Tuesday, March 4, 2014

The Shoemaker's Wife by Adriana Trigiani

The Shoemaker's Wife by Adriana Tirgiani tells an intricate and beautiful love story intertwined with the hardships of immigration, war, heartache, and death. All the right ingredients are there.

Enza Ravenelli is a dream protagonist - smart, witty, practical, fearless. Her youth spent on the Mountains of Schilpero create in her a woman ready for the world. Her family is close, devout to Catholicism, and bound to one another in a way that exceeds the expectations of a family. They need one another, depend on one another, and when the challenge of saving one another dangles in front of them, Enza is the first to volunteer for the task.

Ciro Lizzari is a spunky young boy of seven when we meet him. He and his brother Eduardo reside in a convent. Their father is dead; died in a mining accident in America. Their mother is unstable, unable to continue to handle the daily weight of motherhood. She basically abandons her boys (albeit arrangements made ahead of time but this bothered me throughout the whole story) and leaves them with the nuns to raise. Eduardo takes to convent life, Ciro though, well Ciro is a red-blood Italian male.

Fate would have their paths cross on the night Enza's sister Stella dies; Ciro digs the grave. And under the moonlight, Enza shares her first kiss with the man she'll share her last kiss.

But as Shakespeare taught us, "the course of true love never did run smooth." Enza and Ciro will travel around the world and back again meeting life's deterrents at every corner that will challenge their marriage vows long before they are promised to one another: for better or worse, in sickness and in health, for richer or poorer, until death do they part.

I cried multiple times thorough the reading of this book. Tirgiani weaves an emotional depth in her characters that plunges into your soul. The historical detail that is the backdrop of the story made my love for Italy that much greater.

At 496 pages, it is not an easy read; however, it is well worth every word at every turn.

Un libro eccellente, buona lettura! (An excellent book, happy reading!)

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