Top positive review
8 people found this helpful
on 27 May 2009
Very Valentine is about Valentine Roncalli, a 33 going on 34 year old single woman living in NY. After abandoning a long term boyfriend and career as a teacher, she decided to move in with her grandmother and help run the family custom shoe making business (open since 1902!). The store creates custom fit, beautiful shoes of pure Italian materials for brides. Although they sell easily, the business doesn't bring in enough money and, ultimately, Gram and Valentine must decide what to do. During this, Valentine meets Roman, a tall, dark, and handsome divorced Italian chef. While she tries to figure out her business problems, things start to prosper with Roman.
The book takes you from the streets of Greenwich Village to the mountains in Tuscany, Italy. As you, the reader, learn about tailored shoes and Italian meals, you watch Valentine discover herself through mistakes, drive, and, ultimately, passion. And along the way you keep up with, and care about, her ragtag, very large Italian family. You saw the family from two angles, the side they show the public, and the private side only those close know about. I liked the contrast.
Admittedly, it took me a few pages to get into the book, but once I got to know Valentine, I was hooked. Her family was so lifelike, they felt like my own (and I do have a large, loud, Italian family). Her problems were so relatable, I wanted to discuss them with her. And her trip to Italy was so amazing, I wanted to be there with her.
The book, the first in a trilogy, was overall very entertaining. There are some loose ends, but there should be, because without them there would be no sequel. It's a quick, fun read that isn't simply chick lit nor romance. It delves into deeper levels and I think, in the end, that's why I enjoyed it so much. Trigiani has a way with describing people and places so well that it's like you've been there, or know them. It made me really miss Italy. And even New York.