13 of 17 people found the following review helpful
The Power of Family in Good Times and Bad,
This review is from: The Supreme Macaroni Company: A Novel (Hardcover)
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***this review is based upon a pre-publication, unedited copy of the book***
Gianluca Vechiarelli proposes to Valentine on the roof of the Angelini Shoe Company in Greenwich Village on Christmas Eve. The hardworking, ambitious, imperfect thirty six year old shoe designer accepts; "A shoemaker would marry a tanner. This could work." Of course, being Valentine, she begins to fret immediately, because her calm, loyal, traditional fiancé... who happens to be much older and the son of her grandmother's husband... insists they immediately tell her family at their annual Christmas Eve gathering of the Feast of the Seven Fishes. Thus, Gianluca is thrust into the heart of a flamboyant, often loud, funny, somewhat crazy mix of characters in a large, American-Italian family at the holidays.
It's the family that carries Adriana Trigiani's novel, "The Supreme Macaroni Factory" from the first chapter through the last. Readers of all backgrounds will relate to the family squabbles, outspoken opinions, and occasionally overwhelming involvement in the couple's life. NO spoilers here, but the cast of characters alone kept me turning pages.
That said, and I know this isn't going to be a popular opinion among Trigiani's fans, I had a difficult time wrapping my brain around Valentine in this book. She is, at its beginning, a successful business woman who is (or should be) no longer young and naïve, and this isn't her first romance. In earlier books in the series, she's grown, developed... matured.
Why then would she imagine marriage isn't going to change her life? Why wouldn't she think about critical issues, like whether Gianluca expects to return with her to his life in Italy (where his business happens to be), or settle into hers in New York? Why would she not ask about his first marriage? Given Valentine is a self-proclaimed worrier who over analyzes on a daily basis, it doesn't fit that she'd have an almost child-like ignorance about such weighty matters. As a reader, I actually groaned a number of times while reading "The Supreme Macaroni Company". Most readers want to connect to the main character, particularly in a series. Valentine's family and Gianluca helped prevent this book from being a disappointment. Just my personal opinion.