Author: Adriana Trigiani
Provided Synopsis: Very Valentine, an instant New York Times bestseller, introduced the contemporary family saga of the Roncalli and Angelini families, artisans of handcrafted wedding shoes in Greenwich Village since 1903.
As Brava, Valentine begins, snow falls like glitter over Tuscany at the wedding of her grandmother, Teodora, and longtime love, Dominic. Valentine’s dreams are dashed when Gram announces that Alfred, “the prince,” Valentine’s only brother and nemesis, has been named her partner at Angelini Shoes. Devastated, Valentine falls into the arms of Gianluca, a sexy Tuscan tanner who made his romantic intentions known on the Isle of Capri. Despite their passion for one another and Gianluca’s heartfelt letters, a long-distance relationship seems impossible.
As Valentine turns away from romance and devotes herself to her work, mentor and pattern cutter June Lawton guides her through her power struggle with Alfred, while best friend and confidante Gabriel Biondi moves into 166 Perry Street, transforming her home and point of view. Savvy financier Bret Fitzpatrick, Valentine’s first love and former fiancée who still carries a torch for her, encourages Valentine to exploit her full potential as a designer and a business woman with a plan that will bring her singular creations to the world.
A once-in-a-lifetime business opportunity takes Valentine from the winding streets of Greenwich Village to the sun-kissed cobblestones of Buenos Aires, where she finds a long-buried secret hidden deep within a family scandal. Once unearthed, the truth rocks the Roncallis and Valentine is determined to hold her family together. More so, she longs to create one of her own, but is torn between a past love that nurtured her, and a new one that promises to sustain her.
Review: Brava, Valentine is the perfect sequel because I enjoyed it even more than the first book! This is what all authors should aspire to do — they should build off of plotlines set before and expand them along with the growth of their characters. Valentine’s growth in this novel was wonderful; as a reader I took so much from her journey to discover the necessity of love when creating art, as well as her transformation to being the boss of the Angelini Shoe Company. Another favorite character of mine was Alfred, who is Valentine’s older brother. What we know of him from the first book is that he is sanctimonious and does not get along with any members of his family. Since this book is set in 2010 and recognizes the failing economy of the United States, Alfred is brought down from the high pedestal he has always been placed upon. He makes mistakes and must learn how to fix them. His relationship with his sister finally improves, but what was so magical about his storyline was that it was so realistic.
I think Adriana Trigiani is a masterful storyteller. She also has a very firm grasp on her opinion of love and how to convey that opinion to those reading her books. All the characters in Brava, Valentine must come to terms with their current stances on love and where they want to be in the future in terms of love. It is not all about romantic relationships, either; love transcends to include family and friendships. The messages here are so profound and I believe that so many people will find something to connect to or something to learn.
My final verdict would be to read this book. Fans of the first book will be pleased, and those new to these characters should start with the first story, Very Valentine. The characters are humorous and relatable to what I see in my everyday life. The messages of love, family, work, inner peace, and friendship make you think about yourself. This is a very good book and I cannot wait to read the third.