The Shoemaker's Wife

The Shoemaker's Wife

4.3 512
by Adriana Trigiani
     
 

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Beloved New York Times bestselling author Adriana Trigiani returns with the most epic and ambitious novel of her career—a breathtaking multigenerational love story that spans two continents, two World Wars, and the quest of two star-crossed lovers to find each other again. The Shoemaker's Wife is replete with the all the page-turning adventure,

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Overview

Beloved New York Times bestselling author Adriana Trigiani returns with the most epic and ambitious novel of her career—a breathtaking multigenerational love story that spans two continents, two World Wars, and the quest of two star-crossed lovers to find each other again. The Shoemaker's Wife is replete with the all the page-turning adventure, sumptuous detail, and heart-stopping romance that has made Adriana Trigiani, “one of the reigning queens of women’s fiction” (USA Today). Fans of Trigiani’s sweeping family dramas like Big Stone Gap and Lucia, Lucia will love her latest masterpiece, a book Kathryn Stockett, author of The Help, calls “totally new and completely wonderful: a rich, sweeping epic which tells the story of the women and men who built America dream by dream.”

Editorial Reviews

Katherine A. Powers
…an old-fashioned, romantic tale of two star-tangled lovers, Enza Ravanelli and Ciro Lazzari. Beginning in the Italian Alps, the story travels by various routes to New York's Little Italy, a Hoboken factory, backstage at the Metropolitan Opera, Minnesota's Iron Range and the trenches of France. A love story, yes, but also a paean to artisanal work, food, friendship and family…Trigliani is a master of palpable and visual detail: She brings to vivid life the terrible ocean crossings, the tribulation of getting through immigration control at Ellis Island, and the whole look, feel and material reality of the New World.
—The Washington Post
Publishers Weekly
Trigiani's page-turning newest (after Viola in the Spotlight) is a sweeping saga that stretches across the World Wars, from Italy to America and back again. Ciro Lazzari and Enza Ravenelli grew up in nearby villages in Italy, but only meet when Ciro is hired to dig the grave for Enza's baby sister. Though they come from different backgrounds—Enza is the eldest daughter in a family of eight, while Ciro and his brother are raised by nuns after their father's death and mother's mental breakdown—the two nevertheless bond. But when Ciro catches a priest embracing a young girl, he is banished from the convent and must depart for New York City, where he apprentices as a shoemaker. Soon thereafter, Enza and her father journey to the U.S. to send money home to their struggling family. There, Enza becomes a talented seamstress and gets involved in the lushly detailed New York opera scene by making costumes for the Met. While in New York, Enza and Ciro reconnect, but Ciro is soon swept away to fight in WWI. When he returns and seeks Enza's hand in marriage, Enza, who is set to be betrothed to another man, must now weigh her possible futures: "A life with Ciro would be about family, a life with Vito would be about her." More than an epic romance, Trigiani's work pays homage to the tribulations of the immigrant experience, and the love that makes the journey and hardships worthwhile. (May)
USA Today
“Within the pages of this novel, Trigiani’s 10th, is a gloriously romantic yet sensible world that seamlessly blends practicality and beauty…built around the staggering cultural and social changes the war years swept in…. Trigiani’s very best…exquisite writing and a story enriched by the power of abiding love.”
Huffington Post
“The breathtaking… historical novel sparkles in exquisite details and vivid descriptions.”
People
“[A] great read….Bella.”
Washington Post Book World
“Pure pleasure . . . full-bodied and elegantly written.”
Providence Journal
“The novel is a sweeping epic, but at its heart, it’s a love story. It speaks to an era of possibilities.”
Booklist
“This expansive epic, which seems tailor-made for a miniseries, manages to feel both old-fashioned and thoroughly contemporary…[an] irresistible love story.”
Washington Post
…an old-fashioned, romantic tale of two star-tangled lovers...but also a paean to artisanal work, food, friendship and family…Trigiani is a master of palpable and visual detail.
Richmond Times-Dispatch
“You’ll have trouble putting this novel down.”
Kathryn Stockett
“I’ve always loved reading Trigiani, but [this] is something totally new and completely wonderful: a rich, sweeping epic which tells the story of the women and men who built America dream by dream. If you’re meeting her work for the first time, get ready for a lifelong love affair. Splendid.”
People Magazine
"[A] great read….Bella."
Library Journal
Italian teenagers Ciro Lazzari and Enza Ravanelli feel an instant romantic connection when they first meet in the Alps in 1908, but their budding relationship is interrupted when Ciro must quickly leave Italy after learning a local priest's shameful secret. The two meet again years later in New York City, where Ciro works as an apprentice to a shoemaker and Enza enjoys the elegant life of a seamstress at the opulent Metropolitan Opera. The couple's trials continue as the story takes them to the harsh winters of Minnesota and through the horrors of two world wars, helping them both finally to realize fully the true value of love and family. While her plot is somewhat predictable, popular novelist Trigiani (Lucia, Lucia) has created two immensely likable main characters, and it's a particular pleasure to root for Enza, a caring but independent woman who loves Ciro but also has dreams of her own. VERDICT Trigiani's gift for using vivid details to create a strong sense of place and her warm affection for her characters will make this a satisfying read for her many fans. [Seven-city tour; library marketing; see Prepub Alert, 11/21/11.]—Mara Bandy, Champaign P.L., IL
Library Journal - Audio
Enduring family ties are the theme of Trigiani's love story of Ciro and Enza, which is based on the author's Italian heritage. At the close of the 19th century, Ciro and his brother are left at a convent in the Italian Alps when their widowed mother can no longer care for them. While the boys grow under the nuns' watchful care, Enza and her large family are living in a neighboring village. When Enza's beloved baby sister dies, Ciro is hired as the grave digger. Their paths cross, separate, and cross again when they both immigrate to New York. Ciro becomes a shoemaker in lower Manhattan, while Enza works as a dressmaker at the Metropolitan Opera. They marry, settle in northern Minnesota, and raise a family. Through tragedy, happiness, struggle, and success, Enza and Ciro's devotion to their families and their abiding love for each other shine through. VERDICT Actress Annabella Sciorra and Trigiani share the narration duties to differentiate between Enza's and Ciro's youth in Italy and their life in the United States. Unfortunately, the effect detracts from, rather than enhances, the program. ["Trigiani's gift for using vivid details to create a strong sense of place and her warm affection for her characters will make this a satisfying read for her many fans," read the review of the New York Times best-selling HarperCollins hc, LJ 3/1/12.—Ed.]—Nann Blaine Hilyard, Zion-Benton P.L., IL
Kirkus Reviews
Despite its girth, Trigiani's latest saga of Italian life lies flat on the page. A portrait of early 20th-century Italian immigration, the story starts with two children in the Italian Alps. In one mountain village, serious, hardworking Enza lives with her large family; in another, rascal Ciro and his brother Eduardo are orphans at the convent. When 16-year-old Ciro travels to Enza's village to dig the grave of her little sister, the two meet for the first time, and Enza falls in love. But soon after, Ciro is sent to America (he caught the priest kissing a girl) to apprentice as a shoemaker. Trigiani's novels often bask in Italian culture, and this latest is no exception, taking place during the great wave of Italian immigration. New York's Little Italy is a joyous place, and handsome, outgoing Ciro fits right in. A few years later, Enza and her father go to America (just to make enough money to dig their family out of poverty), and Ciro and Enza briefly meet again. Enza, a talented seamstress, first works in a factory, and then finds her way to becoming a costumer at the Metropolitan Opera House. Life at the Met is a dream for Enza as she works for the great Caruso. Meanwhile, World War I has begun and Ciro leaves behind his comfortable life at the shop (and all the beauties) on Mulberry Street to enlist. In the trenches, he dreams about Enza (though why he never bothered with her before is unclear) while she is getting ready to marry another. Love wins out as Ciro and Enza marry then move to Minnesota to start a business and a family. Much more happens, but Trigiani's wide rush of plot hardly makes up for a dull heroine and a novel filled with workaday prose. A long list of life events, without the emotional depth to draw readers in.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780449012079
Publisher:
Books on Tape, Inc.
Publication date:
04/28/2012

Meet the Author

Adriana Trigiani is an award-winning playwright, television writer, and documentary filmmaker. Her books include the New York Times bestseller The Shoemaker's Wife; the Big Stone Gap series; Very Valentine; Brava, Valentine; Lucia, Lucia; and the bestselling memoir Don't Sing at the Table, as well as the young adult novels Viola in Reel Life and Viola in the Spotlight. She wrote the screenplay for Big Stone Gap, which she also directed. She lives in New York City with her husband and daughter.

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

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