I hope those of you who celebrate Easter have recovered from your chocolate bunny and jelly bean comas on this fine morning. It’s April Fool’s Day, but I’m not a fan of the holiday. I am a terrible liar, and I’m also embarrassingly gullible. Not a good combination. Plus, pranks have a way of turning mean, and I’m not a fan of meanness either. So. Let’s talk about… A book! (I know, you’re shocked!)
This month for Wine and Whining Book Club (I consistently get crap from the book club’s membership for what I’ve named it, but I like homonyms and alliterations, so I shan’t be changing it) we selected The Shoemaker’s Wife by Adriana Trigiani. The Shoemaker’s Wife is the tale of an unlikely couple re-united from their small Italian mountain town in New York City.
Circumstances conspire to send the (for all intents and purposes) orphaned Ciro away from his home in a convent the Italian Alps to become an apprentice shoemaker in America. Unfortunately, his exit from town is untimely as he is separated from his new found lady love, Enza. Shortly after Ciro’s departure, Enza and her family fall on hard times and she and her father make the decision to emigrate to America as well. Their emigration takes place during the early 1910s, so their journey reads like the quintessential Ellis Island tale.
Ciro and Enza’s path to finding each other again is not an easy one. They both have their share of adventures. Enza is a talented seamstress but stuck in Hoboken in a Cinderella-esque situation. Ciro is distracted by a high maintenance local beauty and turns out to be a kick ass boot maker. Their trials and tribulations give you a great picture of the times in which they live, and they talk enough about pasta to make you hungry.
Spoilers are the bane of my existence, because it’s so difficult to talk about books without giving EVERYTHING away. I will say this much… While I enjoyed this book overall, there was a critical scene that reminded me a LOT of a scene in another one of Trigiani’s books, Lucia, Lucia. Consider this your SPOILER ALERT. Now. The goings on of How I Met Your Mother aside, people being ditched at the altar is NOT a common thing. Things rarely get to the point of tuxedos and gowns being donned when weddings fall apart. The fact that this occurred in both of the Trigiani books disappoints me, I mean, calling off a wedding a couple months ahead of time is infinitely more realistic. It’s certainly more dramatic to pull the jilted at the altar routine, but it’s almost too easy… That’s probably an unfair assessment, but I’m a giant snob-a-saurus rex.
Safe to read again. If this is your first Trigiani novel, and you like historical fiction, you’ll love it! So, Bookworms, are you ever frustrated by authors recycling story lines? Getting repetitive? Anybody else run into that?