Enza and Ciro are both growing up in small villages in the Italian Alps. Although tied by their homeland, Enza and Ciro have dramatically different childhoods. Ciro and his brother had been abandoned at a convent by their mother after their father died in a coal mining accident in the states. The boys are distraught without their mother but quickly become adapted to the lifestyle of the convent. Meanwhile, Enza is the oldest daughter of a large family that is barely scraping by. Both she and Ciro are forced to emigrate to the states due to uncontrollable circumstances.
Enza and Ciro had met shortly before they each emigrated, although they spent many years in the US without seeing one another, except for a few random run ins. It is only in their mid twenties that the fates conspire and they come together.
The Shoemaker’s Wife follows the couple both before and after they get together and marry, and the difficulties of adjusting to life in another country is something they both must deal with throughout the entirety of the book.
Enza and Ciro are remarkable characters. They have minor flaws, which only make them more realistic, but more importantly their tenacity enables them to succeed in a life that is full of hardships and disappointments. I admired them both for the choices they made, although at times they made me shake my head in frustration as well, as despite their good qualities they were both overly stubborn as well!
I had never read anything by Trigiani before, nor had I any interest in doing so. I can’t say what it is, but something about her books has always struck me as a amateurish. I think it’s the covers, to be completely honest. I to tend to judge books by their covers, and it is not out of the realm of possibility for me to write off a book completely solely on the cover. The cover of The Shoemaker’s Wife is gorgeous, and once I read the synopsis I decided it was time to give into the masses and give Trigiani a chance. I am so glad I did! This book captivated me from the start and I was swept away by both the atmosphere as well as the love story between Ciro and Enza!
Adriana Trigiani is an award-winning playwright, television writer, and documentary filmmaker. The author of the Big Stone Gap series; Very Valentine; Lucia, Lucia, The Queen of the Big Time, and Rococo, she has also written the bestselling memoir Don’t Sing at the Table as well as the young adult novels Viola in Reel Life and Viola in the Spotlight. Her books have been published in thirty-six countries, and she has written and will direct the big-screen version of her first novel, Big Stone Gap. She lives in New York City with her husband and daughter.
Adriana’s Tour Stops
Monday, April 2nd: The Huffington Post
Tuesday, April 3rd: Book Journey
Wednesday, April 4th: Reading Lark
Thursday, April 5th: Life Is Short. Read Fast
Friday, April 6th: Amused By Books
Monday, April 9th: Literature and a Lens
Tuesday, April 10th: Book Dilettante
Wednesday, April 11th: Bibliosue
Thursday, April 12th: West Metro Mommy
Monday, April 16th: “That’s Swell!”
Tuesday, April 17th: Confessions of an Avid Reader
Wednesday, April 18th: Reviews by Lola
Monday, April 23rd: Peppermint PhD
Tuesday, April 24th: A Bookish Affair
Wednesday, April 25th: Knowing the Difference
Thursday, April 26th: Library of Clean Reads
Friday, April 27th: Books and Movies
Monday, April 30th: It’s a Crazy, Beautiful Life
Tuesday, May 1st: Walking With Nora
Wednesday, May 2nd: I’m Booking It
Thursday, May 3rd: The Adventures of an Intrepid Reader