Sunday, March 17, 2013

Audio Review: The Shoemaker's Wife by Adriana Trigiani

The majestic and haunting beauty of the Italian Alps is the setting of the first meeting of Enza, a practical beauty, and Ciro, a strapping mountain boy, who meet as teenagers, despite growing up in villages just a few miles apart. At the turn of the last century, when Ciro catches the local priest in a scandal, he is banished from his village and sent to hide in America as an apprentice to a shoemaker in Little Italy. Without explanation, he leaves a bereft Enza behind. Soon, Enza's family faces disaster and she, too, is forced to go to America with her father to secure their future.

Unbeknownst to one another, they both build fledgling lives in America, Ciro masters shoemaking and Enza takes a factory job in Hoboken until fate intervenes and reunites them. But it is too late: Ciro has volunteered to serve in World War I and Enza, determined to forge a life without him, begins her impressive career as a seamstress at the Metropolitan Opera House that will sweep her into the glamorous salons of Manhattan and into the life of the international singing sensation, Enrico Caruso. 

From the stately mansions of Carnegie Hill, to the cobblestone streets of Little Italy, over the perilous cliffs of northern Italy, to the white-capped lakes of northern Minnesota, these star-crossed lovers meet and separate, until, finally, the power of their love changes both of their lives forever. 

Lush and evocative, told in tantalizing detail and enriched with lovable, unforgettable characters, The Shoemaker's Wife is a portrait of the times, the places and the people who defined the immigrant experience, claiming their portion of the American dream with ambition and resolve, cutting it to fit their needs like the finest Italian silk.

This riveting historical epic of love and family, war and loss, risk and destiny is the novel Adriana Trigiani was born to write, one inspired by her own family history and the love of tradition that has propelled her body of bestselling novels to international acclaim. Like Lucia, Lucia, The Shoemaker's Wife defines an era with clarity and splendor, with operatic scope and a vivid cast of characters who will live on in the imaginations of readers for years to come. (Goodreads)

I started this audio book right after I finished 11/22/63 by Stephen King. I knew I would need a favorite author of mine to pull me out of the spell of that story. The Shoemaker's Wife has now left a void of its own. I had an ARC of this from some time ago and started reading it but never finished. Who knows why? Too many books going? Too busy? Whatever. I am so glad the story came to me in any way shape or form. It was absolutely splendid. I have not read any of Trigiani's Big Stone books just her Valentine novels about an Italian-American family. Oh how beautiful a story she tells. Her Italian roots comes across so vividly in The Shoemaker's Wife as it did in her Valentine novels.

I just melted when she would describe the mountains of Northern Italy or the gnocchi the family made or the Opera music that was played. It was all so vivid and enticing. Annabella Sciorra begins the narration as Enza. The second part of the audio is narrated by Adriana Trigiani herself as Ciro. Both have vastly different voices and though I loved Sciorra instantly, it took me some time to like Trigiani's voice. After a few discs, I grew to appreciate her voice and could really tell she was incredibly close to the characters she created.

Ciro and Enza's love story is one I wish I could relive. Fortunate at times and heartbreaking at others, their story is real and relatable. I highly recommend this novel to anyone who loves history and romance.

This would be a great pick for any book club.

Author Website:
Adriana Trigiani

Happy Reading and as always, thanks for stopping by!

red headed book child


Tales of Whimsy said...

Sounds fabulous.
I have this in my TBL.
I'm glad to hear you liked it so.

Anonymous said...

I bought the print version on a daily deal. Thanks for your review. It is just the little nudge I needed to actually read it.

EJ ☯ said...

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Love EJ xx

Teresa said...

I had a really difficult time with the transition between narrators. I'm glad that you enjoyed it.

Teresa said...

I listened to this one as well. I had a really difficult time with the transition between the two narrators. It felt really jarring to me and I never quite recovered. I'm glad that you were able to enjoy it.

Lisa said...

One of my book club members was asking about reading this one and as I was reading your review I was wondering about your thoughts about that idea. And then you told me - thanks!

Ryan said...

I have yet to read one of her books, I'm never sure if I would like them or not.

(Diane) Bibliophile By the Sea said...

I need to get to this one on my iPod, I like the sound of it from your review. Hope u are having a good weekend.