Title: The Shoemaker’s Wife
Author: Adriana Trigiani
Provided Synopsis: The fateful first meeting of Enza and Ciro takes place amid the haunting majesty of the Italian Alps at the turn of the century. Still teenagers, they are separated when Ciro is banished from his village and sent to hide in New York’s Little Italy, apprenticed to a shoemaker, leaving a bereft Enza behind. But when her own family faces disaster, she, too, is forced to emigrate to America. Though destiny will reunite the star-crossed lovers, it will, just as abruptly, separate them once again — sending Ciro off to serve in World War I, while Enza is drawn into the glamorous world of the opera… and into the life of the international singing sensation Enrico Caruso. Still, Enza and Ciro have been touched by fate — and, ultimately, the power of their love will change their lives forever.
Review: Books like The Shoemaker’s Wife are why I love to read and why I aspire to be a writer one day.
Trigiani is a stunning storyteller. She understands that some stories need to be slow-burning. The reader needs to be given the time to get to know these characters inside and out, because once they do they will hold a special place in the reader’s heart. Following the lives of the two main characters, Enza and Ciro, the story moves from the Italian Alps, to a journey across the ocean, to New York City, to the trenches of World War I, to Minnesota. As readers we are treated to beautiful descriptions that place us in the moment; we appreciate what the characters are seeing and experiencing, and we understand their morals and values and why they come to do the things they do.
For me, this story was so striking because I found such a deep connection to the characters. All of them, especially Enza and Ciro, hold such a commitment to family and love. They are likable characters because they are hard-working; they are characters who stay with us because Trigiani allows us to KNOW them. I want the best for them, I want their happiness, I continue to read because their story has somehow become a part of mine, or maybe it is the other way around. Regardless, this is a book that will stay with me for quite some time. It is beautiful, it is true to the life experiences of people, and it touched my heart.