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Very Valentine: A Novel (Valentine Trilogy Book 1) Kindle Edition
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- ASIN : B001NLL8I8
- Publisher : HarperCollins e-books; Illustrated edition (October 6, 2009)
- Publication date : October 6, 2009
- Language : English
- File size : 2284 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 578 pages
- Lending : Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #281,148 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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Unfortunately, the major characters weren’t treated properly. It seemed like maybe this book was over-edited, cutting out a lot of detail on the person who was supposed to be Valentine’s love interest. It felt like the relationship with Roman went from absolute zero to absolute love WAY too fast, and it turns out he was an unnecessary character anyway. One of my peeves is minor characters thrust into major roles. Roman does nothing to progress the story. If he was left out we would have known just as much about Valentine and Angelini Shoes, and we could have gotten to the end of the book with her successes intact. He was a distraction, and at the end I wondered why he was even in there. He was useless.
As for Valentine herself, on the first page (and on subsequent pages) the author goes out of her way to make sure we understand that she’s not the pretty one, not the smart one, but rather the funny one. The character was never funny. She seemed depressed and angry most of the time. Although those emotions worked for this character in this story, stop telling us she’s funny. She’s not. With as many men throwing themselves at her during the course of the book, it seems like she could pass for the pretty one. Or the sexy one. The character was set up to be something that the story didn’t bear out, so maybe the reader was supposed to take it on faith. Not a great idea in storytelling.
All that said, I would read another Valentine book. As stated earlier, there was a lot to like about Very Valentine. Pieces of the story were well told and the author does a fantastic job with descriptions of colors, shoes, and places. She also did very well with the actual minor characters and I really enjoyed those parts. With better editing and maybe some more time to hash out the odd / conflicting loose pieces, and another 100 pages to examine Roman as a real love interest and to develop the romantic story line, this book would be a 5/5.
From Greenwich Village in NY, to Italy, our heroine travels to save a 100+ year old custom shoe business that she runs with her grandmother. They are part of a large Italian family which the author accurately captures in each character she creates. Everything she describes rings true.
In short, this is a well written book that will charm you enough to do what I am now doing: I am going to search for more of Adriana Trigiani’s books in hopes that they will be as delightful as “Very “ Valentine”.
Yet, even Valentine's romance is something more than readers might expect. Valentine deals with some real issues about balancing her career, her boyfriend's career, and their relationship. Her struggles are realistic and well conveyed by Trigiani.
About halfway through this book, the action moves to Italy and here is where things became a bit dreamy for me. I love Italiy and Trigiani has a real knack for bringing it to life for the reader. I loved Trigiani's voice and descriptions of Arezzo and Capri--the later I once visited as a young teenager and now am itching to revisit!
I will admit that my enjoyment of this book was hampered a bit, though no fault of the book. Very Valentine is the first in the trilogy and I recently read the final book, The Supreme Macaroni Company, without knowing that it finished this trilogy. Thus, I went through this book already knowing how Valentine and the rest of the characters would end up. But, as I said, I can only blame that on my own ignorance.
Very Valentine is a lighter read--which is perfect if you are looking for something purely entertaining, but not fluffy. I heartily recommend it and will be starting part two, Brava, Valentine, very soon!
However if you want a wonderful Adriana book, read the Shoemaker’s Wife!!!!!! I don’t re-read books ever but that is one I would!!
I doubt I will finish this trilogy though.
Top reviews from other countries
Two things made me want to dislike this book. First, as a European, it annoys me when Americans call themselves Italians. Italians are Italians. They come from Italy.
Second, we are past 10% into the book before an initiating event occurs that starts the story moving. That’s 10% of the book that is pure introduction, exposition and wondering if something is going to happen soon.
I'm telling you this so you know Trigiani won me over in spite of all this.
The Italian American problem didn’t matter so much because Trigiani is able to vividly reproduce this American subculture with writing that is both beautiful and funny. Thus 10% of the book being exposition feels like having dinner with someone delightful sharing stories about a family wedding. It doesn’t matter what I think about American’s imagining they’re Italians – Trigiani shows us what this means to them and how it permeates their lives.
As for the romance, this is a love story between Valentine and her dream – making shoes - as much as it is Valentine and Roman. As her relationships help her discover more about herself, you’ll join a journey of self-discover and self-affirmation delightfully positive and real. The research into shoemaking is top notch and Trigiani writes this so well it fascinates
I rather miss Valentine now the book is finished – although this is the first of a trilogy so I can always find out what happens next. But this book was satisfying, complete, and human. I wouldn’t hesitate to read more of this author’s work
A truly superb pair of books,