Author: Adriana Trigiana
Published: February 3, 2009
Genre: chick lit
Hardcover: 371 pages
Source: borrowed from the library
My Rating: 3.5 stars
Synopsis (from GoodReads): This first-in-a-trilogy is a frilly valentine to Manhattan's picturesque West Village, starring a boisterous and charmingly contentious Italian-American family. Valentine Roncalli, adrift after a failed relationship and an aborted teaching career, becomes an apprentice to her 80-year-old grandmother, Teodora Angelini, at the tiny family shoe business. While Valentine struggles to come up with a financial plan—and shoe design—to bring the Old World operation into the 21st century, her brother, Alfred, is pushing Gram to retire and sell her building for $6 million. It's not all business for Valentine, of course: handsome and sophisticated Roman Falconi, owner and chef at a posh restaurant, is vying for her heart.
My Thoughts: I grabbed this book at the library because I was interested in Adriana Trigiani's newest book, The Shoemaker's Wife, but didn't know if I was going to like it. So, I picked up this book and decided to give her a shot. Let me just say that after finishing this book, I cannot wait to read all of Trigiani's novels. Her voice is so clear that her writing is enthralling. It wasn't simple, but it wasn't too much. And it was writing that is characteristic of chick lit novels. The plot seems to be very chick lit-y (a shoemaker in NYC who falls in love with a hot chef, then starts feeling something for another man), but the writing never felt that way.
I was reading this book, hoping the entire time that it wouldn't end. I admired Valentine so much. Yes, she was experiencing the hardships of a relationship, but her story was more about her career (which is what I have been looking for in a chick lit book for months now!!!). It's about trying to keep the family business afloat and trying things that she hasn't done before to keep the family business open. It was refreshing to read a book that wasn't all about the romance!
For me, Trigiana's work is something that can't be easily classified. I look forward to reading more of her books, not only this series, but all of her novels.