Very Valentine
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Very Valentine (Valentine #1)

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3.77 of 5 stars 3.77  ·  rating details  ·  10,768 ratings  ·  1,502 reviews
The Angelini Shoe Company, one of the last family-owned businesses in Greenwich Village, has been making exquisite wedding shoes since 1903 but now teeters on the brink of financial collapse. To save their business from ruin, thirty-three-year-old Valentine Roncalli—apprentice to and granddaughter of master artisan Teodora Angelini—must bring the family's old-world craftsm...more
ebook, 416 pages
Published October 6th 2009 by HarperCollins e-books (first published 2009)
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Lola4
I've got two real big bad bones to pick with this book. Bone 1: In Rococo, Ms. Trigiana seems to have made an extremely unfortunate change in writing style, moving away from great heart-and-soul character portrayals and relationships into very detailed descriptions of stuff--without any apparent good reason, without advancing the story. In Very Valentine this disease of Descriptomania gets way worse and not only fails to advance the story, but bogs it down utterly. Now a description here and the...more
Sarah
I checked this out when I was sick a week or so ago--just wanted a light, easy read. But I found Very Valentine to drag. It was so bogged down in details that I found to be totally superfluous. (Not the shoemaking details--those were interesting, but in all the other little things Trigiana takes pains to describe.) The chemistry between the main character and her beau was also nonexistant for me. It seemed like a superficial, flighty relationship that I couldn't buy into. I ended up skimming thi...more
Kaye
The sign over the shop used to say Angelini Shoes, Greenwich Village since 1903, but after years of weathering , it now says Angel Shoes. This is the setting for much of this heart-warming story and the inspiration for a new endeavor. Valentine and her 80 year old grandmother, Teodora Angelini, in the family tradition are custom makers of wedding shoes. When Teodora tells her granddaughter, Valentine, that things are not too good financially, she is shocked. Valentine had thought things would go...more
Mainon
I freely admit that I probably picked this book for the wrong reasons. (1) it was Valentine's Day, and this book has the word Valentine in the title! (2) the author offered a walking tour in Manhattan on one of the sites I visit, which I thought was pretty cool. (3) The main character makes custom wedding shoes, and if you follow my reviews, you've probably noticed that in the months leading up to my wedding I'm a bit of a sucker for books related to weddings, however tangentially.

All of that s...more
Denise
4.0 out of 5 stars - Made me crave Italian food and want some new, custom-made shoes!

This first novel in a trilogy introduces us to Valentine Roncalli and her large Italian-American clan. Valentine, single and 33 years old, is an apprentice to her master shoemaker grandmother in a family business that was established in Greenwich Village in 1903 by her now deceased grandfather. Their passion and livlihood, the Angelini Shoe Company, is known for creating custon made exquisite wedding shoes.

This...more
Cory
On the surface, it seems like I would like this book about an Italian-American woman learning the family shoemaking business and looking for love. However, it just wasn't my kind of book. There was too much detail about clothing and room decor--I don't really care that the eldest daughter was wearing a cream wool pencil skirt, a cream cashmere cardigan, pearls, silver bangles on her wrist, and a cream embossed leather shoe with black piping on the vamp. Don't care! The similies and metaphors als...more
Scott
First, let me state that I loved Lucia, Lucia when it came out. I think that Ms. Trigiani writes the best stories about Italian American families in the U.S. They are quite charming, honest, and often a one-sit read.

Very Valentine, is about a thirty-something year old woman who has been apprenticing the shoe business from her grandmother. She has learned much but gets the ultimate education when she learns that the business is not very solid and her grandmother has used the building where they w...more
Anne
Very Valentine is my personal definition of a Boring Book.
The entire story could have been told in 75 pages. Maybe 50. NO, I'm not kidding.
I'm sure some people enjoy endless descriptions of clothes, shoes, flowers, smells, more clothes, belts, hairstyles, hair colors, hairpins, food, more food, how to cook said food, what kind of shoes the person who was cooking the food wore, what the inside (and outside) of every @$*!ing building looked like, the history of every building Valentine went into....more
Sarah Beth
Adriana Trigiani is a favorite writer of mine. But I really felt Very valentine fell short. I normally enjoy the painting of a scene by an author. It brings me into the scene and makes feel part of the book. But her minute detail description of every little thing just made me think, "get to the point already." Maybe I was just an impatient reader this time but the entire story of the book could have been told in under 50 pages sans the flowery descriptions ... I wanted more depth. I never really...more
Cheryl
Valentine Roncalli is part of a large, close-knit Italian American family. She quits her teaching job to become her grandmother’s apprentice and partner in the family’s Angelini Shoe Company. Makers of custom made wedding shoes, the company was founded in 1903 by her grandfather. However, Valentine soon learns that the company is experiencing serious financial problems. It’s up to Valentine to attempt to guide the company into the 21st century while also juggling family issues and the romantic a...more
Jeane
Happy energy. The feeling you get that makes you realize you feel happy and knowing the reason that makes you feel happy. That's what I had while reading this book. This i my second or third Trigiani book. the first being Lucia, Lucia.
Adriana Trigiani's books are always about Italian Americans, the mix of being American and having the Italian traditions in the family.
In Very Valentine this is told really nicely and energetic, bringing out all the beauty which I think something linked to Italy ca...more
Susie
Pro: The seniors in my book group enjoyed reading this book and are interested in continuing the trilogy, along with reading other titles by Trigiani.

Con: Having not come from a large Italian family and having less than zero interest in high fashion designers and culture, I found very little to hold my interest in this novel. Along with that, the majority of the men in the book end up cheating on their spouses/significant others and the women have a "boys will be boys" attitude toward the indis...more
Colleen
I absolutely loved this book! Valentine is a dynamic protagonist - she is pushed to taking her family business into the current century by financial pressures but then learns she has a real head for business and a true passion for the artistry of the craft of custom shoe design. I found myself rooting for her from the start whether in her struggles with the business or her relationship with the complicated and ambitious Roman Falconi. When she traveled to Italy (a dream of mine!) and observed ho...more
JanB
I am a fan of the Big Stone Gap series as well as some of her stand-alones and so I high hopes for this one. What a disappointment. The excessive attention to superfluous detail made me want to scream. I had heard that the book was very descriptive but I had no idea of the extent.

Do I really need to know what every character in every scene is wearing? I was subjected in mind-numbing detail about everything I never wanted to know about the outfits these characters wore throughout the book. Do I...more
Ky
I rarely let myself stop reading a book when I'm only partially finished, but I got about a third of the way through and couldn't take it anymore!! My recent philosophy has been that life is too short to force myself through a boring read. There's too many other books on my list. Very Valentine was jam-packed with useless descriptions. I literally have never read so many sentences in one book that add absolutely nothing to the story. It is such a shame because the author can string together some...more
Susan Dodd
Fantastic read! I'm almost done. Adriana Trigiani is an amazing writer. Always based around Italy/Italians/Italian/Family food and cooking. I can't wait to visit Italy one day and can't stop thinking about it since I've been reading this book. Not to mention all the Italian food I'm craving!
Oh, and did I mention the shoes! Valentine, the main character, is a 34 year old shoe maker - custom wedding shoes in a family business. Adriana uses some amazing descriptions of the shoes, materials that ar...more
Dorothy
When the book opens the reader finds Valentine Roncalli, a thirty-three year old drop out high school English teacher, at a crossroads in her life. She's serving as a bridesmaid at her younger sister's wedding when her family reminds her of her past, present and future. To them it isn't all that rosy! She's tall, has a big nose, doesn't have a man in her life, lives with her grandmother, and works at the declining family business of making custom made wedding shoes. The only thing that she's to...more
Jennifer
Valentine is the "funny one" in the family. She is a 33 yr old sweet, honest, Italian girl who also happens to be the only unmarried family member left. A big no-no in this traditional family. However, Valentine finds her self at a crossroads in her life: no immediate plans of settling down, no "serious" job, but a serious desire to continue the family business of custom made bridal shoes. Valentine is currently the apprentice at Angelini Shoe Company, but must help her Grandmother Theodora in s...more
Linda
I had the good luck of getting one of Adriana's advanced readers copy. I have read all of this lady's books. But believe me, once you read it, you will understand what I am saying. She just gets better every book that she writes. She blends laughter and seriousness into every page. It is the best kind of book to get lost in, to escape from worry and stress and this book teaches you about love. How to choose it,when to keep it and when to let go.
Valentine tells the story of her grandfather that...more
Eric Wright
I chose this book simply because I loved Trigiani's book, The Shoemaker's Wife not because I'm a fan of romance. the Angelini Shoe Company has been in Greenwich Village since 1903, but it is one of the last family-woned businesses there and it is on the verge of financial disaster. Enter Valentine Roncalli and a vibrant cast of colourful Italian characters. Valentine, 33 years old and unhappy in romance, apprentices with her grandmother, Teodora Angelini to learn the craft.

Valentine quickly show...more
Bobbi Woods
Not much to say about this book--it was moderately entertaining, but certainly not worth more than two stars in my opinion.

I have read another Trigiani book before--Queen of the Big Time--and liked it better. In this book, the author tries too hard to be witty and it distracts from the story. I like to laugh while I am reading, but when every paragraph contains sarcasm and light humor, it gets old.

I did, however, really connect to Valentine's relationship with her grandmother. I, too, was very c...more
Jennifer Garcia
My Blog

This was really good. Although I related to the story, I also got frustrated a few times with Roman and Valentine. I wanted so bad for them to make it work. However, their work came first, and that may not be such a bad thing.

They both worked hard and it was their priority. One owned a restaurant and the other the shoemaking business. It's amazing to see/read how it's all done. Being a business owner and trying to have a personal life.

However, Valetine finds herself in a place in her car...more
Gretchen
I enjoyed this light read. The opening scene at an Italian wedding was wonderful. Right on. The story of Valentine's struggle to keep the family wedding shoe business going (think cobblers) was interesting, and the details of buying the leather and the findings were also great. The only part of the book that was only so-so was her love affair with the frightfully busy and gorgeous Roman, whose restaurant (Italian, Yum!) was the real love of his life. It was not as believable a hot romance as app...more
Donna
What can I say, I love Adriana Trigiani's books. They speak to me and always remind me of my own family. I loved this book and I felt the wonder when she went to Italy. I remember feeling that upon my first trip, the magic, the completely different way of life. i loved her relationship with her grandmother as it reminds me of my own. i can't wait to read book 2!
Kathy
I learned that there is actually a custom-made wedding shoe industry. I had to look it up on the internet to be sure. I could not picture all the glitz, glamour, and bling that this book describes. I even took my computer to library book club to show them some of the pictures. The story line is about Valentine, a 30+ single woman who is "married to" the family shoe making business run by her grandmother. There are love interests in the lives of both women. The clothes people wear are described a...more
Joan Brennan
Mary J had this book on her list and then I realized that it was one that my aunt had passed on to me, but I hadn't read it yet. I just started it yesterday, and it's pretty good! I grew up in a "somewhat" Italian family. With a German American father, the household wasn't quite what was described, but we had enough Italian family friends... "cousins" that make the book real for me. It brings back memories... weddings I was in! Goodness... and a little sad that my daughter grew up not knowing th...more
Barbara Hale
It seems like everything I read these days gets 4 stars, i.e. because I "really liked it." But this book was a pure joy to read. Definitely a chick book, I can't see this book appealing to men at all. But in spite of being a romance novel, Trigiani is a gifted writer, has a wonderful use of the language, and was so good at describing the scenes that I could literally see, hear, smell, taste and feel every fine detail. I loved Valentine's family - thought the relationships were realistic, funny a...more
Julie
Trigiani is one of my favorite authors! Her writing is so beautiful. "Sensual" is the perfect word to describe how she writes about everything from what's cooking on the stove to the view of the ocean on Capri to how leather is cut for a shoe. The continuing saga of an Italian American family who own the Angelini Shoe company in New York. Romance (clean), family relationships across generations, characters you fall in love with - I didn't want it to end and I'm moving directly on to the sequel!
Karlyne Landrum
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
April
Very Valentine by Adriana Trigiani weaves together themes of family, romance, food, and shoes. Valentine Roncalli is in her mid-30s, lives with her Grandmother, and makes shoes for a living. Within her family, she has the identity of being the funny one who uses humor to deal with the myriad of things life throws at her. Although Valentine has the role as the family comedian, don't go into this book expecting a hilarious romp. Rather, expect to see plenty of family interactions as well as a dash...more
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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...more
More about Adriana Trigiani...
The Shoemaker's Wife Big Stone Gap (Big Stone Gap, #1) Big Cherry Holler (Big Stone Gap, #2) Lucia, Lucia Brava, Valentine

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“That's when you know for sure somebody loves you. They figure out what you need and they give it to you -- without you asking.” 474 likes
“Mom, how do you know if the guy is the guy?”

You mean if he’ll be a good husband?” She pauses, then says “The ticket is for the man to love the woman more than she loves him.”

Shouldn’t it be equal?”

Mom cackles. “It can never be equal.”

But what if the woman loves the man more?”

A life of hell awaits her. As women, the deck is stacked against us because time is our enemy. We age, while men season. And trust me, there are plenty of women out there looking for a man, and they don’t mind staking a claim on somebody else’s husband, no matter how old, creaky, and deaf they are.”
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