Thursday, August 16, 2012

The Shoemaker’s Wife by Adriana Trigiani

Read while home alone? yes
Tissues needed? Yes, many. I wish someone had told me before 
                          I took this book to the gym…
Overall rating: 3.5 stars

The Shoemaker’s Wife tells the story of Ciro, a young orphan boy living in a convent in Italy. He encounters some tough breaks in his life but works hard, keeps a positive attitude and makes the most of the situations in which he finds himself. Not far from Ciro’s convent home lives a hard-working family with 5 children, including a daughter named Enza. Ciro and Enza cross paths several times both in Italy and America but an ocean, uncooperative relatives, World War I, poor timing, and significant others impede their happiness together. Many adventures await Ciro and Enza once they’ve created lives in America!

Adriana Trigiani is one of my favorite authors, but I didn’t enjoy this book as much as her others. She does a beautiful job of painting pictures with words—it’s easy to imagine Enza’s life on the mountain and the village Ciro called home—but sometimes there’s a little too much description for me and I want to get into the plot. The Shoemaker’s Wife seemed to have a lot of build-up to an inevitable event, and then things started happening very quickly. All in all though, I look forward to Trigiani’s next book and will reread some of her older books. If you are a fan of Italy, shoemakers, historic fiction, and/or immigrant stories, you should give this a try…when you have time!

Have you had anyone come into and out of your life like Ciro and Enza? If you were making a fresh start, where would you go? Who are your favorite authors? Do you enjoy ALL of their books?


  1. What do you think the deal is with all of these books with the similar title? "The Pilot's Wife", "The Shoemaker's Wife", "The Time Travelers Wife" etc.

  2. Hmmm...that's an interesting point! Since it seems like women are generally the target audience for books like that, maybe authors and publishers are trying to be very clear about the main character? I, however, sometimes feel annoyed to be identified as "wife" rather than as my own self--so I'm not sure why I like those books. What are your thoughts, Jenny?