Brava, Valentine (Valentine Trilogy #2)

Brava, Valentine (Valentine Trilogy #2)

by Adriana Trigiani

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780061257087
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 11/09/2010
Series: Valentine Trilogy Series , #2
Pages: 352
Sales rank: 153,683
Product dimensions: 5.30(w) x 7.90(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

Adriana Trigiani is an award-winning playwright, television writer and documentary filmmaker. She is the author of the bestselling Big Stone Gap series, and the bestselling novels Brava, Valentine, Very Valentine, Lucia, Lucia, The Queen of the Big Time, Rococo and the young adult novel Viola in Reel Life. She has written and will direct the big-screen version of her first novel Big Stone Gap, and Very Valentine--an upcoming Lifetime Movie--was also written by the author. She lives in New York City with her husband and daughter.

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.

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Brava, Valentine 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 233 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 More than 1 year 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.
fiadhiglas on LibraryThing 6 days ago
I've read other books by Ms. Trigiani, and the beginning of the first Valentine book. I was underwhelmed by the main love story. Valentine is right about everything and everybody, except when she's not appreciating Giancarlo enough, because he's so fabulous. Anyone with marriage problems just needs someone to tell them not to "throw away" all those years together, and magically, those problems disappear. Giancarlo's love letters are like a woman's fantasy of what she wants a man to say, but didn't sound remotely realistic to me. Gabriel's talk about men's ambition being based on pleasing women? Ridiculous. These characters were cardboard. The only one who seemed halfway real was Aunt Feen. I didn't like her, but she had something resembling a personality.
bellamia on LibraryThing 6 days ago
I absolutely LOVE the Angelini's. Very Valentine was great and this one is even better! Many new things have happened in Valentine's life and it make you happy, sad, anxious..all the above to go through it with her and her family. So far I have loved all of Adriana Trigiani's books!
ReviewsbyMolly on LibraryThing 6 days ago
As much as I love Amish, Historicals, and suspense, I love a GREAT chick lit just as much! Now a days, with so much R rated content added in, it's truly hard to find a really good chick lit novel that I can get into. But, after hearing good things about Adriana Trigiani and her work, I was excited for the chance to review Brava, Valentine. Though, sadly, this is a follow up to her book Very Valentine, which I wish I would have read already, but it gives me something to look forward to reading in the future! That being said, though, I wasn't confused by the events or the characters in this book....in fact, this could be dubbed a stand alone title, as well. This book immediately captured me with not only the characters who become friends, but with the setting....parts of this book is set in Italy. I have ALWAYS wanted to go to Italy. And, reading a book like this, that's exactly what I got to do. I didn't even have to leave the comfort of my PJ's or my home! It was like I had just boarded a plane and was instantly next to the Angelini/Roncalli clan. Now, that's some fun traveling. I felt as though I could see the villages in Italy and I could just imagine the bella accents. Oh, how I love an Italian accent! Filled with lots of laugh-out-loud humor and a family secret, Adriana Trigiani really captures the readers' hearts with lovable characters like Valentine(she really was a sweet character!), Gianluca (*ppuurrr* can I have him?), Aunt Feen(well, let's just say that, um, she's definitely quite a character!), and even Gabriel(hhmm,he's sounds adorably funny, but...well,we'll leave it at that ;o)!). I really felt the pull into the story and became one of these characters, laughing out loud, running the family business with a nemesis and helping Valentine follow heart to what she REALLY wants. A story of longing, families, a'more and secrets, Trigiani has turned out a 4 star sexy, sassy, witty novel that, while I can't wait to go back and read book 1, is excellent! It's sexy, and passionate, yet there isn't any detailed R rated scenes, and with an extremely mild use of language (no F's !) that can be easily overlooked, it's one that I recommend to chick lit lovers! I'm hoping, really hoping, that Adriana Trigiani adds a third installment to Valentine's story!
grnpickle on LibraryThing 6 days ago
I loved this book! Trigiani's characters were perfectly flawed and beautifully developed. This book really paints the intricate picture of life within an Italian American family and the challenges that come with working together. I'll be reading her other works too.
jo-jo on LibraryThing 6 days ago
Although this is the second installment in the series, I really feel that one could read this book without reading the first because of the good job that Trigiani does of bringing the reader up to speed. She also provides stimulating descriptions of two destinations that I long to visit, both New York and Italy. And after closing this book my desire to go to Italy has only blossomed.The novel opens in Italy as Valentine and her entire family travelled to Tuscany for her grandmother's wedding. And as you can imagine, with the joining of two Italian families there was not a dull moment during the entire event. Valentine finds herself looking forward to laying her eyes on Gianluca once again, but will the reunion go as she would like?Gram has a surprise for Valentine after her wedding when she explains to her that she has decided to take Alfred, Valentine's brother, as a partner. With his financial background Gram figures that Alfred is just what is needed for the Angelini Shoe Company. There has always seemed to be a friction between Alfred and Valentine so one would think that this partnership would never work, but not only did they make it work and help the business flourish at a new level, but they also found a deeper respect and understanding for each other.Secrets are uncovered in this novel, both from the present and the past. When Valentine takes a business trip to Buenos Aires she uncovers a long kept family secret that will not only strengthen Angelini Shoes but also the relationships with her extended family. While in Buenos Aires she finds some time for pleasure as she is surprised by the handsome Gianluca. She feels the pull of her heart towards Gianluca and enjoys the time that they spend together, but can Valentine make the commitment that is needed for this relationship to blossom?I loved so much about this book, from the cobblestone streets in Italy to the family squabbles back in New York City. I love how Trigiani brings out the real feelings in her characters-they do not live perfect lives and they do make mistakes. With themes of family dynamics, love, friendship, and sacrifices, this book was an excellent follow up to the Very Valentine. I recommend this series but even moreso if you feel like being whisked away to fabulous destinations.
Kikoa on LibraryThing 6 days ago
I read all of Adriana Trigiani's Novels. How lucky am I that I got an Advanced Readers Copy as I am handicaped and spend alot of time in bed and they are easier to hold. I am in love with all of Adriana's characters....I love that we are in NY and then Italy. The explaination of the countries is so wonderful, I can see them. The charactors are strong and full of life. It is about family; born into and met along the way. Family is family no matter what. I love this whole Italian family and its ebb and flow.....You kept me involved in your life and I can not wait for the next installment...
Squeex on LibraryThing 6 days ago
WOWEE wow wow!! I thought BIG STONE GAP was my favorite book written by Adriana Trigiani, but it is now second after having listened to BRAVA, VALENTINE. I was in love with VERY VALENTINE and became enraptured with this second of the trilogy. Now I really can't wait to see what happens in the third one whenver that one comes out. I will get it as an audiobook, too. Hell, I may go get everything Trigiani has written as an audiobook! Especially if Cassandra Campbell is narrating. Campbell is big part of the magic of this trilogy. She voices the characters wonderfully. I adore Valentine, grin at her bestest buddy Gabe, and swoon over Gianluca. There's not much more that I can say that wasn't covered in the passage above from the back of the BOCD cover. Except that I loved watching Valentine come to terms with her Gram marrying and moving to Italy; learning how to be partners with her brother; finding out what it was like to trust her heart to someone. She had a lot of growing up to do and she didn't even realize that she needed to. Please, please, please! Do yourself a huge hug and get this book to read or listen to. It is wonderfully gorgeous!!!Five Wowee wow wow sparkly diamonds....
tanya2009 on LibraryThing 6 days ago
Second installent to "Very Valentine". Great story of an Italian family in New York that owns a family shoe business. Good light reading with great characters.
seasidereader on LibraryThing 6 days ago
I thought Very Valentine was Trigiani's best since Big Stone Gap. Act 2, Brava Valentine, is a big letdown and feels very contrived.
booksandwine on LibraryThing 6 days ago
To be quite honest, I thought Brava, Valentine was definitely better than it's predecessor, Very Valentine. Brava, Valentine picks up a few months where Very Valentine left off. If you don't want minor spoilers, I suggest you stop reading at this point. Anyways, Valentine is still working diligently to save the company, mainly expanding on the solution from the last book. The romance within this book just seemed to sizzle off the page, even though there didn't seem to be a whole lot of play, if you know what I mean.I liked that Brava, Valentine featured more love and romance, than work work work. Valentine and Gianluca's relationship, while chaste for the most part, is rather sexy. Let me say, I wish my boyfriend would take some lessons from Gianluca. Let me say, there is way more chemistry between those two than her last boyfriend.Also, hip hip hurray for more Gabriel. He's Valentine's gay best friend. He is definitely a distinct and memorable character, and it is lovely how well he gets along with Valentine. I liked to see their personalities meshing, and just how strong of a friendship they had. However, there is less of Gram in this book, you can definitely feel her absence. Yet to make up for less Gram, there is more June, who if you recall, was Gram's best friend. Can I just state for the record that I love sassy old women?Anyways, I thought Brava, Valentine was a faster read than Very Valentine. I felt like I already knew the characters so there was no need for long winded introductions to these characters and their nuances. It's weird because I just felt so attached and invested in these people, that I felt myself reaching for the next book after finishing Brava, before realizing it's not out yet.
MmeRose on LibraryThing 6 days ago
This genre is usually so not my thing, but something about Trigiani's writing, when set in New York, just grabs me.