Author: Adriana Trigiani
Publisher: Harper, November 2013
Format: Kindle via NetGalley
Source: Publisher via TLC Book Tours
My Rating: B
So many of my fellow Book Bloggers have been singing the praises of Adriana Trigiani for a long time. I finally decided to give this one a try. First, here is the summary from the publisher:
For over a hundred years, the Angelini Shoe Company in Greenwich Village has relied on the leather produced by Vechiarelli & Son in Tuscany. This historic business partnership provides the twist of fate for Valentine Roncalli, the school teacher turned shoemaker, to fall in love with Gianluca Vechiarelli, a tanner with a complex past . . . and a secret.
A piece of surprising news is revealed at The Feast of the Seven Fishes when Valentine and Gianluca join her extended family on a fateful Christmas Eve. Now faced with life altering choices, Valentine remembers the wise words that inspired her in the early days of her beloved Angelini Shoe Company: “A person who can build a pair of shoes can do just about anything.” The proud, passionate Valentine is going to fight for everything she wants and savor all she deserves—the bitter and the sweetness of life itself.
The Supreme Macaroni Company is Trigiani at her comedic and dramatic best, the inside story of a family business, and the shoemaker who carries on the tradition while juggling a new marriage and family. The pull between old world Italian ways and American ambition tear at Valentine, as a secret is revealed that changes the course of her life. The story takes the reader from the cobblestone streets of Greenwich Village, to lush New Orleans, and home to Italy, in Tuscany and on the Amalfi coast, with a surprise twist that takes the action to America’s rust belt, Youngstown, Ohio.
I’m not sure why this keeps happening to me but, I keep discovering the last book in a series and reading it before the rest of the series. Usually it doesn’t make a difference. In this book it did. I felt like I missed the important parts of the story that led up to The Supreme Macaroni Company.
As the story begins Valentine has just accepted a proposal of marriage. The rest of the novel is about the marriage and how they try to merge their two lives. Valentine is thirty-five and her new husband is in his fifties. They each have a business but in two different countries. It also seems they didn’t seriously work through how all of this would work prior to the wedding. Valentine is actually the one who won’t budge. Her company comes first before everything else. Fortunately, her husband is understanding.
For me, reading about the struggles of marriage is not as enjoyable as a good romance. In stories, at least, I like the imagined happy-ever-after. I know it would have been better if I’d read the previous two books.
There are, however, two things I really liked in this novel. One was all the family love and drama. Valentine has a huge Italian American family that does everything in blow-out fashion. It was great fun to be a part of their antics. The other thing I enjoyed was learning about the business side of the characters lives.
Adrianna Trigianni is an excellent writer. The word “rich” kept coming to my mind as I read. The author created a rich life for all her characters. I recommend this book to all readers who have read the first two books. If you haven’t read this series, start with Very Valentine and then read the second book Brava, Valentine.