The Shoemaker’s Wife by Adriana Trigiani
Format: Paperback, 470 pages
First Line: The scalloped hem on 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.
From the inside cover: The fateful first meeting of Enza and Ciro takes place amid the haunting majesty of the Italian Alps at the turn of the last century. Still teenagers, they are separated when Ciro is banished from his village and sent to hide in New York’s Little Italy, apprenticed to a shoemaker, leaving a bereft Enza behind. But when her own family faces disaster, she, too, is forced to emigrate to America. Though destiny will reunite the star-crossed lovers, it will, just as abruptly, separate them once again- sending Ciro off to serve in World War I, while Enza is drawn into the glamorous world of the opera…and into the life of the international singing sensation Enrico Caruso. Still, Enza and Ciro have been touched by fate- and, ultimately, the power of their love will change their lives forever.
A riveting historical epic of love and family, war and loss, risk and destiny, inspired by the author’s own family history, The Shoemaker’s Wife is the novel Adriana Trigiani was born to write.
My Thoughts: This book enveloped me from the moment I turned to the first page. It was my first time reading Trigiani and I had a hard time putting it down from beginning to end. The characters are so relatable and captivating. They give off a sense of realness, like you have known them before. The story follows the love story of Ciro Lazzari and Enza Ravanelli through their childhood struggles, heartaches, immigration to American, the Great War, illness, and new beginnings.
Ciro and Enza fall in love from the moment they meet at age fifteen. They are torn apart when Ciro is forced to emigrate to American and work as an apprentice to a shoemaker where he learns a new trade that he thoroughly enjoys and will later become his profession. Enza chooses to go to America with her father to make a better life for their family but falls ill on the voyage over seas. Ciro and Enza are reunited when Ciro runs into Enza and her father, Marco, at the hospital. They are broken up and reunited by fate several times throughout the story, but after serving America in the war, Ciro comes back ready to steal Enza’s heart once and for all, by making her his. Once he arrives home, he realizes he is almost too late when he hears Enza is about to be married to another man. He finds her in the nick of time and makes her his. They decide to move to Minnesota with friends, Luigi and Pappina, to be shoemakers and create a new life with each other. Will they ever make it back to their mountain in Italy? You will have to read for yourself.
If you like historical fiction, and romance novels, this book is for you. It was an enjoyable read for me. I loved hearing a piece of history and it intrigues me how our ancestors immigrated to America and all the hardships they went through to build this beautiful country that we so often take for granted. I give this book 5 stars and think you should all add it to your reading list. I am a new fan of Adriana Trigiani and thank her for sharing this story so close to her heart and letting us in to her family history.
(I purchased this book)