The Shoemaker's Wife: A Novel Paperback – Deckle Edge, Aug 21 2012
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“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.” (USA Today)
“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.” (Kathryn Stockett, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Help)
“The breathtaking… historical novel sparkles in exquisite details and vivid descriptions.” (Huffington Post)
“[A] great read….Bella.” (People)
“Pure pleasure . . . full-bodied and elegantly written.” (Washington Post Book World)
“You’ll have trouble putting this novel down.” (Richmond Times-Dispatch)
“The novel is a sweeping epic, but at its heart, it’s a love story. It speaks to an era of possibilities.” (Providence Journal)
“Trigiani’s page-turning newest… is a sweeping saga… 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.” (Publishers Weekly)
“This expansive epic, which seems tailor-made for a miniseries, manages to feel both old-fashioned and thoroughly contemporary…[an] irresistible love story.” (Booklist)
“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.” (Library Journal)
…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. (Washington Post)
From the Back Cover
The fateful first meeting of Enza and Ciro takes place amid the haunting majesty of the Italian Alps at the turn of the last century. Still teenagers, they are separated when Ciro is banished from his village and sent to hide in New York's Little Italy, apprenticed to a shoemaker, leaving a bereft Enza behind. But when her own family faces disaster, she, too, is forced to emigrate to America. Though destiny will reunite the star-crossed lovers, it will, just as abruptly, separate them once again—sending Ciro off to serve in World War I, while Enza is drawn into the glamorous world of the opera . . . and into the life of the international singing sensation Enrico Caruso. Still, Enza and Ciro have been touched by fate—and, ultimately, the power of their love will change their lives forever.
A riveting historical epic of love and family, war and loss, risk and destiny, inspired by the author's own family history, The Shoemaker's Wife is the novel Adriana Trigiani was born to write.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
Unlike many of the free books I've reviewed this one wasn't free because it was new and just coming out and needed reviewing. It was free because the book was already well established and coming out in paperback after being on the NYT best sellers list. Typically I give very little credence to the popularity of a book in assessing the quality but after having tramped my way through the nearly 500 pages of this one I can assert that its popularity is well deserved.
There have been so many reviewers before me that there's little I can say that hasn't already been covered. Trigiani's book is at its heart a romance but only so in the way that all stories drawn from life are at their hearts romances. She encapsulates with incredible skill an entire lifetime and draws us a portrait that makes its way into your soul and is sure to be remembered long after the last page turns.
The author's attention to detail is meticulous without becoming dull or redundant and reminds me strongly of the Dickensian tendency to stop and patiently draw out all the intimate nuances of a scene. I would leave potential readers with two recommendations. Firstly, take the time to read this one but do so with an open mind and let it wash over you. Immerse yourself in it and have patience. Secondly, the book is not to be taken lightly. You cannot go after it in fits and starts. If you cannot read 100 pages at a sitting then read something else until you can. It is a vastly rewarding novel but one that requires utmost and concentrated attention.
This epic story begins in the early 1900s in the Italian Alps, where we first meet Enza and Ciro who are children. Enza is raised in a loving family while Ciro is left with his brother at a convent to be raised by nuns. Ciro and Enza meet as teenagers and form a bond when they share a deeply moving experience, but shortly after Ciro must leave the mountain against his will to set sail for America where he learns the trade of a shoemaker. Enza also travels to America and works hard to send money home to her family, eventually making a career as a seamstress. She and Ciro briefly meet again in America, but only come together years later after World War I.
Trigiani's skill as a writer is clearly shown as she deftly takes us from the fresh Italian Alps to bustling Little Italy in New York City at the turn of the century, to the glamorous Metropolitan Opera House and later to Minnesota. I enjoyed every setting and found the events flowed smoothly in this novel. Rich with details and believable characters, I was transported to a different era, to a time when my own great-grandfather sailed a ship that took him from Italy to Boston.
I smiled and I cried (no, I bawled toward the end of the story) as I was so invested in the lives of all the characters, from the loving nuns in the village of Schilpario, Italy to Caruso at the Opera House.Read more ›
The story also suffered from being exaggerated and overly dramatic with little substance. Often, there were rises in conflict that led to very little effect. The book may best be described as an epic journey to nowhere interesting. I say the book had potential because there were nuggets of loveliness within it that should have been featured. The rest should have been cut.
There is some good writing here, though it is inconsistent. A good editor could have resolved the issues and helped Ariana to turn a mediocre and much too lengthy book into an absolute gem of a story. Shame.
Most recent customer reviews
I find it a great read. I haven't finished it yet but it is very good.Published 22 days ago by Therese Dorge
Story was interesting sad at times, shows women have endurance and couragePublished 1 month ago by pete davies
Wonderful description in this turn of the twentieth century story - loved the circular route this page turner took!Published 2 months ago by Carole Brost
Interesting read. As other reviewers have mentioned, it did go on a bit. A better editor would have been helpful. Ady to read. Lots of lovely descriptions. Too many coincedences.Published 2 months ago by lp
This novel was a gift to my sense. It's a beautiful, poignant read. A page turner, rich for the imagination. An epic story that resonates for us all.Published 14 months ago by Jennifer Hibberd
This was such a wonderful historical romance novel between two teenagers that spans several years, two countries that are oceans apart, and a war. Read morePublished 16 months ago by Melissa