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The Shoemaker's Wife

really liked it 4.00  ·  Rating details ·  80,664 ratings  ·  8,648 reviews
The majestic and haunting beauty of the Italian Alps is the setting of the first meeting of Enza, a practical beauty, and Ciro, a strapping mountain boy, who meet as teenagers, despite growing up in villages just a few miles apart. At the turn of the last century, when Ciro catches the local priest in a scandal, he is banished from his village and sent to hide in America a ...more
Hardcover, 485 pages
Published April 3rd 2012 by Harper
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Ceevee I liked Ciro because he was a well-developed character with human frailties and strengths. He was tormented by his mother's/father's abandonment, yet …moreI liked Ciro because he was a well-developed character with human frailties and strengths. He was tormented by his mother's/father's abandonment, yet did not cave-in. He thrived. He made the best of every situation. He struggled with religion but admitted it. He persevered in the presence of of difficulty. I admire his energy and ambition, as well as his love of family. (less)
Monica It is an easy read but the literary themes converge each other beautifully. They are some unexpected outcomes at times, but events interlink cursively…moreIt is an easy read but the literary themes converge each other beautifully. They are some unexpected outcomes at times, but events interlink cursively.
The characters feel familiar which gives readers a sense of omnipresence .(less)

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really liked it Average rating 4.00  · 
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 ·  80,664 ratings  ·  8,648 reviews

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Apr 20, 2012 rated it liked it
Every once in awhile you have to take a break from the Holocaust books, the slavery sagas and the dysfunctional families... and this, my friends, is the beach read you are looking for. The old Italian-immigrant-comes-to-America-makes-good-intergenerational-story that your preteen daughter could read and write home from camp about! There are no surprises but it makes you happy and you go to sleep at night with no sad sighs or regrets about what this world is coming to. Trigiani is a prolific writ ...more
TX Dee
Oct 02, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This was a recent choice by one of the book clubs I belong to and when I heard it was the choice, I was less than thrilled. "Oh, man," I thought. "Not ANOTHER star-crossed lovers book set during the war." I had half a mind to just not read it but decided to force myself to plod through the book and do my duty as a responsible book club member.

Well, I was NOT prepared to be sucked into the story like I was and to discover that I really liked this book. The characters were strong, complex, and li
Aug 01, 2012 rated it it was amazing
If there’s one book that should be on your summer reading list, it’s The Shoemaker’s Wife. It isn’t just a book; it’s an experience. It’s a slow, beautiful, compelling story with which you can’t help but feel involved and enamoured.

No matter what chapter you are on in this book, the setting is always lush and evocative. The Italian Alps captured me during the first half of the book and America, specifically New York, came to life during the latter half. The story follows two main characters—Enza
Christy Woods
Nov 09, 2012 rated it did not like it

The author, clearly, did her research before writing this book; and she put every tidbit of research into the novel. It was very descriptive, even when a description was not necessary. There were so many wasted words. There were ideas, and characters, and actions that did not move the story forward or enrich the act of reading in any way. I felt that, had the author trimmed the fat, the story may have been tolerable. Tolerable, not good.

“Tolerable” because, frankly speaking, this is a poorly
Michael Bell-Pouradier
May 29, 2012 rated it did not like it
I really wanted to like this book, especially since I'm an avid reader of historical fiction and a friend recommended it. A love story that travels from the Italian Alps across the Atlantic to New York City and to the Iron Range of Minnesota in a sweeping historical novel that spans the first half of the twentieth century? What's not to like, right? Well, the glaring historical and geographical errors that never ceased to pop up, for one thing.

Maybe I'm an anomaly and no one else cares about a m
Phil Ford
Mar 26, 2013 rated it it was ok
Meh. Overly descriptive, is that a bad thing? Sometimes. Sometimes it is so oppressive that you just breeze over the chapter. Sometimes it's kind of lovely. Despite a book where SO MUCH happens, not much happens, you know? I mean, one moment you are in the Italian Alps, the next NYC, then Minnesota. So what. So much happens in the book but is so bogged down in description that the change of scenery just kind of occurs as an incident. Take World War I for example. Though it deeply affects a chara ...more
Jan 06, 2013 rated it liked it
The first part of this story was very good, but it lost steam about halfway through. At first, I enjoyed Trigiani's many descriptions of food, architecture, and scenery. They invoked in me an overwhelming desire to travel to the Italian Alps and eat custard baked by nuns. After a while though, Trigiani's writing style began to get on my nerves. She had the annoying habit of wrapping up significant events from an omniscient future point of view, as though her readers are sitting beside her lookin ...more
Scarlett Readz and Runz....Through Novel Time & Distance
This beautiful novel is an absolutely stunning work of art. A riveting historical epic of love, family, loss, risk and destiny. Just shy of 500 pages, this saga begins in the Italian Alps and takes the reader to Little Italy in NY, the Minnesota Iron Range and the trenches of France. Beautifully written and authentic in artesian charm of its time, the story of two star-crossed lovers and their hardships will make your heart sing, break, and endure with them until they finally find each other….fo ...more
Gail Jorgensen
Apr 09, 2012 rated it it was amazing
What a wonderful book starting in Italy going to New Jersey then New York City most of it taking place before I was born.How tough times were and rent was $1.00 a month can't even by a loaf of bread for that now days.There were times my tears kept me from reading the words but loved every word and wanted more when it ended. ...more
Apr 02, 2015 rated it it was ok
Sadly I did not really like this book much. It began well with some nice descriptions of the Italian countryside and the chapters about the brother's life with the nuns were promising. However it then became a long sequence of silly coincidences and overly dramatic relationships and I found myself wishing it to be over. Possibly the worst part was the final section where we suddenly raced through a whole generation being born, growing up and getting married in the space of a few pages. Why? Kath ...more
Apr 20, 2012 rated it really liked it
I could not put The Shoemaker's Wife down. It's a great love story, set in early 20th century America and 19th century Italy. Finally, a book about early Italian immigrants that does not involve the mafia. 2012, off to a good start!

Enza and Ciro, whose story is based on the true romance of the author's grandparents, grow up just a few miles apart from each other in the mountains of Northern Italy. Both are poor, but talented. Ciro is a handsome hard worker, the village Romeo, but also good with
Sara (taking a break)
Jul 02, 2017 rated it it was ok
Tap your heels three times and repeat “I believe in coincidence.” What, you say you don’t believe coincidence exists? Well, you won’t like this story, then, because every other chapter gives you a new implausible coincidence to ponder. Sadly, even those parts of the book that do not depend on coincidence are implausible. Ms. Trigiani writes some nice descriptions of the Alps and the Metropolitan Opera. In fact, her settings are far more real than her characters.

This book reminded me of those Ba
Dec 19, 2012 rated it did not like it
DNF. I suspected this book had very little by way of plot from the beginning, but I stuck with it because of the lovingly written scenery porn. Indeed, I was nearly halfway through before I realized it was hopeless. What a dull, saccharine, implausible, frothy piece of fluff. This book is enjoyed by the kind of people who write letters to the editor complaining that the news is too depressing, and can't they print more happy stories?

Some of the most formative periods in the characters' lives are
Sep 10, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This book was written in such a fashion, it read like a movie. The description used to illustrate every movement allowed the movie to continue to play throughout my mind on every page. I fell in love with each of the characters, and their stories. It was so good, I read it in 4 days, staying up until 3 A.M. to find out what happened next!
Clare Cannon
Jan 28, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: adults

An epic tale about leaving the old country to set up life in the new, with all the uncertainty, hard work, devotion and spirit of adventure that it entailed.

When Enza and Ciro meet in the mountains of Italy they are young teenagers growing up in a culture at once rich with history and humble in its simplicity. Different circumstances drive them to leave their homes and set out for the land of opportunity across the ocean. How they meet and part, and part and meet is the substance of the stor
Lydia Presley
Aug 20, 2012 rated it it was amazing
One word summary of this book: HELLO!

Seriously, The Shoemaker's Wife by Adriana Trigiani just seriously took every one of my expectations of Adriana (from reading previous novels of hers) and slapped them around and made me sit up and pay attention. The Shoemaker's Wife, folks, is how a historical story about immigration should be done.

I don't even know where to begin with my review - but let me say this.. this story is so rich in background that by the time the shoemaker gets his wife, I felt a
Feb 21, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobooks
Maybe before I was a discerning goodreads reviewer I might have given this book 3 stars. Nah, not even then. Pollyanna that I am, I could not suspend disbelief to allow for all the "random happenings" (Enza and Chiro meeting in St. Vincent's, and Chiro just happening to return from WWI to find Enza on the day of her wedding!). The dialogue was stilted, the characters one dimensional and the writing -manipulative (don't try to pull on my heartstrings!). The author should NOT have narrated the sec ...more
Joe Krakovsky
Nov 09, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: history-fiction
Great story and I can appreciate all the research that went into creating this master piece of reading enjoyment. This was not a book I would normally pick out to read and the cover suggests something my wife might read, but I really enjoyed it. A real love story! And that's coming from a guy who would rather read about guy stuff, you know, guns, cars, & etc. ...more
Ro Givens
Trigiani is brilliant with description - the food, the clothes, the scenery - and I really enjoyed this part (even if I can't stand Thomas Hardy!). And I loved the nuns. However, the storytelling and dialogue were a roller coaster of great to mediocre. Lots of telling, very little showing, conversations that were just awkward, and obvious plot movements. You have a line like "At long last, he understood his mother. The veneer had always been the thing that held her up." followed by "The surface ...more
The first thing you notice about Adriana Trigiani's newest novel, The Shoemaker's Wife, is the stunning cover. A gorgeous woman in a tangerine colored gown strikes a dramatic pose against a wallpapered print that evokes the beauty of an Italian village. The first time I saw it, it literally took my breath away.

I have read many of Trigiani's books, starting with the Big Stone Gap series, through the Valentine series, stand alone books like Rococco, and her non-fiction book about her grandmothers
Aug 19, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
“Beware the things of this world that can mean everything or nothing.”
Apr 02, 2012 rated it it was amazing
The Shoemaker’s Wife was actually my first Adriana Trigiani novel. I know, I know, I call myself a book nerd and I have never before read anything by this highly talented and bestselling author. I’m so terrible. But, honestly, none of her books seemed to grab my attention before, so I never made the plunge. The blurb for Shoemaker’s Wife, combined with the captivating cover, intrigued me. I just had to learn more. What I discovered was a delightful story that left me wanting to read more of Trig ...more
Joy D
Well-written, engrossing, substantial story about two Italians, Enza and Ciro, that immigrate separately to the United States. They first meet as teens in Italy and are reunited later in New York City. The story in Italy involves both of their families and some major episodes in their early lives. We see them travel, make friends, and establish themselves. The book is a family saga involving births, deaths, courtships, marriages, deep friendships, and all the hallmarks of a life.

The writing is
Oct 25, 2015 rated it really liked it
This is one of those historical fiction romance's that people either hate or love, depending on what side of historical truth and super detailed description, you happen to fall on. For me, I'm not a history buff so the lack of accuracy isn't a problem and if you've read any of my other reviews, you know I love well placed descriptive stokes. So 4 stars.

The author is committed to painting a pretty picture. So she manipulated things to make that happen. The title is a little perplexing. She isn't
Laurel Bradshaw
Caution: May contain spoilers!

I really loved this story. The author spent 20 years on it, and the historical detail is fascinating. Lots of description of clothing, food, and daily life, whether on the Iron Range of Minnesota or behind the scenes at the Metropolitan Opera with Enrico Caruso. It brings to life the lives of immigrants at the turn of the century and up through the 1930s. I really didn't want the story to end. I wish it had been made into a trilogy. The first half of the book was co
Marialyce (absltmom, yaya)
Jun 19, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: june-2012
I have to say I was very bored by what should have been a lovely story. I can't quite put my finger on why I felt this way, other than I thought the story to be long winded. The themes seemed to be revolving back and forth so that when the protagonists were not trying to come together, people were eating food. Not to say I do not love Italian food but the book seemed to be consumed (pardon the pun) with cooking and eating and drinking wine.

It was overly long and I thought the story could have be
Melissa Rose
Apr 25, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
“The Shoemaker’s Wife” was a buddy read that a friend of mine and I decided to do together. I had previously read the novel but was keen to read it again as I remember being quite partial to this particular work.

As it appears, I had forgotten just how gorgeous this book was. While it's true that the story can be bogged down with descriptions in some parts and the second half of the novel feels rushed through, the overall story is an adventure that is worth reading until the end; the detailed ima
Sheila DeChantal
Apr 04, 2012 rated it it was amazing
As if I did not already love Adriana's beautiful writing, she comes up with this breathtaking Historical Fiction novel that made my heart leap from the very first time I seen it! Cover, title, synopsis, all three captivated me and made me want to drop everything and read it right away.

As always Adriana writes characters so delightfully detailed and three-dimensional that I feel as though I would know them anywhere. Family also seems to play a large theme throughout Adriana's writing, something I
Shellie Zeigler
May 03, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: favorite-authors
I love this book! I just started reading it yesterday. I have loved Trigiani's Big Stone Gap Series. But this one may even beat that well-loved series. The characters are so vivid, and the plot threatens to break your heart. All I can say is this epic tale grabs you and refuses to let go. ...more
Dec 28, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: e-books, 2013-read
Purple prose monster alert:
purple monster photo: purple monster purple-monster.gif

This is the first paragraph:
The scalloped hem of Caterina Lazzari’s blue velvet coat grazed the fresh-fallen snow, leaving a pale pink path on the bricks as she walked across the empty piazza. The only sound was the soft, rhythmic sweep of her footsteps, like hands dusting flour across an old wooden cutting board.

And on and on the descriptions continue throughout the book. Some might call the book lush or descriptive, but for me it was just too much. Scenery detai
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Punta Gorda Page ...: My favorite book 1 18 Aug 02, 2017 10:26AM  

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Beloved by millions of readers around the world for her "dazzling" novels (USA Today), Adriana Trigiani is "a master of palpable and visual detail" (Washington Post) and "a comedy writer with a heart of gold" (New York Times). She is the New York Times bestselling author of twenty books of fiction and nonfiction, including her latest, The Good Left Undone- an instant New York Times best seller, Bo ...more

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