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Very Valentine (Valentine #1)

3.79  ·  Rating Details ·  14,388 Ratings  ·  1,755 Reviews

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

Paperback, Large Print, 576 pages
Published February 3rd 2009 by HarperLuxe (first published 2009)
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Sarah I think Mike is talking about her father, she's speaking to Teodora rather than Valentine so it seems like her husband wasn't quietly shuffled off as…moreI think Mike is talking about her father, she's speaking to Teodora rather than Valentine so it seems like her husband wasn't quietly shuffled off as he was present when Dominic proposed.(less)
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Feb 14, 2015 Anne rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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.
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. 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 there of a view or outfit might add something to the atmosphere of ...more
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
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
Dec 30, 2008 Kaye rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Mar 24, 2009 Cory rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
Nov 01, 2013 Denise rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.

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
Feb 19, 2012 Jeane rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: planned-2012, usa
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
Aug 22, 2012 Susie rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
Feb 25, 2009 Scott rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
May 02, 2010 Colleen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Apr 07, 2010 Ky rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jul 11, 2010 Susan Dodd rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Aug 08, 2014 Cheryl rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: adult-fiction
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
Feb 11, 2014 Julie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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!
Feb 16, 2011 Mandy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A very fun read. I loved the realtionship between Valentine and her grandmother, it made me miss my grndma so much though! Adriana has a fun and unique voice as a writer, and I liked her unconventional heroine, Valentine. I also liked that this romance wasn't quite what I'd expected and left me wanting to read more about Valentine and her adventures. This book also left me with an unsatiable hunger for pasta, new shoes, and a trip to Italy.
Carol Storm
Dec 02, 2014 Carol Storm rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Did you know there's more to the Italian-American experience than The Godfather and The Sopranos? There's also third-rate chick lit and nauseating sentimentality!

I couldn't get into it so I stopped reading it. Next!
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
JG (The Introverted Reader)
Valentine Roncalli is turning 34 years old, she lives and works with her grandmother, and she's single. She's pretty happy though, until the day her grandmother tells her that the family's custom shoe shop is in financial trouble. Now she finds herself trying to find a way to save the business she loves as she juggles a budding relationship with a hot new restaurateur.

I think my expectations for this were skewed by the first few sentences of the book. It begins,

"I'm not the pretty sister.

I'm no
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
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
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
Jun 11, 2010 Kelli rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love Adriana Trigiani. Her books are consistently good (I've read seven of her novels so far). I have yet to read one of her novels that I haven't really liked. Unlike Lucia, Lucia and Queen of the Big Time, Very Valentine is set in present day New York. We follow Valentine through a year of her life. Like most of her other work, Valentine is "finding herself." She falls in love, travels to Italy, and has very funny interactions with her family members along the way. Also similar to her other ...more
Michelle Cristiani
What I liked about this book:
-It makes me very, very proud to be Italian-American. I realize that there is much I take for granted about my upbringing that other people don't get to have. Venetian tables at weddings, Christmas Eve fish celebrations, and so on. I'm proud of both my culture and the way Trigiani describes it. Sometimes she's not so flattering, and that's even fun too.

What I didn't like:
The clothes and setting descriptions run a little too detailed. And, when authors describe fashio
Bobbi Woods
Aug 03, 2009 Bobbi Woods rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: book-club
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
Jennifer Garcia
Aug 10, 2012 Jennifer Garcia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Feb 28, 2015 Anna rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Anna by: Trigiani
This is the first installment of a trilogy, so it is full of introductions of characters, family, and family history. It is also full of musings and descriptions about family, tradition, legacy, romance, life in NYC, food and choices.
More than anything it ends up being a love note to Manhattan.

Valentine is the middle unmarried daughter of an Italian American family. She wants to continue her grandfather's and great-grandfather's legacy of a cobbler shop in Greenwich Village which makes handmade
Aug 28, 2009 Gretchen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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  • A Vintage Affair
  • Lost Dogs and Lonely Hearts
  • The Sister Diaries
  • The Lace Makers of Glenmara
  • Making It Big
  • A Single to Rome
  • The Italian Wedding
  • The Lost Recipe for Happiness
  • Italian for Beginners
  • All This Talk of Love
  • The Mermaid Garden
  • The Secret of Joy
  • Julie and Romeo
  • A Silent Ocean Away: Colette's Dominion
  • The Ghost of Greenwich Village
  • The Diary
  • Easy on the Eyes
  • The Fixer Upper
Adriana Trigiani is beloved by millions of readers around the world for sixteen bestsellers, including the instant New York Times bestseller, All the Stars in the Heavens, the blockbuster epic The Shoemaker's Wife; the Big Stone Gap series; Lucia, Lucia; the Valentine series; the Viola series for young adults; and the bestselling memoir Don't Sing at the Table. She is the award-winning filmmaker o ...more
More about Adriana Trigiani...

Other Books in the Series

Valentine (3 books)
  • Brava, Valentine
  • The Supreme Macaroni Company

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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.” 544 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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