Author: Adriana Trigiani
Genre: historical fiction, general fiction
Series: Valentine #3
Published: November 5 2013
Source: TLC Book Tours for review
For over a hundred years, the Angelini Shoe Company in Greenwich Village has relied on the leather produced by Vechiarelli & Son in Tuscany. This historic business partnership provides the twist of fate for Valentine Roncalli, the school teacher turned shoemaker, to fall in love with Gianluca Vechiarelli, a tanner with a complex past . . . and a secret.
A piece of surprising news is revealed at The Feast of the Seven Fishes when Valentine and Gianluca join her extended family on a fateful Christmas Eve. Now faced with life altering choices, Valentine remembers the wise words that inspired her in the early days of her beloved Angelini Shoe Company: "A person who can build a pair of shoes can do just about anything." The proud, passionate Valentine is going to fight for everything she wants and savor all she deserves-the bitter and the sweetness of life itself.
Romantic and poignant, told with humor and warmth, and bursting with a cast of endearing characters, The Supreme Macaroni Company is a sumptuous feast of delights: a portrait of a woman and the man she loves, her passion for craftsmanship, and the sacrifices it takes to build and sustain a family business while keeping love and laughter at the center of everything.
Adriana Trigiani has been garnering a lot of name recognition lately, which I is why I jumped on this blog tour as soon as I saw her name attached. And though The Supreme Macaroni Company is the third in a series about main character and narrator Valentina Roncalli, it's remarkably easy to figure out the lay of the land and what has come before under Trigiani's able pen. The author's many talents and abilities have not been over-exaggerated; she writes with an obvious warmth and familiarity that permeates her characters and her book.
This is a fun, heartfelt book. It's half My Big Fat Greek Wedding and half examination of a modern marriage between two determined and very different people. When the book focuses on the various Roncalli/Angelini/Vechiarelli families that make up both Valentine's and her husband Gianluca's family, the book is loud, chaotic, noisy, and friendly. When it switches to the close-up struggles of a modern American woman married to a traditional Italian man, it's a quieter, more emotional tone. The author ably switches between both tones, and cleanly marries the two different aspects into one cohesive plot.
Through Valentine's first person POV, the reader gets an up close, often messy, and very personal view of all she struggles with -- from her striving to balance work with life, ambition with family, love with marriage, Valentine feels so real. She wants it all, and even though she can't have everything, she works to succeed in both her business and in her new marriage. Her narration and voice are consistent, even if the book's pace can be abrupt and fast-moving. Though she was new to me, Valentine felt like an old friend from the beginning. The author has a remarkable ability to infuse her words with many depths of emotion -- from joy to heartfelt grief, all her character's emotions are palpable and read.
Though the story told in The Supreme Macaroni Company is wholly resolved before the end, there's still a lot of room left in Valentine's story for further exploration. And while I wait for that next book to materialize, I will take the time to read Very Valentine and Brava, Valentine. If they are anything like their most recent addition, they will be packed full of humor and heartbreak, great characters, and evocative writing.