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Brava, Valentine: A Novel Hardcover – February 9, 2010

459 customer reviews
Book 2 of 3 in the Valentine Trilogy Series

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Trigiani's sequel to Very Valentine is a sweet second act for shoemaker and designer Valentine Roncalli. Val takes over the New York family-run shoe business with feet-of-clay older brother, Alfred; falls for the dashing, older Gianluca in Italy; and takes a business risk in South America, where she unearths a dusty chapter of family history. There are plenty of picturesque globe-trotting adventures in Tuscany, Manhattan, and Buenos Aires, and, for artistic and independent Val, a grown-up commitment evolves. There is no art without love. Only love can open someone up to the possibilities of living and creating art, Val writes to the wary Gianluca. And the startling twist of family history finally challenges an old-fashioned, insular clan to join the modern world. But it's always the endearing, unnerving and rowdy Roncallis who steal the show. Look for a heartbreaking exit of one beloved character, and a cliffhanger breakup in this charming valentine to love, forgiveness, and family. (Feb.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Valentine Roncalli, shoe designer for the family-owned, New York-based Angelini Shoe Company, is entering a rough patch. Her grandmother has found true love, uprooted herself, and moved to Italy, leaving the specialty shoe business to Valentine and her contentious financial whiz of a brother, Alfred. Along with the care and handling of their large, loud Italian family. When a business venture brings Valentine to Buenos Aires to meet a distant cousin who also owns a shoe factory, she’s in for a surprise: her cousin is black. Valentine’s great-grandfather had split with his brother, and nobody knew why until now. The discovery of this long-buried secret stuns the entire family, who must now try to heal the breach. Family is family, after all. Trigiani’s exciting sequel to Very Valentine (2009), and the second book in a trilogy about Valentine and her family, is a vibrant, warm story about family ties, duty, and love. --Hilary Hatton

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Product Details

  • Series: Valentine
  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Harper; 1 edition (February 9, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061257079
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061257070
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (459 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #692,910 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Adriana Trigiani is beloved by millions of readers around the world for fifteen bestsellers, including the blockbuster epic The Shoemaker's Wife; the Big Stone Gap series; Lucia, Lucia; the Valentine series; the Viola series for young adults and the bestselling memoir Don't Sing at the Table. She is the award-winning filmmaker of the documentary Queens of the Big Time. Trigiani wrote and directed the major motion picture Big Stone Gap, based on her debut novel and filmed entirely on location in her Virginia hometown, to be released nationwide in the fall of 2015. She lives in Greenwich Village with her family.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

73 of 79 people found the following review helpful By BeachReader on February 9, 2010
Format: Hardcover
I was so glad to be able to spend more time with Valentine Roncalli as she took
over the family's Angelini shoe business alongside her brother Alfred. Sparks
fly as these two, who are like oil and water, attempt to merge their very
different styles.

Encouraged by her former fiance, Bret, now a financier, Valentine decides to
embark on a new venture.

The book starts off with a wedding in Italy where Valentine re-encounters the
dashing Gianluca, but a long-distance romance seems fruitless. Returning to NY,
Valentine discovers that a branch of the family is in Buenos Aires and takes off
for there, where she has a couple of surprises waiting.

Trigiana is a clever writer, especially good with family scenes and
relationships. She accurately portrays the humor and pathos in families with
well-drawn characters who ring so true. And I love the historical info about Greenwich Village.

The book is full of life and love and is very appealing. Brava, Adriana Trigiani for another winner!
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29 of 32 people found the following review helpful By Sienacrazy on February 9, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Outstanding Adriana!!!!

This new book is great and I totally loved it!!!! I love Val and I really relate to her (as a 40 year old single Italian American New York Girl!). This book was really a pleasure to read. It made me laugh and cry! And it brought back so many memories of my own childhood. I am listening to the Sinatra as I type! I loved the romantic interest in the book and was I surprised by how things developed during the story. And Gianluca getting off the plane in JFK!!! Say no more! I was head over heals!!!! I want to live on Perry Street and work in the shoe factory!!! I can't wait to read the next installment. Great series!!!! And I absolutely love Gabriel! He had me rolling! And her dad, Dutch too! And Val's relationship with her Gram is priceless. Adriana has brought back so many memories to me of my own Grandmother who I was lucky to have in my life for 32 years. Outstanding book!!!! Everyone should read this series!!!!!
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17 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Mary VINE VOICE on February 9, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Brava, Valentine begins on a day filled with happiness in Tuscany. The sparkling snow that falls reflects the spirit of the Roncalli/Angelini family. Their beloved matriarch Teodora is marrying Dominic Vechiarelli. The octogenarians kept their relationship a secret for many years but finally decided to marry. Adriana Trigiani had me laughing at the family antics as they prepare for the wedding. Dominic's son is at the wedding. Gianluca Vechiarelli made quite an impression on Valentine on her last trip to Italy (Very Valentine). She definitely feels something for him when she sees him at the church but things don't go as she would hope. From the reception on, surprises seem to come at her full force. Life is changing.

Teodora will live with her new husband in Italy while Valentine takes the reins at the Angelini Shoe Company back in Greenwich Village. There are challenges to be faced: a new business partner; a long-time employee who hints at retiring; the need for a business loan to launch a new shoe line; a possible new branch on the family tree to check out; and a long-distance romance. Valentine is full of energy and up to the challenges at work but something is missing in her life. Gianluca (17 years her senior) is very interested in her as she is in him yet how can they make it work? He is in Italy and she is across the Atlantic. He sends romantic letters that get her attention but can she possibly be the woman he seems to idolize?

Trigiani takes the reader to Italy, New York, and Buenos Aires. I loved the descriptions of the different locations. It was also fun to read about Valentine's friend and new roomie Gabriel as he redecorated the living space above the shoe company. The rooftop garden never looked so good! I also enjoyed the descriptions of shoe design and manufacturing.

This is a very romantic book - I loved it. I can't wait for the next book in this wonderful series.

Brava, Adriana Trigiani.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on April 27, 2010
Format: Hardcover
I enjoyed this book overall, even though I hadn't read the first entry in the trilogy (I'm going to get it now). I laughed out loud several times, especially during the family scenes in the beginning. Trigiani has developed some great characters among Valentine's friends and family, and the dialogue rang so true that I felt I could hear their voices. While the family stuff is entertaining and rich, the love story got short shrift. The romance starts out well, but falls flat later in the book. Valentine spends so little time with her suitor, Gianluca, that I was not convinced that the two know each other well enough to fall in love or to effectively resolve their differences. Many of the scenes between them (particularly toward the latter third) felt rushed, and Trigiani seemed to be telling more than showing as a result. Perhaps because the story is divided across three books, this book felt unfinished and the romance only half-developed. I am looking forward to the third book, however, to see how Trigiani wraps up Valentine's story. I liked Valentine very much and was rooting for her and Gianluca, but I wanted their relationship to be more fully developed, so I'd give this book 3.5 stars if I could. Definitely worth picking up, but not quite the knockout read I was hoping for.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Diana Faillace Von Behren TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on June 28, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
After reading the first book of this trilogy, I was charmed by the author's ability to depict an Italian American family with such nuance, both comedic and tragic. "Very Valentine: A Novel" humorously portrays a thirty-something woman's angst about recognizing and accepting her ranking of priorities; she juggles career, passion and love while maintaining a strong tie to her large close-knit family.

However, in "Brava, Valentine," the same lead character and narrator Valentine seems a bit less on the mark than she did in the first book or perhaps the scenarios presented by author Trigiani come across as a little too over the top even for the hard-living, take-a-big-bite-out-of-life Roncalli clan to be considered representative of true-life everyday issues for the quintessential Italian American tribe. In the same way that the Italian Americans on "The Real Housewives of New Jersey: Season One" mispronounce words, overdress garishly, pull each other's hair and scatter the "f" bomb at the dining room table during a Thanksgiving feast, Valentine and her family seem to define "small world" from an equally negative vantage point. Author Trigiani attempts to show the farcical side of family dealings, Italian style--that is with no Mafia intonations, just real hard-working people jumping off the springboard of assimilating their world view into the broader open-ended pool of American life.
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