The Shoemaker’s Wife by Adriana Trigiani
- Method of Obtaining: I received my copy from the publisher via TLC Book Tours.
- Published by: Harper
- Release Date: 4/3/2012
The majestic and haunting beauty of the Italian Alps is the setting of the first meeting of Enza, a practical beauty, and Ciro, a strapping mountain boy, who meet as teenagers, despite growing up in villages just a few miles apart. At the turn of the last century, when Ciro catches the local priest in a scandal, he is banished from his village and sent to hide in America as an apprentice to a shoemaker in Little Italy. Without explanation, he leaves a bereft Enza behind. Soon, Enza’s family faces disaster and she, too, is forced to go to America with her father to secure their future.
Unbeknownst to one another, they both build fledgling lives in America, Ciro masters shoemaking and Enza takes a factory job in Hoboken until fate intervenes and reunites them. But it is too late: Ciro has volunteered to serve in World War I and Enza, determined to forge a life without him, begins her impressive career as a seamstress at the Metropolitan Opera House that will sweep her into the glamorous salons of Manhattan and into the life of the international singing sensation, Enrico Caruso.
From the stately mansions of Carnegie Hill, to the cobblestone streets of Little Italy, over the perilous cliffs of northern Italy, to the white-capped lakes of northern Minnesota, these star-crossed lovers meet and separate, until, finally, the power of their love changes both of their lives forever.
Lush and evocative, told in tantalizing detail and enriched with lovable, unforgettable characters, The Shoemaker’s Wife is a portrait of the times, the places and the people who defined the immigrant experience, claiming their portion of the American dream with ambition and resolve, cutting it to fit their needs like the finest Italian silk.
This riveting historical epic of love and family, war and loss, risk and destiny is the novel Adriana Trigiani was born to write, one inspired by her own family history and the love of tradition that has propelled her body of bestselling novels to international acclaim. Like Lucia, Lucia, The Shoemaker’s Wife defines an era with clarity and splendor, with operatic scope and a vivid cast of characters who will live on in the imaginations of readers for years to come.
Reason for Reading:
- The summary caught my eye.
I also recommend:
One word summary of this book: HELLO!
Seriously, The Shoemaker’s Wife by Adriana Trigiani just seriously took every one of my expectations of Adriana (from reading previous novels of hers) and slapped them around and made me sit up and pay attention. The Shoemaker’s Wife, folks, is how a historical story about immigration should be done.
I don’t even know where to begin with my review – but let me say this.. this story is so rich in background that by the time the shoemaker gets his wife, I felt as if I knew both Enza and Ciro like they were members of my own family. And, as this story is inspired from Adriana’s grandparents story, it’s easy to see why this story lives and breathes on the pages.
There is so much for everyone in this book. The descriptions of Enzo and Sister Theresa’s cooking had me wiping away the drool – aching for the gnocchi with sage and butter sauce. I cried, laughed, and sighed over the story as it moves over the course of about 30 years. And then.. the immigration – so vivid, I felt as if I was on Ellis Island with both families, and yet I longed for the mountains and the life they’d left behind as well.
This is a perfect book club read – it’s lavish, beautiful, and filled with a little bit of every type of perfection.
About the Author
ADRIANA TRIGIANI is beloved by millions of readers around the world for her hilarious and heartwarming novels. Adriana was raised in a small coal mining town in southwest Virginia in a big Italian family. She chose her hometown for the setting and title of her debut novel, the critically acclaimed and bestselling BIG STONE GAP, followed by the sequels BIG CHERRY HOLLER and MILK GLASS MOON. Since 1999, Adriana has delivered a novel a year to her devoted fans. LUCIA, LUCIA, THE QUEEN OF THE BIG TIME, and ROCOCO were all instant New York Times bestsellers.
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