Sorry, No Blog Today. April Fools! (The Shoemaker's Wife by Adriana Trigiani)

April 1, 2013 Book Club, Family, Historical Fiction 30

Howdy Bookworms,

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.

I'm really not sure who the broad on the cover is...

I’m really not sure who the broad on the cover is…

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, LuciaConsider 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?

30 Responses to “Sorry, No Blog Today. April Fools! (The Shoemaker's Wife by Adriana Trigiani)”

  1. Liesel Hill

    Thanks for the review! I have this one on my TBR list, mostly because it was up for a Goodreads award last year, but I haven’t heard much about it. I’ve never read a Trigiani book, so the altar thing probably won’t bug me. (Totally read the spoiler. I do that. :D)

    • Words for Worms

      Ha! A girl after my own heart. I read spoilers too, but I feel guilty about not warning (because I’ve done it several times on accident.) Sometimes spoilers make me want to read a book MORE, you know?

  2. therelentlessreader

    You almost fooled me missy! 😉 I haven’t read this one though it’s been on my radar for, like, forever! That chick on the cover looks so awkward doesn’t she? “Have I shaved recently? Let me check.” Sooo anywho, I’ll probably get to this one sooner or later

    • Words for Worms

      LMAO! She is TOTALLY doing a pit check! And not being subtle about it either. I’m always the queen of discretion when I check to make sure I’ve put on deodorant…

  3. Megan M.

    It really is hard to do a thorough review without spoilers, I’ve admired your restraint lately. There is something about them that makes you go “wait, WHAT happens?? I gotta read that!”

    You’ve mentioned recycled plot lines before (way to recycle blog topics, lady *wink*) and when it’s something obvious like that, it is annoying. It lessens the emotional impact when you’ve seen it from the same author before. I got frustrated with Jodi Picoult for that, even though she is an amazingly talented writer.

    • Words for Worms

      Awww snap, I’m recycling now too! I feel like I recycle on my top ten lists more than I’d like as well. Sigh. I guess I’m a one trick Katie. 🙂

  4. themidnightmama

    your description reminds me of the Tea Rose, only with much less violence. I’m generally not a fan of love stories but this one sounds worth a shot.

  5. Milo

    A. Lee Martinez’s books all seem to follow the same general path…which doesn’t stop me from reading them of course, but it does get old.
    The Myth Adventure series by Robert Asprin and Jody Nye fell victim to it as well, but not for very long.

  6. Sarah Says Read

    Wine and Whining is a PERFECT book club you name, cause you know that it’s so accurate.

    I hate repeated plot devices (like leavings at alters). It makes the author seem so formulaic. If I want formula writing, I’ll read a cheesy romance novel, you know?

  7. Lori

    I’m with you on April Fool’s Day. I do well enough making a fool of myself and don’t require anyone’s help. I think I’ve read everything by this author except this book and I have thoroughly enjoyed her stories. My sister just finished this book and was inspired to make the family homemade gnocchi for our Easter dinner – yes, my family is Sicilian – so I’d say if it gave her that much inspiration to cook such a fabulous meal than I’m inspired to read it. 🙂 Mangia bene!

  8. Jenny

    I second the Jodi Picoult thing! But I think the possibility of enjoying a formulaic author’s formulaic books exists, as long as you like the formula. There are strong similarities between, for instance, Jane Austen’s books, but there’s enough variation throughout, and enough joy to be gotten from the incisive observations and lovely writing, that it doesn’t matter. Hurrah for recycling storylines! (Oh, except that one thing with Henry Crawford, I’ve always thought that was completely unjust.)

  9. The Underground Writer

    I just finished The Shoemakers Wife. I found it a bit slow at first and then I couldn’t put it down. My only complaint was the ending, where it started to drag again – like in the beginning. Book end (no pun intended!) dragging!

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