Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Other Sellers on Amazon
+ $3.99 shipping
+ $3.99 shipping
+ $3.99 shipping
The Shoemaker's Wife: A Novel Paperback – Deckle Edge, August 21, 2012
|New from||Used from|
This month's Book With Buzz: "Little Fires Everywhere" by Celeste Ng
From the bestselling author of Everything I Never Told You, a riveting novel that traces the intertwined fates of the picture - perfect Richardson family and the enigmatic mother and daughter who upend their lives. See more
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
Kathryn Stockett Interviews Adriana Trigiani
Kathryn Stockett was born and raised in Jackson, Mississippi. After graduating from the University of Alabama with a degree in English and Creative Writing, she moved to New York City, where she worked in magazine publishing and marketing for nine years. The Help is her first novel.
Kathryn Stockett: This is by far your most epic novel to date. How long did it take you to write The Shoemaker’s Wife?
Adriana Trigiani: I worked on this story for over 20 years as I wrote scripts and novels and had my own family. There are scraps of paper, dinner napkins, and bills with timelines and notes scrawled across them. There are old notebooks filled with my grandmother’s musings from 1985. I collected train tickets, copies of ships’ manifests, and a silk tag with my grandmother’s name from garments she had created. I traveled as far as the Italian Alps and as close as the few blocks it takes me to walk to Little Italy in New York City to capture the historical aspects of the story. All of this went into the novel. It was a delicious gestation period.
Stockett: This is a novel, but it is inspired by a true story—a family story, right?
Trigiani: Yes—my grandparents, Lucia and Carlo. Their love was a dance with fate. It is riddled with near misses against a landscape of such massive world events that it’s a wonder they got together at all. My challenge was to present their world to the reader so it might feel it was happening in the moment. I wanted the reader to have the experience I had when stories were told to me by the woman who lived them.
Stockett: The novel takes place during the first half of the twentieth century--what is so compelling about this period of time to you?
Trigiani: The cusp of the twentieth century was a time everything was new—cars, phones, planes, electricity, even sportswear, and in each innovation was a kind of explosive potential. No one could predict where all the inventions would lead, people only knew that change was unavoidable.
My grandparents were delighted every time America presented them with something they had never seen before. And my grandparents’ sense of wonder never left them, so I tried not to let it leave the page, be it a cross-country train ride or the first snap of the bobbin on an electric Singer sewing machine.
Stockett: Through the remarkable story of Enza and Ciro, your novel tells the larger story of the immigrant experience in America.
Trigiani: What a gift immigrants were and are to this country! They bring their talents and loyalty and make our country even greater. My grandparents were proud to be new Americans. Assimilation was not about copying an American ideal, but aspiring to their own version of it. The highest compliment you could pay a fellow immigrant was: he (or she) was a hard worker. I hear the phrase work like an immigrant said, but really, it’s bigger than that—we must also dream like immigrants.
Stockett: The Shoemaker’s Wife seamlessly brings together fictional characters and historical figures—how did the wonderful Caruso enter the novel?
Trigiani: It started with a three-foot stack of vinyl records—my grandmother Lucia’s collection of Caruso. Her absolute devotion to The Great Voice lasted her whole life long. I knew, in order to write this novel, I had to fall in love with Caruso too, because he sang the score of my grandparents’ love affair.
When Lucia passed, I went to my first opera, seeking understanding and comfort. As the music washed over me, I began to understand why my grandmother was such a fan. The words were Italian, and the emotions were big; nothing was left unexpressed in the music. If only life were that way.--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
“Within the pages of this novel, Trigiani’s 10th, is a gloriously romantic yet sensible world that seamlessly blends practicality and beauty…built around the staggering cultural and social changes the war years swept in…. Trigiani’s very best…exquisite writing and a story enriched by the power of abiding love.” (USA Today)
“I’ve always loved reading Trigiani, but [this] is something totally new and completely wonderful: a rich, sweeping epic which tells the story of the women and men who built America dream by dream. If you’re meeting her work for the first time, get ready for a lifelong love affair. Splendid.” (Kathryn Stockett, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Help)
“The breathtaking… historical novel sparkles in exquisite details and vivid descriptions.” (Huffington Post)
“[A] great read….Bella.” (People)
“Pure pleasure . . . full-bodied and elegantly written.” (Washington Post Book World)
“You’ll have trouble putting this novel down.” (Richmond Times-Dispatch)
“The novel is a sweeping epic, but at its heart, it’s a love story. It speaks to an era of possibilities.” (Providence Journal)
“Trigiani’s page-turning newest… is a sweeping saga… More than an epic romance, Trigiani’s work pays homage to the tribulations of the immigrant experience, and the love that makes the journey and hardships worthwhile.” (Publishers Weekly)
“This expansive epic, which seems tailor-made for a miniseries, manages to feel both old-fashioned and thoroughly contemporary…[an] irresistible love story.” (Booklist)
“Trigiani’s gift for using vivid details to create a strong sense of place and her warm affection for her characters will make this a satisfying read for her many fans.” (Library Journal)
…an old-fashioned, romantic tale of two star-tangled lovers...but also a paean to artisanal work, food, friendship and family…Trigiani is a master of palpable and visual detail. (Washington Post)
Top customer reviews
One thing that was a bit irksome about this book is that there are some discrepancies that (in my opinion) should have been picked up in editing. Like the difference between the Balkans and the Baltic (i.e. the Serbian girls that the author refers to as "Baltic beauties", it should be "Balkan beauties"); the questionably estimated travel time for trans-Atlantic ship travel, the fact that the author refers to the son as a Army soldier after describing him wearing a "crisp white uniform" (wouldn't that mean he was in the Navy? The Army doesn't wear dress whites) Just weird stuff like that.
Other than the odd discrepancies, it was overall a heartwarming read.
Another tiresome element was the authors need to describe in detail every taste, sight, sound and smell in every single scene. I know atmospheric writing but this verged on annoying sometimes. Aside from those things this really is a lovely story of love lost and then found and its inspired by the authors own grandparents which is special. I just wished the characters were more fleshed out and more time was spent really getting to know them.
I found myself coming up with alternative plot lines. I imagined that A. Enza had chosen Vito, who seemed to be smart, devoted and a perfectly nice guy. Or perhaps B., Enza and Ciro married, Ciro learned to make women's shoes and rose to the heights of Salvatore Ferragamo. Now THERE'S a saga.
Basically, it was downhill for Enza after she chose Ciro. Even her boringly perfect son and his tacked on fate couldn't redeem the story. Bad, just BAD.
But like millions of others they became Americans as they worked hard toward their goal. Children were born, marriages took place, and before you know it you are surrounded by their own family.
Adriana is a gifted writer. Each of her books that I've read have been compelling. I always hate to say goodbye to the characters.