Title: Very Valentine: A Novel
Author: Adriana Trigiani
Release Date: January 31, 2009
Genre: Women’s Fiction
Source: Personal Copy
Rating: 4 out of 5
Valentine Roncalli works in New York City at her family’s shoe shop, Angelini Shoes. Along with her grandmother, Valentine makes custom wedding shoes for brides. Their business isn’t large (after all, handmade shoes are impossible to mass-produce), but Valentine loves the work and feels that she was made to do this job.
However, Valentine is shocked to discover that her family’s company is in deep debt, and that they are in danger of losing the company. She makes the decision to find a way to save her family’s company, and thus embarks on a journey to discover life, love, and above all, shoes.
I’ve been hearing a lot about Adriana Trigiani’s Very Valentine ever since it came out, and after reading it, I know why. Trigiani has created an appealing and lovable main character in Valentine. Though she does have a dream job, it’s easy to identify with her hopes and fears. She is very well written and will easily be able to carry the Valentine series.
One of the highlights of Very Valentine was being able to learn about the world of custom made shoes. It’s wonderful enough to read the descriptions of how Valentine works with customers in order to make their dream shoes, but when she goes to Italy to look for material, it’s simply amazing. Trigiani did an excellent job balancing the smallest details with the need to keep the novel moving at a swift pace.
The secondary characters in Very Valentine are interesting, but weren’t as well explored as I would have hoped. Roman is the character the reader gets to know the best, and he’s definitely a likable guy (though realistically flawed). Still, Valentine’s huge Italian family is great and really provides a colorful cast of characters for the novel.
Very Valentine was a fun, modern novel about a strong and capable woman. I highly recommend it for any fans of women’s fiction, and I can’t wait to read the next book in the series, Brava Valentine!