Wednesday, 3 September 2014

Very Valentine by Adriana Trigiani

Ok – I’m back! Back reviewing for the start of autumn 2014… and I’m not sure how regularly, or that I’ll review everything that I read. But I promise to be concise and honest and pithy and HERE on!


It’s been a funny summer of reading. Lots of new, lots of Beach House books that have been waiting for my attention. Lots of actual books, lots of ebooks and – most recently – I’ve been rediscovering the joy of unabridged audio. Which is how I experienced this novel…


I have read almost everything I’ve read by Adriana Trigiani, after discovering her first book in 2002. I think I’ve read almost everything up to and including this one, from a couple of years ago. Her Italian-American family sagas are bustling with lively characters and sub-plots, and then lavish with descriptive passages about food, clothes, sex and shoes. The characters get more numerous and noisome and the description gets more lavish and lengthy as the books go on.

I listened to this one – about a lovelorn shoemaker in Greenwich village – on unabridged audio and I think Trigiani’s writing is even funnier and warmer when listened to. The sumptuous details vie amusingly for air time with the more earthy wit of her secondary characters (especially the marvelous mother and father.) As ever, the trip to Italy at the heart of the book is a highpoint. Was it just me, though, or is our heroine Valentine just a little bit too spoiled and selfish to gain our complete readerly affection..?

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