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Very Valentine: A Novel by Adriana Trigiani
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Very Valentine: A Novel (edition 2010)

by Adriana Trigiani

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8407110,727 (3.66)25
Member:nickandnora
Title:Very Valentine: A Novel
Authors:Adriana Trigiani
Info:Harper Perennial (2010), Edition: Reprint, Paperback, 401 pages
Collections:Your library
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Very Valentine by Adriana Trigiani

Recently added bycltouchstone, tennwisc, private library, lwilliams2468, beanwarrow, kiera11, susan0316, Dmtcer
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Showing 1-5 of 69 (next | show all)
This was a fun read about a large Italian family in New York city. The grandmother owns the Angelini Shoe Company which has been in business since 1903 and Valentine works with her. I read more about making shoes than I really wanted to know and I found those parts of the book kind of boring. What I really enjoyed was the family - they sisters and the fun that they family all had together was hilarious. Can't wait to read book 2 in the series to see what happens next. ( )
  susan0316 | Jun 21, 2014 |
Very Valentine / by Adriana Trigiani (c2009)

A colorful cast of characters in this story of an extended Italian-American family. Set in a current day Manhattan, this story spans 100 years of history of the Angelini Shoe Company which is now threatened by closure due to financial problems. Valentine, 33 years old, is apprentice to her Grandmother, Teodora, and must find a way to bring the family’s old world-craftsmanship into the 21st century. Her love for the business comes through as she problem solves to create a new design for mass production, learn new crafting skills that will separate them from competitors, and develop her business sense to keep the business and her livelihood intact. She is also diverted by her father’s bout with cancer, her brother’s desire to sell the business, and her budding relationship with Italian chef Roman and romantic interests of Gianluca, an Italian leather craftsman.

I was fascinated with the creativity of Valentine and her passion to keep the family business in operation and push them into the 21st century. The description of the shoes, the handcrafting process, and the history of the designs is a compelling piece of this story.
Another strong draw for me is the building as a character. The old building serving as business and home and conflict as family decides what to do with it. NOTE: See the picture of Grandfather Carlo Bonicelli, shoemaker at the beginning of the book.

Reminiscent of the movie -- My Big Fat Greek Wedding.
Slow start with the wedding but necessary to set-up the background story and the family dynamic. First book in a trilogy continuing with Brava, Valentine (c2010).

My favorite part of the book is when the movie people arrive at the shop expecting the Angelini Shoe Company to fix the show being highlighted in their film. The awe and appreciation on their faces as the learn about the shoes and select the new star of the picture always makes me smile.

Sequel: Brava, Valentine (c2010) continues Valentine's story as she meets challenge after challenge in taking control of the Angelini Shoe Company. Gram is leaving for Italy to marry her long-time friend and lover leaving the company in the hands of Valentine and her brother Albert. They go head to head in business decisions as a new shoe is being designed and a production factory being located to handle mass production that will bring financial stability to the company.

A surprise is waiting in Buenos Aires as it is discovered that there is a second branch of the family that noone knows about that also creates quality shoes and could be the answer that the New York store has been searching for.

Valentine is struggling to grow-up while deciding what she really wants from life -- a success career or love and a family of her own.

The family dynamics continue in this lovable, extended family. My favorite part of this story is packing day and the whole family joining together to lovingly wrap the shoes and send them to their customers in customized packing (starting on page 162). ( )
1 vote range9 | Dec 20, 2013 |
(104) ( )
  activelearning | Nov 22, 2013 |
I was a little disappointed in this book, through no fault of the author’s. It’s just that I’d picked this up because I so much enjoyed The Shoemaker’s Wife, expecting this one to be very similar. One of the things I’d loved about The Shoemaker’s Wife was the telling of the immigrant experience from an Italian American perspective. While this book also deals with an Italian American family and shoe making is an important part of the story, this is a contemporary story.

Valentine is part of an Italian American family living in New York. She is the only ‘unattached’ family member, but is hoping not to remain so. Valentine’s grandfather was a shoe maker who immigrated from Italy and opened the Angelini Shoe Company, which is now run by his widow, Valentine’s grandmother. Most of the family has no interest in continuing the tradition of shoe making, but Valentine works with her grandmother learning the trade and loves it! However, the company is in financial trouble and there is a disagreement among the grandchildren about what should be done with the company. Valentine wants to continue in the business, while her siblings feel it might be time for Grandma to retire.

The book was a little slow for me to get into, possibly because I was expecting something else. But once I got to know the characters, especially Valentine and her Grandmother, I did enjoy the story. I loved reading about their trip to Italy, and Valentine’s experiences in learning more about shoe making. I was not so interested in Valentine’s romances.

While it got off to a slow start for me, and I was a bit disappointed that it was not another ‘historical’ fiction, I did enjoy the story. This is the first in a series about Valentine and her family, and I definitely plan to read more about them! ( )
  Time2Read2 | Nov 2, 2013 |
Fun author! Love the story of Italian shoe family. Author is amazing, and I have read many of her books now. ( )
  Deb.Meyer | Jul 7, 2013 |
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Series (with order)
Canonical title
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Epigraph
Dedication
In memory of my grandfather, Carlo Bonicelli, a shoemaker
First words
I'm not the pretty sister.
Quotations
A woman can reinvent or erase her history entirely when she travels. This is one of the great benefits of leaving home.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Note that Adriana Trigiani's Very Valentine, Brava Valentine, and any sequels that are forthcoming do not belong in series with Doctor Lochinvar (A Valentine Book #333) by Jean Carew. I have purposely changed the series designation to VValentine for Adriana Trigiani's books to keep the unrelated and irrelevant book out of this series. For this reason, I would ask that you please do not alter the series designation back to Valentine.
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Book description
Publisher Comments:
Meet the Roncalli and Angelini families, a vibrant cast of colorful characters who navigate tricky family dynamics with hilarity and brio, from magical Manhattan to the picturesque hills of bella Italia. Very Valentine is the first novel in a trilogy and is sure to be the new favorite of Trigiani's millions of fans around the world.

In this luscious, contemporary family saga, the Angelini Shoe Company, makers of exquisite wedding shoes since 1903, is one of the last family-owned businesses in Greenwich Village. The company is on the verge of financial collapse. It falls to thirty-three-year-old Valentine Roncalli, the talented and determined apprentice to her grandmother, the master artisan Teodora Angelini, to bring the family's old-world craftsmanship into the twenty-first century and save the company from ruin.

While juggling a budding romance with dashing chef Roman Falconi, her duty to her family, and a design challenge presented by a prestigious department store, Valentine returns to Italy with her grandmother to learn new techniques and seek one-of-a-kind materials for building a pair of glorious shoes to beat their rivals. There, in Tuscany, Naples, and on the Isle of Capri, a family secret is revealed as Valentine discovers her artistic voice and much more, turning her life and the family business upside down in ways she never expected. Very Valentine is a sumptuous treat, a journey of dreams fulfilled, a celebration of love and loss filled with Trigiani's trademark heart and humor.
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Valentine Roncalli struggles to save her decades-old family business, finding love and the life she wants along the way.

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