There are so many wonderful things about VERY VALENTINE by Adriana Trigiani but the best is that it is the first book of a trilogy so there will more of these delightful characters and the wonderful story to look forward to. New York Times bestselling author Adriana Trigiani who brought readers books like BIG STONE GAP and LUCIA, LUCIA has combined all the narrative elements so expertly once again that VERY VALENTINE results in what will surely become her fans’ newest favorite novel.
Set partially in New York’s Greenwich Village, home to the Angelini Shoe Company-“Since 1903”, and across the sea to Tuscany and Capri where secrets of more than one kind are revealed, Valentine Roncalli is a thirty-three year old former teacher who has become an apprentice shoemaker. Quite a switch one might say until they realize that Valentine lives with her grandmother, Teodora Angelini, whose family has created one-of-a-kind, custom made wedding shoes since the early 1900’s. Valentine has inherited the talent, enthusiasm, and dedication the family business needs in order to carry on its rich tradition. Unfortunately, the tradition may be rich, but the company is struggling. Grandmother Teodora and Angelini Shoes are on the verge of bankruptcy due to improper handling of financial matters, and Valentine’s business loving, somewhat merciless brother is trying to get his grandmother to sell the property which would mean the end of Angelini Shoes.
Valentine fiercely opposes selling the business and when an opportunity to enter a design challenge that could save their company comes along, she attacks it head on. Designing THE shoe for the competition becomes a priority to Valentine. Part of the trip to Italy with her grandmother is to get materials and ideas for the show to win the competition. This however is only one part of this expansive, delightful family saga and love story.
The interaction and family drama within Valentine’s family range from a beloved father who is diagnosed with a life-threatening illness to the picky relationships between brothers, sisters, parents, and in-laws. But what would this story be without the love element? Yes, Valentine tries to balance a deepening relationship with an amazingly talented Italian chef, Roman Falconi, with her work and her family obligations. Theirs is a slowly developing relationship that begins in a very unusual way which seems to be a common thread in the way things go between Valentine and Roman. Just when things are going well with the two of them, one or the other allows their dedication to their work, which is probably their real passion, to take over.