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Very Valentine    by Adriana Trigiani Amazon.com order for
Very Valentine
by Adriana Trigiani
Order:  USA  Can
Harper, 2009 (2009)
Hardcover, CD, e-Book
* * *   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

If you are from a large Italian-American family, you will love Very Valentine by Adriana Trigiani. If you are not from a large Italian-American family, you're going to wish you were.

Valentine Roncalli is living and working with her grandmother. They run the Angelini Shoe Company in New York City and it is floundering. The company makes wedding shoes. Their market is slowly diminishing and Valentine feels it needs a spurt of new designs and new and luxurious materials to work with. The family isn't too sure. Valentine's plan requires a large influx of cash and where that will come from remains to be seen.

Valentine's brother wants to see the doors of the company closed and the building sold. He claims his only interest is to see his grandmother slow down for the first time in her life. Valentine feels the value of the property is his main concern.

Valentine meets a man (don't all heroines meet the man of their dreams at just the wrong time and spend the rest of a novel's pages trying to overcome great obstacles?) Somehow, in this particular book, the old saw works and works well. The reader can sympathize with both Valentine and her main squeeze.

Granny and Valentine go to Italy to buy their fabrics and leathers and whatever other accoutrements are needed for the year to continue their line of handmade wedding shoes. Grams chooses to reveal her deep secret to Valentine, and leaves her in a posh resort with no one to enjoy it with.

Very Valentine is written with great insight. Not to mention the humor and compassion that grace the pages of this extremely enjoyable, hard-to-put-down book. Trigiani is the author of the popular Big Stone Gap series, Lucia, Lucia, The Queen of the Big Time and Rococo. Not surprisingly, her first novel, Big Stone Gap, is to be made into a movie. I can't wait.

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