneventful if not for her sister the lush, Aunt Feen. We are privvy to Valentine's past love, Bret and to Valentina's present love, Gianluca. All things considered life would be easier with her "husband" Gabe who's a great decorator and cook and more importantly a trusted confidant. Gianluca is European but unprogressive though maybe he's gettin' with it - he acquired a Blackberry the last time I looked. I'm not giving my blessing if she chooses Gianluca since he is old world schooled and she is young, progressive, determined and focused. The ring is lovely but it's not too late to say, "No"! When a man loses his job he becomes "nicer" and more cooperative it seems. Alfred, Val's brother and new business partner is no longer the domineering know-it-all. He's now an asset to the business but maybe not to himself. I've said enough here and recommend you read BRAVA, VALENTINE for yourself. Trust me, you'll love it!
caranj More than 1 year ago
I read the first Valentine book and couldn't wait to start Brava Valentine. It did not disapoint. I was laughing out loud and then a few pages crying real tears. The characters are wonderful. I miss them already
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
If you are a fan of Adriana Trigiani, this book will not disappoint! Everything she writes is rich, engaging and lovely to read.
SimplyHappy More than 1 year ago
I couldn't put this or Very Valentine down. These are amazing books and Adriana Trigiani is an amazing author!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Who doesn't love the Roncalli and Angelini families? I was thrilled to find their return in Adriana Trigiani's new book, "Brava Valentine" and to wrap up some of the unfinished story lines from her preceding book, "Very Valentine". What a treat to go to Gram's lovely wedding in Tuscany, then back through the streets of Greenwich Village and Little Italy, and back again to the gorgeous Isle of Capri, and even an unexpected visit to Buenos Aires. You'll feel as if you just returned from an international travel adventure of your own with old friends and some new ones and your very own romance with GianLuca, the old school romantic that could only exist in a novel like this! You'll grow attached to this family and roll with laughter over the colorful dialogue and hilarious holiday situations. It's not all a fairy-tale though - you'll shed a tear or two as the family faces some of their own challenges and obstacles, love is challenged, and loss is encountered. You'll gasp, cry, and cheer out loud! You'll root for you favorite characters and their relationships. And if you're like me, you'll chant, "Bravo!" in the end. BRAVO! BRAVO! BRAVO! This book will not disappoint. Highly recommended. Can't wait for the third book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love Adriana Trigiani but something was missing from this book. It almost seemed as if she rushed the ending and skipped over parts to finish sooner. I'm assuming there will be another Valentine book to follow but Brava Valentine shouldn't have been rushed. The book was fun and lighthearted and if you are a Trigiani fan, worth the read.
Bookworm1951 9 months ago
This second book in the Valentine series is much better than the first. More to the point without all the useless over descriptive details regarding fashion and constant fashion designer name dropping. There was one rather long paragraph that was written completely in Italian without an English translation. Since this was supposed to be a "toast" for a newly married couple, it wasn't all that important to the entire book but it would have been nice if the author had translated it into English. Fast paced and very interesting story. This book gave us more detail about all the characters and how their lives intertwine. A good follow-up book to Very Valentine. The ending leaves you wondering what’s next so you are really compelled to read the third book of this trilogy.
reader53CD More than 1 year ago
Read this book - it is well written, has a believable plot and holds your interest. The first book in the series, VERY VALENTINE, was wonderful,too. I hope MS. Trigiani will finish the valentine series soon!
trishthedish725 More than 1 year ago
Personally, I thought this sequel to Very Valentine was better than the first....I thought the main character (Valentine) brought a lot more insight into her developing character this time, and was sorry to see it end. I, too, hope there is a third novel installment.
sue_c More than 1 year ago
I enjoy all of Adriana's books. She has done a lot of research in the making of shoes for both of the "Valentine" books. She has a special way of touching the human heart, with Grandma's marriage, and Valentine's struggle to find herself. I hated to see the story end.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved this book, being of Italian American dissent, I could relate to this family. I read Brava Valentine first, now I'm reading Very Valentine. Love them both, can't wait for the third installment.
bookwormmamaNE More than 1 year ago
I must admit first off Adriana Trigiani is my favorite author with my heart belonging to Lucia Lucia, but this reminds me so much of that book its a very close second!!! I was so excited to read this book once I got into the first chapter I couldn't put it down but did not want to rush through and for the story to end. I think its the romance and the letters throughout that had me gushing over the characters. Such a great read, love the family, love the story, love, Love, LOVE IT!!!!
nanatFL More than 1 year ago
Found this to be a good read for a rainy day or a rerun night on tv. enjoyed it very much. It was the first time i have read this author and looking forward for many more
Phyllie More than 1 year ago
I loveed Very Valentine, but Brava Valentine was kind of a rehash of the original. Kind of a continuation without the character development. It was entertaining though.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved the whole series.
RagtopJG More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed this so much and was sad when I got to the end. I have read three of her "Valentine" books and am planning on reading more by this author. She made me feel as if I were right there with the characters. Looking forward to reading more Trigiani books.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Not bad, not great... but an easy read
KrittersRamblings More than 1 year ago
Check out the full review at Kritters Ramblings The second book with the Angelini family that is still centered around Valentine, but with her family taking a close second.  Valentine must decide in this book how to take the family shoe making business to the next level, but also how to work in the shop without her grandmother and with her brother.  Fantastic family drama ensued! I raved yesterday about the characters and the setting that Adriana Trigiani has in her books and with this review trying to keep it mostly spoiler free - I have to say that I love how Trigiani balances the story and the way she moves it forward effortlessly.  With the second book in the series, I was concerned that it may falter and stall out, but instead, I was just even more invested in how these characters were going to interact.  I didn't wait one minute when I finished this one to start the third!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I laughed so hard for the first few chapters. Then it got slow, mundane, a little boring. It was just alright, not as great as others rated it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago