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The Shoemaker's Wife
Cover of The Shoemaker's Wife
The Shoemaker's Wife
A Novel
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The Italian Alps at the turn of the twentieth century is the setting for the first meeting of Enza and Ciro, who meet as teenagers despite growing up just a few miles apart. But when Ciro catches the local priest in a scandal, he is banished and sent to hide in America as an apprentice to a shoemaker in Little Italy. Without explanation, he leaves a bereft Enza behind. Soon Enza's family faces disaster and she, too, is forced to go to America with her father to secure their future.

Unbeknownst to each other, the two young people 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 begins an impressive career as a seamstress at the Metropolitan Opera House that will sweep her into the glamorous salons of Manhattan.

From the stately mansions of Carnegie Hill to the cobblestone streets of Little Italy to the vast plains of northern Minnesota, these star-crossed lovers meet and separate, until, finally, the power of their love changes both of their lives forever.

The Italian Alps at the turn of the twentieth century is the setting for the first meeting of Enza and Ciro, who meet as teenagers despite growing up just a few miles apart. But when Ciro catches the local priest in a scandal, he is banished and sent to hide in America as an apprentice to a shoemaker in Little Italy. Without explanation, he leaves a bereft Enza behind. Soon Enza's family faces disaster and she, too, is forced to go to America with her father to secure their future.

Unbeknownst to each other, the two young people 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 begins an impressive career as a seamstress at the Metropolitan Opera House that will sweep her into the glamorous salons of Manhattan.

From the stately mansions of Carnegie Hill to the cobblestone streets of Little Italy to the vast plains of northern Minnesota, these star-crossed lovers meet and separate, until, finally, the power of their love changes both of their lives forever.

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About the Author-
  • Adriana Trigiani is the author of the bestselling Big Stone Gap series; Very Valentine; Brava, Valentine; Lucia, Lucia; The Queen of the Big Time; and Rococo, she has also written the bestselling memoir Don't Sing at the Table as well as the young adult novels Viola in Reel Life and Viola in the Spotlight.

Reviews-
  • Publisher's Weekly

    May 14, 2012
    Trigiani's page-turning newest (after Viola in the Spotlight) is a sweeping saga that stretches across the World Wars, from Italy to America and back again. Ciro Lazzari and Enza Ravenelli grew up in nearby villages in Italy, but only meet when Ciro is hired to dig the grave for Enza's baby sister. Though they come from different backgrounds—Enza is the eldest daughter in a family of eight, while Ciro and his brother are raised by nuns after their father's death and mother's mental breakdown—the two nevertheless bond. But when Ciro catches a priest embracing a young girl, he is banished from the convent and must depart for New York City, where he apprentices as a shoemaker. Soon thereafter, Enza and her father journey to the U.S. to send money home to their struggling family. There, Enza becomes a talented seamstress and gets involved in the lushly detailed New York opera scene by making costumes for the Met. While in New York, Enza and Ciro reconnect, but Ciro is soon swept away to fight in WWI. When he returns and seeks Enza's hand in marriage, Enza, who is set to be betrothed to another man, must now weigh her possible futures: "A life with Ciro would be about family, a life with Vito would be about her." More than an epic romance, Trigiani's work pays homage to the tribulations of the immigrant experience, and the love that makes the journey and hardships worthwhile.

  • AudioFile Magazine Author/narrator Adriana Trigiani was inspired by her grandparents' lives when she wrote the story of Ciro and Enza, who were born in the Italian Alps and emigrated separately to New York City when still teenagers. Despite their different dreams and separate paths, the two eventually discover their love and commonalities, working together to build an American life. A special audiobook author's note discusses the decision to ask actress Annabella Sciorra to narrate the earlier sections of the novel, before Trigiani herself steps behind the mike to read the final parts. Although the switch in performers is momentarily jarring, listeners quickly adjust, and the magic of the story remains unbroken. Sciorra excels at characterizations; whereas, Trigiani boosts the emotional impact of her moving story of immigration. C.B.L. (c) AudioFile 2012, Portland, Maine
  • AudioFile Magazine Adriana Trigiani once again explores her Italian heritage in this romantic saga, which begins more than a hundred years ago in the picturesque Italian Alps. As teenagers in adjacent hillside villages, beautiful Enza and orphaned Ciro cross paths only once before he is banished to America to be apprenticed to a shoemaker. Lovely Italian names and phrases are presented with grace by narrator Orlagh Cassidy, whose voice seems to relish the lush descriptions of Italy's food and music. When Enza finds herself in New York City, Cassidy elegantly spins opulent descriptions of the opera. Cassidy rises above the overt sentimentality as she recounts the rocky love story between the two immigrants whose connection is disrupted by war and tragedy. N.M.C. © AudioFile 2012, Portland, Maine
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A Novel
Adriana Trigiani
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