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.
The Shoemaker’s Wife was actually my first Adriana Trigiani novel. I know, I know, I call myself a book nerd and I have never before read anything by this highly talented and bestselling author. I’m so terrible. But, honestly, none of her books seemed to grab my attention before, so I never made the plunge. The blurb for Shoemaker’s Wife, combined with the captivating cover, intrigued me. I just had to learn more. What I discovered was a delightful story that left me wanting to read more of Trigiani’s novels.
The Shoemaker’s Wife is a sweeping tale of love, life and the many things that can pull people apart –and bring them together. The story begins in a small town in Italy when a young man named Ciro is banished from his town and heads to America to find a new life. He soon takes up residence as a shoe repairman in the Little Italy area of New York, and finds that America holds many beautiful young women. A young woman from Ciro’s same village who harbors a long-time love for him, Enza, also comes to Little Italy. And though Ciro has never seemed to have any affection for her before, he finds himself drawn to her.
Trigiani’s newest novel is a powerful tale of Italian immigrants, romance and the real hardships of life –and the ability of the human spirit to overcome it all. Though I read an ARC of the book, the writing style was incredibly strong and polished, and though the novel was a rather large tome, it went quickly and comfortably. I found myself completely engrossed in this fascinating tale, though this isn’t usually the type of thing I read.
At times heartbreaking and heartwarming, The Shoemaker’s Wife is a beautiful and sweeping tale that will keep readers glued to every page. I became so invested in these characters and their lives that they became real to me, and I celebrated their triumphs with them and shed tears for their hardships. A truly glorious read.