Review: Very Valentine

Very Valentine by Adriana Trigiani
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Pub. Date: February 2009
ISBN-13: 9780061257056

My thoughts:

I have a confession to make. I’m a bit of a book snob. I have a tendency to reach for chunksters that deal with seriously heavy subject matter. It’s like exercise for my brain. However, when Jennifer over at Book Club Girl announced a Blog Talk show with Adriana Trigiani, I had to participate. First off, I love the shows that Book Club Girl hosts. Secondly, I figured I would step outside of my box a bit and try a book that I would never have picked up on my own.

I’m so glad I did.

Reading this book was like taking a vacation without leaving the comfort of my home. The story takes us to Greenwich Village where Valentine works as a cobbler, for a shoe company that she runs with her Gram. The workplace also happens to be her home as the building is situated with living space on top and even includes a beautiful rooftop garden. Trigiani takes much care to describe the environment to the reader. The smell of the leather, the oils used to keep them supple, etc. As I was reading about the shoe designs, I could SEE them in my mind as they were painted so vividly upon the page. I really enjoyed the descriptive detail.

Valentine, who is the only single sister left in a large Italian family, meets Roman Falconi. He’s a chef for an up and coming restaurant in a very trendy neighborhood. Much of their time together is spent in his restaurant. He shares his passion for cooking by preparing exquisite meals for them to enjoy together. Reading these sections was like indulging in a decadent meal but without the guilt! As good as it is though, Valentine begins to question if their relationship can make it.

At the same time, Gram reveals to Valentine that the business is not doing so well, and its fate suddenly falls on Valentine to save it. In an attempt to do so, Valentine and Gram decide to design a custom shoe to submit to a big department store in the hopes of revitalizing the brand. They head to Arezzo, located in the south-east end of Tuscany to search for the materials needed, and while there, Valentine learns of a secret that her Gram has been hiding for nearly a decade.

I don’t want to share too much more of the plot but I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I loved the “big family” aspect and that all the women were so strong yet vulnerable at the same time. As I was reading this book it reminded me of two movies: My Big Fat Greek Wedding (2002) and Only You (1994). If you’ve seen these movies and enjoyed them, you will definitely enjoy Very Valentine.

Guess what? Very Valentine is the first book in a trilogy! I’m so looking forward to reading the other two novels as I really adored the characters and can’t wait to find out what Trigiani has planned for them. If you shy away from traditional chick lit, give this book a try. It’s much more than a boy-meets-girl type of story. I think you will enjoy it.

If you’d like to learn more about Adriana Trigiani, click here.
To listen to Book Club Girl’s Blog Talk show with Adriana Trigiani click here.

10 thoughts on “Review: Very Valentine”

  1. This one does sound like a good book. I’ve only read one of Trigiani’s books but I enjoyed it. It kind of made me feel like this one was for you–a little vacation in the comfort of your own home. I think the one I read was Queen of the Big Time.

  2. Fabulous review for a fabulous book. I loved every word in it. Trigiani does such an excellent job in her descriptions, I too felt like I was in Italy or the shoe shop or the kitchen. If you have never read her books before this one, I would highly recommend Lucia, Lucia.

  3. I love Adriana Trigiani’s work. You’ve got to read some of her older books now that you’ve had a taste of her writing.

  4. I have a couple of Trigiani’s books on my TBR shelf, but I haven’t yet read them. I am glad you enjoyed this one, Ti.

  5. I’m glad you enjoyed it. I’ve found that when I step out of my usual genres that I’ll find great books I would have missed otherwise. I’ve heard a lot of good things about this one, and I’ll have to keep it in mind once I get that TBR pile under control.

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