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Very Valentine (Valentine #1)

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3.8  ·  Rating details ·  15,005 Ratings  ·  1,809 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 crafts

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Hardcover, 371 pages
Published February 3rd 2009 by Harper (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)

Community Reviews

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Anne
Jun 26, 2012 rated it did not like it
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.
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LadyCalico
Jan 17, 2010 rated it it was ok
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
Sarah
Feb 16, 2009 rated it it was ok
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
Mainon
Feb 14, 2012 rated it it was ok
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
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Kaye
Dec 30, 2008 rated it it was amazing
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
Cory
Mar 24, 2009 rated it it was ok
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
Denise
Aug 23, 2013 rated it really liked it
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
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Sarah Beth
Feb 26, 2009 rated it it was ok
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
Jeane
Jan 17, 2009 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
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Susie
Aug 05, 2012 rated it it was ok
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
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Scott
Feb 25, 2009 rated it it was amazing
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
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Julie
Jan 10, 2014 rated it it was amazing
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!
Colleen
May 02, 2010 rated it it was amazing
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
Mar 21, 2009 rated it did not like it
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
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Susan Dodd
Jan 07, 2010 rated it it was amazing
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
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Cheryl
Aug 08, 2014 rated it really liked it
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
Mandy
Feb 16, 2011 rated it really liked it
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 rated it did not like it
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!

Tara
Feb 04, 2010 added it
I couldn't get into it so I stopped reading it. Next!
Pari
Oh how I loved this book. The description of the shoes and the clothes and the air made me feel like I was actually there.
Only downer for me is the lack of well connected dialogues. They seemed detached to the character, but otherwise, everything else was sweet and amazing.
This was just the kind of book I needed after four back-to-back reread of The Mortal instruments series. It was enchanting and welcoming and very Valentine.
Regina
Apr 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I so enjoy listening to Miss Trigiani's books and Very Valentine was no different, but for one annoying exception: at strange intervals throughout the novel, a few bars of music plays which, to me at least, didn't fit the setting of the story at all.

This didn't detract from the story at all, and the narration is wonderful... The music is merely a minor distraction. Future listeners are now forewarned.
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
Susanhayeshotmail.com
Jun 11, 2017 rated it it was ok
Ohmagosh! Pages and pages and pages, way too many pages of way too much overly described stuff that barely moved along a pretty shallow story line. The only reason I slogged through to the end is because I was hanging out at a hospital with onky this in my bag so I forced myself. Gah. Avoiding any future Valentine offerings like The Plague.
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
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Jennifer
Sep 21, 2010 rated it liked it
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
Jan 22, 2009 added it
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
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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
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I'd So Rather Be Reading {Nat}
Dec 12, 2009 rated it really liked it
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
Feb 27, 2011 rated it really liked it
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
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Bobbi Woods
Aug 03, 2009 rated it it was ok
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
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Sinopsis en Español // Synopsis in Spanish 1 1 May 07, 2017 03:12PM  
Cranbury Public L...: Oct. 4 -Very Valentine by Adriana Trigiani 2 3 Sep 22, 2016 12:11PM  
Happy Valentines Day 1 4 Dec 22, 2015 04:54AM  
Round Lake Librar...: Romance book 1 5 Oct 14, 2013 04:57AM  
Madison Mega-Mara...: Very Valentine 1 3 Mar 08, 2012 06:47AM  
  • A Vintage Affair
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  • 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
9219
Beloved by millions of readers around the world for her “dazzling” novels, (USA Today) Adriana Trigiani is the New York Times bestselling author of seventeen books in fiction and nonfiction. She is published in 35 countries around the world.

Adriana is also a playwright, television writer/producer and filmmaker. “A comedy writer with a heart of gold,” (New York Times) Adriana is the award-winning d
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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.” 552 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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