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The Shoemaker's Wife [Hardcover]

Adriana Trigiani
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (134 customer reviews)
RRP: 12.99
Price: 8.07 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Book Description

24 May 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.

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 480 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster UK (24 May 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0857204947
  • ISBN-13: 978-0857204943
  • Product Dimensions: 21.6 x 14 x 4.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (134 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 330,842 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Bestselling author Adriana Trigiani is beloved by millions of readers around the world for her hilarious and heartwarming novels. Adriana was raised in a small American 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 bestseller Big Stone Gap. The heartwarming story continues in the novel's sequels Big Cherry Holler, Milk Glass Moon, and Home to Big Stone Gap. Stand-alone novels Lucia, Lucia; The Queen of the Big Time; and Rococo, all topped the bestseller lists, as did Trigiani's 2009 Very Valentine and its 2010 sequel Encore Valentine. (Known as Brava, Valentine in the U.S.)

Trigiani teamed up with her family for Cooking with My Sisters, a cookbook coauthored by her sister Mary, with contributions from their sisters and mother. The cookbook-memoir features recipes and stories dating back a hundred years from both sides of their Italian-American family.

Adriana's novels have been translated and sold in more than 35 countries around the world. Trigiani's latest blockbuster Encore Valentine debuted at number seven on the New York Times bestseller list following its February 2010 debut. Valentine Roncalli juggles her long-distance romance, as she works to better the family's struggling business. A once-in-a-lifetime business opportunity takes Val from the winding streets of Greenwich Village to the sun-kissed cobblestones of Buenos Aires, where she finds a long-buried secret hidden deep within a family scandal.

Trigiani's first young adult novel, Viola in Reel Life--the first in a series--debuted in the UK in early 2011. Fans fell in love with fourteen-year-old filmmaker Viola Chesterton, who moves from Brooklyn to a South Bend, Indiana, boarding school. In 2012, readers will delight in Trigiani's follow-up novel Viola in the Spotlight, as Viola and friends spend an adventure-filled summer vacation in Brooklyn.

Fans everywhere will soon see Adriana's work on the big and small screens! She wrote the screenplay for and will direct the big screen version of her novel Big Stone Gap. Adriana has also written the film adaptations of Lucia, Lucia and Very Valentine--which will be made into a Lifetime Original Movie in 2011!

Critics from the Washington Post to the New York Times to People have described Adriana's novels as "tiramisu for the soul," "sophisticated and wise," and "dazzling." They agree that "her characters are so lively they bounce off the page," and that "...her novels are full bodied and elegantly written."

Trigiani's novels have been chosen for the USA Today Book Club, the Target Bookmarked series, and she's now officially a regular with Barnes & Noble Book Clubs, where she has conducted three online book clubs. Adriana speaks to book clubs from her home three to four nights a week.

Her books are so popular around the world that Lucia, Lucia was selected as the best read of 2004 in England by Richard and Judy.

After graduating from Saint Mary's College in South Bend, Indiana, Adriana moved to New York City to become a playwright. She founded the all-female comedy troupe "The Outcasts," which performed on the cabaret circuit for seven years. She made her off-Broadway debut at the Manhattan Theatre Club and was produced in regional theatres of note around the country.

Among her many television credits, Adriana was a writer/producer on The Cosby Show, A Different World, and executive producer/head writer for City Kids for Jim Henson Productions. Her Lifetime television special, Growing Up Funny, garnered an Emmy Award nomination for Lily Tomlin. In 1996, she wrote and directed the documentary film Queens of the Big Time. It won the Audience Award at the Hamptons Film Festival and toured the international film festival circuit from Hong Kong to London.

Adriana then wrote a screenplay called Big Stone Gap, which became the novel that began the series. Adriana spent a year and a half waking up at three in the morning to write the novel before going into work on a television show.

Adriana is married to Tim Stephenson, the Emmy Award-winning lighting designer of The Late Show with David Letterman. They live in Greenwich Village with their daughter, Lucia.

Perhaps one popular book critic said it best: "Trigiani defies categorization. She is more than a one-hit wonder, more than a Southern writer, more than a woman's novelist. She is an amazing young talent.

Visit Adriana on Facebook or at adrianatrigiani.com

Product Description

Review

'I've always loved reading Adriana Trigiani, but The Shoemaker's Wife 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. I don't know how Adriana goes into her family's attic and emerges with these amazing stories, I'm just happy she does. If you're meeting her work for the first time, get ready for a lifelong love affair. The Shoemaker's Wife is utterly splendid.' --Kathryn Stockett, bestselling author of The Help

About the Author

Bestselling 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 bestseller BIG STONE GAP. The heartwarming story continues in the novel's sequels BIG CHERRY HOLLER, MILK GLASS MOON, and HOME TO BIG STONE GAP. Stand-alone novels LUCIA, LUCIA; THE QUEEN OF THE BIG TIME; and ROCOCO, all topped the bestseller lists, as did Trigiani's 2009 VERY VALENTINE and its 2010 sequel BRAVA, VALENTINE.

Trigiani teamed up with her family for COOKING WITH MY SISTERS, a cookbook coauthored by her sister Mary, with contributions from their sisters and mother. The cookbook-memoir features recipes and stories dating back a hundred years from both sides of their Italian-American family.

Adriana's novels have been translated and sold in more than 35 countries around the world. Trigiani's latest blockbuster BRAVA, VALENTINE (VERY VALENTINE's sequel) debuted at number seven on the New York Times bestseller list following its February 2010 debut. Valentine Roncalli juggles her long-distance romance, as she works to better the family's struggling business. A once-in-a-lifetime business opportunity takes Val from the winding streets of Greenwich Village to the sun-kissed cobblestones of Buenos Aires, where she finds a long-buried secret hidden deep within a family scandal.

Trigiani's first young adult novel, VIOLA IN REEL LIFE--the first in a series--debuted in September 2009. Fans fell in love with fourteen-year-old filmmaker Viola Chesterton, who moves from Brooklyn to a South Bend, Indiana, boarding school. In Spring 2011, readers will delight in Trigiani's follow-up novel Viola in the Spotlight, as Viola and friends spend an adventure-filled summer vacation in Brooklyn.

Readers will take a peek into the lives of the women who shaped Adriana, with her November 2010 nonfiction debut: DON'T SING AT THE TABLE: LIFE LESSONS FROM MY GRANDMOTHERS. The book makes a lovely gift for family (or yourself!), as Trigiani shares a treasure trove of insight and guidance from her two grandmothers: time-tested common sense advice on the most important aspects of a woman's life, from childhood to old age.

Fans everywhere will soon see Adriana's work on the big and small screens! She wrote the screenplay for and will direct the big screen version of her novel BIG STONE GAP. Adriana has also written the film adaptations of LUCIA, LUCIA and VERY VALENTINE--which will be made into a Lifetime Original Movie in 2011!

Critics from the Washington Post to the New York Times to People have described Adriana's novels as "tiramisu for the soul," "sophisticated and wise," and "dazzling." They agree that "her characters are so lively they bounce off the page," and that "...her novels are full bodied and elegantly written."

Trigiani's novels have been chosen for the USA Today Book Club, the Target Bookmarked series, and she's now officially a regular with Barnes & Noble Book Clubs, where she has conducted three online book clubs. Adriana speaks to book clubs from her home three to four nights a week.

Her books are so popular around the world that LUCIA, LUCIA was selected as the best read of 2004 in England by Richard and Judy.

Adriana is married to Tim Stephenson, the Emmy Award-winning lighting designer of The Late Show with David Letterman. They live in Greenwich Village with their daughter, Lucia.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
By Nicola F (Nic) TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover
I adore Adriana Trigiani's earlier novels- especially her `Big Stone Gap' series and Rococo. That's why it genuinely pains me to say that this book actually left me feeling a bit disappointed. Though it was admittedly beautifully written with Trigiani's usual eloquent prose and great descriptions, I just didn't fall in love with it.

Set in the early twentieth century, the reader encounters young Italian brothers Ciro and Eduardo. Following the death of their father, their mother is unable to look after them and leaves them in the care of nuns in a local convent, where they have a decent childhood. Then we meet Enza, the backbone of her poor but loving family. She and Ciro's lives collide one day and she instantly falls in love with him- though it seems that fate is conspiring against them and they are separated. For the next few decades their paths will continually cross- from the Italian Alps to New York City- against a backdrop of war, poverty, enterprise and heartache as both of them try to achieve the American dream.

As I say, this book disappointed me. I suppose because I fell in love with both Enza and Ciro instantly and I needed to know more than what was actually given- they were a bit one dimensional in places. Without giving away any spoilers, there were certain parts of the narrative that could have done with a lot more fleshing out- I needed to know what was happening- thoughts, feelings and emotions. Ciro fighting in World War I for example, barely takes up a couple of chapters. This could have been an important part of the novel but felt incredibly glossed over, yet by contrast- Enza's time working in New York takes up a large chunk of the book and didn't have a lot of substance to it. It just didn't feel fairly balanced.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Addictive, as always 9 July 2012
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
After waiting a long time for her new book, Adriana Trigiani has made me read this book practically non-stop. How long will we have to wait for the next one?
She entangles you in the story and, without you realizing it, she has caught you in her web and won't let you go until you've reached the last page. Definitely a good read, as all her books have been until now.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful as always 18 Aug 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I have been a fan of Adriana Trigiani for years and have read all her novels. I love the way Italy always features and of course a compelling love story and characters that you want to do well and fall in love with. For me this was another fantastic novel from AT and whilst different from her previous work all the better for it. Can't wait for her next release as will definately be adding it to my collection, she hasn't let me down yet!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Boring... 4 Aug 2013
By A
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Schmaltzy sickly pap. Mills and boon but longer and more boring. Not much happens and what does happen isn't worth mentioning.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A New Discovery 16 Nov 2012
Format:Paperback
I had not come across this author before and I only chanced upon this book whilst browsing the limited selection in a well known supermarket. Based on the front cover I was doubtful if it was my kind of book but I bought it anyway. How pleased I am that I did! Beautifully written the contrast between Italy and the USA was excellent particularly as I knew very little about this part of Italy during the early years of the 20th century.

The move to the USA felt as if the writer was more confident of her surroundings and having visited Ellis Island myself I was able to visualise perfectly the entry into this land of hope and dreams. The story was intriguing and at times a tad contrived but I thoroughly enjoyed the twists and turns and felt the suspense and fears created by the uncertainties of the First World War.

Overall I would recommend this book and I am going to seek out further publications by this fine writer,I look forward to winter nights in her company.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars rather turgid 28 Dec 2013
By Mrs J
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
nice enough story but got about half way through and started to wish it was over .... rather turgid as everything is detailed at the expense of anything much happening
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Vintage Trigiani 20 Aug 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I loved this book - a big fan of Adrianna Trigiani, and this was well up to standard. I did wonder if it was the back-story to the Valentine tales, but I don't think so. Really good plot, well drawn characters and the usual lovely detail that gives her books such readability and atmosphere. Thoroughly recommend.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Refreshingly different 28 Sep 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I have enjoyed all of the author's previous books but this one drew me in in a way the others have not. There were the usual ingredients; Italy, religion, food but the main emphasis and the theme throughout was the importance of family. The descriptions of the various locations of the book brought them to life and you almost imagined you were in the Italian Alps and could feel the mountain air. There was a sadness to the story which lingered when I had finished reading. Lots of women will empathise with the sentiment "I really enjoyed it and had a good cry." Adriana Trigiani is a very talented writer and this book displays those talents fully.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars I've loved all the books I have read of Adriana Trigiana ...
I've loved all the books I have read of Adriana Trigiana so far & this was as good as all the others Was sorry when it ended but have others to look forward to.
Published 4 days ago by Cyndy Elkins
5.0 out of 5 stars Just fabulous.....
.....from start to finish I felt the emotions of Ciro and Enza. Reminds you that amongst the heartache there is always beauty and always love.
Published 15 days ago by TJW
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Very enjoyable and liked by all our book group.
Published 17 days ago by Anne McDermott
5.0 out of 5 stars passionate.
Very easy to read. My only criticism is that almost all the characters are 'too nice'.The only one who stands out as less than perfect is the village priest.
Published 1 month ago by Jennifer Gordon
4.0 out of 5 stars Another good read from Adriana
Having read 'The Big Stone Gap' trilogy I thought I would be in for a good read and wasn't disappointed. Read more
Published 1 month ago by DE Will
1.0 out of 5 stars Boring as heck.
Started well, with some lovely prose, but do we need a description of every outfit worn by every character in the book. Read more
Published 1 month ago by anniebygaslight
5.0 out of 5 stars Great story it's a recommend to friends
This was a good piece of fiction probably based on a true story or stories combined. It travels from reote country regions in Europe through to cities in the US and all are well... Read more
Published 2 months ago by J. Howard
5.0 out of 5 stars Refreshingly readable
This was chosen by a member of our book group and is one of the most 'charming' novels I have read in a long time. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Mrs. J. B. Bell
4.0 out of 5 stars A great read!
The descriptions of people and scenery were very good and detailed. I quickly started caring about the characters in the book, particularly the two children left with the nuns. Read more
Published 5 months ago by ladyofleisure
5.0 out of 5 stars Best book in ages
Recommended by a friend, first time to read this author. Couldn't put it down. Am off to check what else is available.
Published 5 months ago by THELMA HAMILTON
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