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Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Very Valentine by Adriana Trigiani


My husband and I went to New York City last June to celebrate our 25th anniversary, which was actually in August. He had been there many times for work but it was my first time in the Big Apple and I loved it! We walked around as much as my bad ankle would let me, did the touristy bus thing, saw a couple of shows, and just had a great time!

Very Valentine took me right back to Manhattan. I loved that! I could actually picture the streets of Manhattan.

Ms. Trigiani did a terrific job of describing the lives of an Italian American family in New York. I think I was talking like them by the time I finished reading the book. The fun part is that she gets very descriptive about the food, ohhh I was drooling and dying for some good Italian food! She is also very descriptive about clothes, but mostly the shoes that they make in their shop. This is definitely chick lit, men would hate this book.

The book opens with Valentine Roncalli, the funnyone as she is known as compared to her sisters the smartone and the prettyone, attending her sister's wedding. It's pretty funny! She makes not only the main characters alive and interesting but the minor ones are just as complete.

Valentine is 33 years old, the only child in her family not married, and is trying to figure out just what she wants from life. She works with her Gram in the family business making custom wedding shoes. When she discovers that the business is having financial problems, her life comes more into focus. She realizes just how much she loves it.

About this time her love life gets more interesting. She meets the owner of a new Italian restaurant-yes! more food discussions! They are both so busy with work that the relationship flounders. She goes off to Italy on a buying trip for the business and they make plans to meet on the Isle of Capri when she is done. He calls at the last minute to say that he isn't able to make it due to work, she is very angry but able to ponder more about what she wants from life, her job, and her boyfriend. It doesn't hurt that she is on the Isle of Capri with a gorgeous Italian man to take her sightseeing, and with the opportunity to learn more about shoemaking!

I thought that this book would be all fluff so I was pleasantly surprised at the depth to it! Not only did I learn more about shoemaking (which was really fun) but Valentine's mother and grandmother give some priceless advice about relationships and dealing with disappointment. I also loved all the funny little comments the author makes and humorous observations about life, people, relationships, movie references, everything! Apparently this is the first of a trilogy, the ending that isn't quite complete makes that obvious. I look forward to the next one and plan on reading some of her other books. Yippee, a good one!

I loved this book!

Written with very few obscenities and no violence, this book is really very clean. There is some sex in it. She sleeps with her boyfriend but we aren't treated to lengthy descriptions of it. She saves that for the shoes! There is another character that discusses some of her exploits but not to any great degree. If you let your young teenager read this you may want to have a discussion about those things. Rated PG-13.
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