I have read other works by this author and love how she engages her reader. Adriana Trigiani’s latest offering, The Shoemakes Wife, is loosely based on her grandparents story and its very well done.
The novel starts off in Northern Italy at the turn of the century, telling the story of Ciro, a young boy who’s father died in America. His mother left him along with his older brother with the local nuns and went down the hill. The boys grew up in the church with the nuns to guide them. When Ciro catches the Father in an illicit embrace with a young woman he likes, he is sent to American.
Enza lives with her family in the next town, and is the oldest child in the family. When her youngest sister dies, Ciro digs the grave for the family and offers comfort to Enza. She thinks of him often but when she looks for him, he is already gone.
Fastforward to NYC and Ciro and Enza again cross paths. Enza is thrilled to see him again yet Ciro still isnt ready to settle down. As a Dough Boy, he arrives just in time to stop her from marrying someone else and in short order wisks her off to the Iron Ore fields in Minnesota as they start their family.
I “read” this book on audiotape and loved the novel. My only hesitation in recommending this audiobook is the readers. Halfway through the novel the author reads her own novel. The initial reader enchanted me with her inflections on this story. When the readers switch, I was shocked. It changed the novel and it lumped along. The authors reading distracted me and quite frankly turned me off so badly I struggled to listen to the rest of this wonderful book.
All in all, this was well researched, beautifully entwined and written in an engaging manner. I would recommend the book but not the audiobook.
See you at the finish line!!