June 12, 2009

Very Valentine - Adriana Trigiani

I have not read any of Adriana Trigiani's books before but I couldn't resist two things about this book:

1. It's cover (the one in the picture above - different to the US copy I think)

2. It's locations (New York and Italy)

I was thinking even if the book wasn't so great I would enjoy being transported to these places. Turns out that Very Valentine was a great book!

Valentine Roncalli is an Italian American woman in her mid-30's living in and working in Greenwich Village. Valentine lives and works with her grandmother in the family shoe company - Angelini Shoes - making wedding shoes for the women of New York since 1903. Valentine loves her work and has dreams of taking the business further - but the company is in financial trouble and may have to close its doors before Valentine gets her chance to move things forward.

There are of course the family and relationships sub plots as well but the real focus of this book for me was Valentine - and the choices she has made, and will make, in regards to her life and her future.

It was so refreshing to read a "chick lit" book that did not focus on the main female character in pursuit, or in the midst of, being a wife and/or mother at the expense of everything else in her life. Not that there is anything wrong with these pursuits - they are just not usually characters that I can connect to or care about as much. Valentine was a strong, independent woman - sure, she made some mistakes (don't we all?!) but I loved reading about her and her story. Apparently there is a sequel in the wind - can't wait to read it!


Anonymous said...

This looks good! I love the cover too, then I took a look at the cover here and I like it too, but it gives a very different feel!
I think it's good that this book focus on other things than the usual chicklit stories; definitely makes it more appealing to me!

Kim said...

Another book to look out for, thanks for the review! Shoes, NYC, Italy and a story about a girl that isn't quite as patronising as some - that sounds good to me!

Tamara said...

I could even get into shoes if it involved NY and Italy. Sounds like another good one to put on the 'borrow one day' list. Your literary achievements constantly astound me.

Karen said...

Hi Infiniteshelf - I thought the two different covers gave a completely different idea of the book too. Do you think they do that on purpose??

Hi Kim - Definitely a book that looks at woman a little more holistically than others. A great read.

Hi Tamara - I will add it to you borrow pile!

Anonymous said...

I have no idea whether it's on purpose or if they simply have a different feel from the book. Or maybe the markets react differently in US and UK? Since you've read it, which cover do you think represent the book the most?

Karen said...

Hi Infiniteshelf - I like the Australian/UK copy better - softer and prettier. But I'm not sure if that's the cover that suits the book the best or not...

Anonymous said...

Can't wait to read this one -- I have a copy in my TBR stack! You're right, that cover is great -- and very different from the U.S. cover (though I like the red and black color scheme on that one)! I'll be back to read your review in detail once I've finished the novel... I want to keep it all a surprise, hehe :)