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Adriana Trigiani's bestselling novels are beloved by millions of readers around the world. From the Big Stone Gap series to Lucia, Lucia, each is a sumptuous treat as Trigiani tells hilarious and romantic stories that we want to return to again and again.

Very Valentine, an instant New York Times bestseller, introduced the contemporary family saga of the Roncalli and Angelini families, artisans of handcrafted wedding shoes in Greenwich Village since 1903.

As Brava, Valentine begins, snow falls like glitter over Tuscany at the wedding of her grandmother, Teodora, and longtime love, Dominic. Valentine's dreams are dashed when Gram announces that Alfred, "the prince," Valentine's only brother and nemesis, has been named her partner at Angelini Shoes. Devastated, Valentine falls into the arms of Gianluca, a sexy Tuscan tanner who made his romantic intentions known on the Isle of Capri. Despite their passion for one another and Gianluca's heartfelt letters, a long-distance relationship seems impossible.

As Valentine turns away from romance and devotes herself to her work, mentor and pattern cutter June Lawton guides her through her power struggle with Alfred, while best friend and confidante Gabriel Biondi moves into 166 Perry Street, transforming her home and point of view. Savvy financier Bret Fitzpatrick, Valentine's first love and former fiancée who still carries a torch for her, encourages Valentine to exploit her full potential as a designer and a business woman with a plan that will bring her singular creations to the world.

A once-in-a-lifetime business opportunity takes Valentine from the winding streets of Greenwich Village to the sun-kissed cobblestones of Buenos Aires, where she finds a long-buried secret hidden deep within a family scandal. Once unearthed, the truth rocks the Roncallis and Valentine is determined to hold her family together. More so, she longs to create one of her own, but is torn between a past love that nurtured her, and a new one that promises to sustain her.

Brava, Valentine, Trigiani's best novel yet, delivers a hilarious and poignant mix of colorful worlds and unforgettable characters as only she can create them.

Published: HarperCollins on Mar 16, 2010
ISBN: 9780061969423
List price: $7.99
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In Adriana Trigiani’s follow up to Very Valentine, Valentine Roncalli is back in Italy and attending her grandmother Teodora’s wedding. Teodora is planning on staying in Italy after the wedding and settling down with her new Italian husband. This means the family business that they share, the Angelini Shoe Company, is without its long-time manager. Valentine, as Teodora’s apprentice, was always expected to take over. When Teodora and Valentine meet to discuss the business’s future, Teodora shocks her granddaughter by including her grandson and Valentine’s almost-estranged brother Alfred as the company’s new Chief Financial Officer. Just last year, Alfred had tried to convince everyone that the best option for the shoe company was to sell it’s long term location in Greenwich Village and perhaps even shut down the not-so-profitable operation altogether. Valentine wonders as she and the rest of her family depart Italy how she could ever successfully work with her brother on a day-to-day basis.Valentine has two things that are really bothering her. The first is Gianluca, her new step-grandfather’s son who tried to romance her the first time she came to Italy. It seems he hasn’t forgotten his intense attraction to her when they meet again. After a near-miss post-wedding, their mutual attraction still isn’t fulfilled and he takes center stage in Valentine’s thoughts. The other thing plaguing Valentine is the launch of her new economic shoe line, the Bella Rosa. As she prepares to look for manufacturers abroad, she uncovers a family secret. This secret takes her to the shores of Buenos Aires and to meet some extended family members she never knew existed. When Gianluca surprises her during her trip, things definitely heat up. But Valentine’s commitment to work starts to get in the way of her love affair very quickly. Will Valentine be able to resolve work and romance?I enjoyed this book slightly more than Very Valentine. Many of the smaller elements really worked for me; Valentine's gay friend Gabriel moving into their Perry Street home, her sibling's affair, and the subplot with her renewed friendship with ex-boyfriend Bret. All this goes in the background while Valentine takes center stage, trying to move forward in both her professional and romantic life. While Valentine doesn't know what she wants in the latter, she definitely is a lot more focused with the Angelini Shoe Company in this tale; her focus made me like her more as a character. The loss of one of my favorite characters at the end is sad; it also helps propel the story to a new level. I really liked this story. I hope Valentine Roncalli comes back with her fabulous shoes again soon.read more
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I thought Very Valentine was Trigiani's best since Big Stone Gap. Act 2, Brava Valentine, is a big letdown and feels very contrived.read more
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I really enjoyed this book, it is a bit of fluff , but I enjoyed every bit of it. Leaves you with a good feeling. you must read the first book called Very Valentine.read more
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Here is the second in Trigiani's Valentine series, which will presumably go for one more so that it can be a trilogy as was her Big Stone Gap series. A lot of similarities exist between the two--single, older career woman who has never married but who has a close gay friend upon who she depends for emotional support. Both leading ladies have Italian origins, and part of the books take place in Italy. Valentine lives in New York City rather than in rural Virginia, and she also ventures off to Brazil. Otherwise, there are lots of parallels between the two books, and I see that as both a strength and a weakness. It makes for a pleasing story line, but it also gives this latest book sort of an also-read feel. Before book three, I think Trigiani needs to think of something original for Valentine to do that hasn't already been done in the Big Stone Gap books. For those who have not read the original trilogy, this will be a definite winner.read more
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Although this is the second installment in the series, I really feel that one could read this book without reading the first because of the good job that Trigiani does of bringing the reader up to speed. She also provides stimulating descriptions of two destinations that I long to visit, both New York and Italy. And after closing this book my desire to go to Italy has only blossomed.The novel opens in Italy as Valentine and her entire family travelled to Tuscany for her grandmother's wedding. And as you can imagine, with the joining of two Italian families there was not a dull moment during the entire event. Valentine finds herself looking forward to laying her eyes on Gianluca once again, but will the reunion go as she would like?Gram has a surprise for Valentine after her wedding when she explains to her that she has decided to take Alfred, Valentine's brother, as a partner. With his financial background Gram figures that Alfred is just what is needed for the Angelini Shoe Company. There has always seemed to be a friction between Alfred and Valentine so one would think that this partnership would never work, but not only did they make it work and help the business flourish at a new level, but they also found a deeper respect and understanding for each other.Secrets are uncovered in this novel, both from the present and the past. When Valentine takes a business trip to Buenos Aires she uncovers a long kept family secret that will not only strengthen Angelini Shoes but also the relationships with her extended family. While in Buenos Aires she finds some time for pleasure as she is surprised by the handsome Gianluca. She feels the pull of her heart towards Gianluca and enjoys the time that they spend together, but can Valentine make the commitment that is needed for this relationship to blossom?I loved so much about this book, from the cobblestone streets in Italy to the family squabbles back in New York City. I love how Trigiani brings out the real feelings in her characters-they do not live perfect lives and they do make mistakes. With themes of family dynamics, love, friendship, and sacrifices, this book was an excellent follow up to the Very Valentine. I recommend this series but even moreso if you feel like being whisked away to fabulous destinations.read more
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The author does terrific job creating characters whom the reader cares about. I like that Valentine doesn’t have it all figured it, that she struggles with family, career, love and friends. Even the minor characters are real and well-drawn, from June, the fabric cutter to Roberta, the new-found cousin to Pamela, the sister-in-law who doesn’t fit in.Trigiani comes from a close-knit Italian family herself, and she excels at the family relationships and scenes. Everyone can relate to the family dynamics that occur during weddings and family dinners, culminating with a Thanksgiving dinner that starts out with such promise and high hopes, only to disintegrate into a truth-telling, secret-spilling train wreck. Tough topics, such as infidelity, job loss, death and racism are also tackled in the novel; Trigiani does not shy away from the tougher things in life we all face. She also does humor very well; you will find yourself laughing out loud when Valentine and Gianluca are almost caught naked in a hotel by her young niece.Trigiani is a very visual author. Her scenes are so detailed, and they scream out to be made into a visual medium of some type- a film or a TV miniseries. Luckily, Lifetime TV has optioned the first novel in the series, VERY VALENTINE, for a movie; I can't wait!She describes the shoes she creates in such detail that I had hoped to see sketches of them in the novel. Her trips to scenic Italy and Argentina, her Greenwich Village neighborhood and the extreme home makeover of Gram’s apartment above Angelini Shoes by her gay best friend Gabriel are so vividly described, the reader can picture it all so clearly in her mind.“The living room is wallpapered in cream with a black-striped border. Gabriel has positioned his zebra-print love seats in front of the windows. He created draperies that mimic stage curtains, opulent turquoise silk drapes with black silk braid tiebacks. He used Gram’s simple black onyx-based lamps to anchor the love seats.”Food is another important element in her novels, and I swear you can almost smell the cannolis the Roncalli sisters are stuffing for dessert. (In the paperback version of VERY VALENTINE Trigiani added a section titled “Eat and Read” containing recipes for some of the dishes in the novel- a definite incentive to buy the paperback.) Readers must be prepared to use all of their senses when reading BRAVA, VALENTINE smelling and tasting the Italian delicacies, seeing the beautifully designed shoes, and the scenery of Italy and Argentina- it is truly a sensual experience.Trigiani also pays tribute to music in BRAVA, VALENTINE. Gram has a collection of Frank Sinatra albums, and the author has titled each of the chapters a different Sinatra song- “It Isn’t a Dream Anymore”, “Autumn in New York”, “Polka Dots and Moonbeams” are examples. It’s a clever homage to a great Italian-American singer.BRAVA, VALENTINE is a must-read for fans of Meryl Streep’s film “It’s Complicated” and “Sex in the City”.read more
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When Valentine's grandmother begins a new life in Italy, she places Valentine and her nemesis, her brother Alfred, as partners in the Angeline Shoe Company, makers of handcrafted wedding shoes since 1903.read more
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When Valentine Roncalli’s beloved grandmother moves to Italy and gets re-married she leaves her custom shoe business to Valentine and Valentine’s brother, Alfred. Valentine and Alfred haven’t always gotten along, so Valentine’s concerned for the business that she’s grown to love.While Valentine is tying to take the business in a new direction, she’s also balancing a budding romance and drama from her large, Italian-American family. Needless to say, some things work out better than others.I read Very Valentine by Adriana Trigiani last year and have to admit that I was a little disappointed. It’s not that it’s not a good book, it just didn’t meet the high standards that I’ve set for Trigiani’s work. Well, let me tell you, she is back on her game with Brava, Valentine. I thought this book was great! For me, it delivered everything I expected of it. Great relationships, family dynamics, a little romance and a little controversy. I laughed and I cried while I read it and any book that makes me feel emotions like that is a good one to me.I think the fantastic characters are what make this book so special to me. I love Valentine and think she is a wonderful character that many women can relate to. She is strong, smart and independent, yet she is full of self-doubt and finds herself trying to please others. I can’t wait to see what happens to Valentine in the next book.read more
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Lots of fun, humorous, just enough romance to work. This is the 2nd in the series, and Valentine Roncalli is a heroine who works - literally- for a living. She makes shoes, she runs a business, she takes care of her typical (almost stereotypical) Italian family, and she has a triumvirate of males slobbering over her.Where else will you have a heroine who manages to maintain love relationships (in all variations) with three different men? There's her life-long friend and ex-fiance Brett who is now a business advisor, but who is still a BF; her live-in 'wife' - the not overly flamboyant gay roomate Gabriel, who makes her coffee, decorates her house, and nurses her heart through the true romance Gian-Carlo - the Italian stallion who is the son of her grandmother's 2nd husband. Whew....got that straight? It's fabulous, it works, it's witty and well written.Lots of fun, and if you're looking for a good, not too steamy, but sultry lip-smacking romance for the summer, try this one.read more
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As much as I love Amish, Historicals, and suspense, I love a GREAT chick lit just as much! Now a days, with so much R rated content added in, it's truly hard to find a really good chick lit novel that I can get into. But, after hearing good things about Adriana Trigiani and her work, I was excited for the chance to review Brava, Valentine. Though, sadly, this is a follow up to her book Very Valentine, which I wish I would have read already, but it gives me something to look forward to reading in the future! That being said, though, I wasn't confused by the events or the characters in this book....in fact, this could be dubbed a stand alone title, as well. This book immediately captured me with not only the characters who become friends, but with the setting....parts of this book is set in Italy. I have ALWAYS wanted to go to Italy. And, reading a book like this, that's exactly what I got to do. I didn't even have to leave the comfort of my PJ's or my home! It was like I had just boarded a plane and was instantly next to the Angelini/Roncalli clan. Now, that's some fun traveling. I felt as though I could see the villages in Italy and I could just imagine the bella accents. Oh, how I love an Italian accent! Filled with lots of laugh-out-loud humor and a family secret, Adriana Trigiani really captures the readers' hearts with lovable characters like Valentine(she really was a sweet character!), Gianluca (*ppuurrr* can I have him?), Aunt Feen(well, let's just say that, um, she's definitely quite a character!), and even Gabriel(hhmm,he's sounds adorably funny, but...well,we'll leave it at that ;o)!). I really felt the pull into the story and became one of these characters, laughing out loud, running the family business with a nemesis and helping Valentine follow heart to what she REALLY wants. A story of longing, families, a'more and secrets, Trigiani has turned out a 4 star sexy, sassy, witty novel that, while I can't wait to go back and read book 1, is excellent! It's sexy, and passionate, yet there isn't any detailed R rated scenes, and with an extremely mild use of language (no F's !) that can be easily overlooked, it's one that I recommend to chick lit lovers! I'm hoping, really hoping, that Adriana Trigiani adds a third installment to Valentine's story!read more
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I love Adriana Trigiani's writing: it has its own style, it's witty, and it's sprinkled all over with hilarious and always-to-the-point metaphors. I also like how she gets it through to us that nobody is perfect, that we all make mistakes, mess up at times throughout our lives. The characters of her books do that... and so do we all, suggests the author. As for the contents of this particular novel, I found Valentine's ruminations, doubts, and hesitations a bit repetitive at times, but then, again, I could relate if not to the subject of her doubts but at least to the nature of them... Valentine makes fun of her own family, but loves them all to death, this is very endearing. On the whole, there was drama and there was optimism, and I found myself tearful at one point. For me, it all points to the value of a good book worth reading.read more
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WOWEE wow wow!! I thought BIG STONE GAP was my favorite book written by Adriana Trigiani, but it is now second after having listened to BRAVA, VALENTINE. I was in love with VERY VALENTINE and became enraptured with this second of the trilogy. Now I really can't wait to see what happens in the third one whenver that one comes out. I will get it as an audiobook, too. Hell, I may go get everything Trigiani has written as an audiobook! Especially if Cassandra Campbell is narrating. Campbell is big part of the magic of this trilogy. She voices the characters wonderfully. I adore Valentine, grin at her bestest buddy Gabe, and swoon over Gianluca. There's not much more that I can say that wasn't covered in the passage above from the back of the BOCD cover. Except that I loved watching Valentine come to terms with her Gram marrying and moving to Italy; learning how to be partners with her brother; finding out what it was like to trust her heart to someone. She had a lot of growing up to do and she didn't even realize that she needed to. Please, please, please! Do yourself a huge hug and get this book to read or listen to. It is wonderfully gorgeous!!!Five Wowee wow wow sparkly diamonds....read more
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Valentine Roncalli works at her family's custom show company in New York's West Village (love that neighborhood!) and this novel follows her pursuit of a career in the family business and her efforts to take the helm of the business and grow it in new directions as her grandmother exits. Her ascent to head of the company is complicated by her brother, Alfred, and his lack of faith in her business skills and inability to understand her need to keep the "family" in family business. Beyond their divergent views on business, they also view families and relationships very differently and that makes for some interesting tension in their work life and in their family's gatherings.Valentine really begins to grow into herself in this book and takes ownership of her role as creative head of the family business. I liked seeing this evolution in this character - in Very Valentine, she seemed reluctant to own that role and see her talents as a shoe designer whereas in this book she is almost empowered by her talent and takes the lead more naturally. With her growing career, come questions about work/life balance and whether she wants a family and how to have that family and dedicate the time necessary to build her business - a never-ending dilemma to which most readers can relate. Her challenged love life from book one continues and I found myself hoping she would get out of her own way and just let love happen to her!There is so much more to this book than the snapshot I have offered above in the plot summary - Valentine uncovers a long lost family secret and travels to Buenos Aires to learn more about it, she faces infidelity in her family and the loss of a close friend. The book is fantastic and offers a deeper dive into the characters from book one. In fact, in her Blog Talk Radio interview about Very Valentine, the author talks about how she enjoys writing books in series of threes so that she can really "crack" a character and develop them more fully. I saw that in this book as she offers more insight into Valentine's brother Alfred, and what makes him tick - he moves from relatively one dimensional in book one to much more complex in book two.read more
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This genre is usually so not my thing, but something about Trigiani's writing, when set in New York, just grabs me.read more
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To be quite honest, I thought Brava, Valentine was definitely better than it's predecessor, Very Valentine. Brava, Valentine picks up a few months where Very Valentine left off. If you don't want minor spoilers, I suggest you stop reading at this point. Anyways, Valentine is still working diligently to save the company, mainly expanding on the solution from the last book. The romance within this book just seemed to sizzle off the page, even though there didn't seem to be a whole lot of play, if you know what I mean.I liked that Brava, Valentine featured more love and romance, than work work work. Valentine and Gianluca's relationship, while chaste for the most part, is rather sexy. Let me say, I wish my boyfriend would take some lessons from Gianluca. Let me say, there is way more chemistry between those two than her last boyfriend.Also, hip hip hurray for more Gabriel. He's Valentine's gay best friend. He is definitely a distinct and memorable character, and it is lovely how well he gets along with Valentine. I liked to see their personalities meshing, and just how strong of a friendship they had. However, there is less of Gram in this book, you can definitely feel her absence. Yet to make up for less Gram, there is more June, who if you recall, was Gram's best friend. Can I just state for the record that I love sassy old women?Anyways, I thought Brava, Valentine was a faster read than Very Valentine. I felt like I already knew the characters so there was no need for long winded introductions to these characters and their nuances. It's weird because I just felt so attached and invested in these people, that I felt myself reaching for the next book after finishing Brava, before realizing it's not out yet.read more
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Second installent to "Very Valentine". Great story of an Italian family in New York that owns a family shoe business. Good light reading with great characters.read more
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I've been a fan of Trigiani for years and anxiously await each new release. Brava, Valentine is a continuation of her last book Very Valentine. This book did not disappoint. It's the struggle of Valentine, a 35-year old single Italian American, to find love and herself. Valentine is so down-to-earth that you can imagine you are her then the story makes lovely departures from the ordinary to make you wish you were her. The characters, her large group of family and friends, are so richly written that you feel as if you know them all. Toward the end of the book, as I saw the remaining pages dwindle, I found myself already wishing for the next because I don't want the story to end. Now I am anxiously awaiting the third installment in the Valentine series.read more
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I absolutely LOVE the Angelini's. Very Valentine was great and this one is even better! Many new things have happened in Valentine's life and it make you happy, sad, anxious..all the above to go through it with her and her family. So far I have loved all of Adriana Trigiani's books!read more
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I love this series. I love this author. Andriana Trigiani makes me happy the way only a few authors do. I know I'm going to end up happy by the end of the story. I may not be happy with everything that happens in the book and boy this one had some drama.It seemed no one in the Angelini/Rocellli family made it out of this one unscathed. But they were all well on their way to healing by the end. And hopefully, by the third in the series (I do believe there's suppose to be three) I'm sure everyone will live happily ever after.I don't know if I love Valentine more than I love Ave Marie her heroine in the Big Stone Gap series but I know I can't wait to find out what happens next.Thank you Ms. Trigiani for another wonderful read. Please don't take too long to give me another.read more
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This book is second in the Trigiani's Valentine series. I don't want to give away any details since not all of you have read the first one in the series, so this summary will be vague! Valentine is back in the shoe shop struggling to manage the family business. She travels to Buenos Aires to explore further options for the company while exploring a buried family secret at the same time. Oh and there's a handsome gentleman that makes an appearance throughout the novel as well. Similar in premise to Very Valentine, the question is whether Valentine will balance her desire to prolong the life of the family's shoe company with her need to find love?I made a reading mistake. I should not have read Brava, Valentine right after reading Very Valentine. Can you say, too much Valentine? Many things that I found to be charming in the first novel was irritating in this one. I liked once again how Valentine travelled to Italy and Argentina. I also liked how she lives in a wonderful NYC loft on the Hudson River. These settings are described very vividly. Unforunately, I disliked several more things. Valentine's view of love is very annoying for me. She generally failed to overlook the fleeting nature of a physical relationship, and when she did look beyond the physical it was very cheesy. Another thing is that Valentine is selfish in her relationships. She admits this but never really works to change her ways - rude! Her family was not near as funny to me in this either. It turned out to be a family soap opera of sorts, and unless it's soaked with a good amount of humor, I do not necessarily want to read about another family's issues... especially when it's issue after issue after issue. So, if you are a diehard Trigiani fan and loved Very Valentine I imagine that you will like this one allright, too. As a person who isn't a usual reader of chick-lit, however, I really don't think Brava, Valentine is for everyone.read more
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Like its predecessor VERY VALENTINE, this installment of Valentine’s family saga starts off with a wedding – only this time, it’s Gram to her secret love in Italy. After the wedding, Gram drops a bombshell – she wants Valentine and her semi-estranged brother Alfred to run the shoe company together as they try and expand their business, developing the mass-market shoe Valentine designed in book one.I’ve got to hand it to Trigiani: she makes even the most mundane activities – such as securing a small business loan – seem fascinating. And that’s important in a novel like this which is built on small, everyday dramas rather than huge, life altering events. This time around, Valentine has discovered that her great grandfather who founded the business had a brother. The brother moved to Argentina and his descendants run a factory that makes upscale men’s shoes. The book jacket promises some sort of major scandal at the heart of this, but even though one character makes a big deal out of it, it’s really not. So that takes the wind of this novel’s sails a bit for me.And then there’s Valentine’s love life. Inexplicably, she has this thing for Gram’s new husband’s son, Gianluca, who is 20 years her senior and runs a tanning business in Italy. Now, first of all, Gianluca is not even the tiniest bit interesting, except that he’s kinda creepy. And then there’s the fact he lives on another continent. The major reason Valentine’s last relationship failed was because they both worked all the time and that guy was in NYC! So how is this long distance relationship between two work-a-holics supposed to work exactly? Going for Gianluca seems like an act of desperation that is beneath this character I’ve come to admire. I did not believe this romance for a second.What I did believe was the relationship dynamic between Valentine and her gay best friend Gabriel (love that he took a starring role here), between Valentine and her ex-boyfriend Bret, and Valentine and her brother Alfred. These connections, as well as the ones between family members, formed the backbone of the narrative. Good thing too, since the main romance was so dissatisfying.read more
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I enjoyed Valentine although she seemed to be sort of whiny in some parts. I liked the descriptions of her family and especially the background on the custom shoe business.read more
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I read all of Adriana Trigiani's Novels. How lucky am I that I got an Advanced Readers Copy as I am handicaped and spend alot of time in bed and they are easier to hold. I am in love with all of Adriana's characters....I love that we are in NY and then Italy. The explaination of the countries is so wonderful, I can see them. The charactors are strong and full of life. It is about family; born into and met along the way. Family is family no matter what. I love this whole Italian family and its ebb and flow.....You kept me involved in your life and I can not wait for the next installment...read more
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I've read other books by Ms. Trigiani, and the beginning of the first Valentine book. I was underwhelmed by the main love story. Valentine is right about everything and everybody, except when she's not appreciating Giancarlo enough, because he's so fabulous. Anyone with marriage problems just needs someone to tell them not to "throw away" all those years together, and magically, those problems disappear. Giancarlo's love letters are like a woman's fantasy of what she wants a man to say, but didn't sound remotely realistic to me. Gabriel's talk about men's ambition being based on pleasing women? Ridiculous. These characters were cardboard. The only one who seemed halfway real was Aunt Feen. I didn't like her, but she had something resembling a personality.read more
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Chick lit and a bit dramatic and unrealistic. Enjoyable easy beach readread more
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The continuation of the tale of Valentine, spinster sister in an Italian American family. I vaguely remember the first book, Very Valentine, so I started basically fresh with this. Yes, it's a chick book, with romance in it. But what really won the fourth star for me were the characters, and the realism there. As Valentine sorted through her Grandmother's stuff, and realized that though her family treasured the family concept, she was the keeper of the family history. To her fell the decisions about what to keep and what to discard. This was just a small bit of the story, but it really resonated with what I'm experiencing in my own world these days. Through it all, as well, Valentine grows up. She learns to read the strengths of her family, and appreciate what each can uniquely offer. She also learns more about love, some hard lessons, some easy. But it was a good book to listen to as I sorted through boxes of my mother's mementos. Art once again mimicking life in some ways.read more
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I loved this book! Trigiani's characters were perfectly flawed and beautifully developed. This book really paints the intricate picture of life within an Italian American family and the challenges that come with working together. I'll be reading her other works too.read more
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In Adriana Trigiani’s follow up to Very Valentine, Valentine Roncalli is back in Italy and attending her grandmother Teodora’s wedding. Teodora is planning on staying in Italy after the wedding and settling down with her new Italian husband. This means the family business that they share, the Angelini Shoe Company, is without its long-time manager. Valentine, as Teodora’s apprentice, was always expected to take over. When Teodora and Valentine meet to discuss the business’s future, Teodora shocks her granddaughter by including her grandson and Valentine’s almost-estranged brother Alfred as the company’s new Chief Financial Officer. Just last year, Alfred had tried to convince everyone that the best option for the shoe company was to sell it’s long term location in Greenwich Village and perhaps even shut down the not-so-profitable operation altogether. Valentine wonders as she and the rest of her family depart Italy how she could ever successfully work with her brother on a day-to-day basis.Valentine has two things that are really bothering her. The first is Gianluca, her new step-grandfather’s son who tried to romance her the first time she came to Italy. It seems he hasn’t forgotten his intense attraction to her when they meet again. After a near-miss post-wedding, their mutual attraction still isn’t fulfilled and he takes center stage in Valentine’s thoughts. The other thing plaguing Valentine is the launch of her new economic shoe line, the Bella Rosa. As she prepares to look for manufacturers abroad, she uncovers a family secret. This secret takes her to the shores of Buenos Aires and to meet some extended family members she never knew existed. When Gianluca surprises her during her trip, things definitely heat up. But Valentine’s commitment to work starts to get in the way of her love affair very quickly. Will Valentine be able to resolve work and romance?I enjoyed this book slightly more than Very Valentine. Many of the smaller elements really worked for me; Valentine's gay friend Gabriel moving into their Perry Street home, her sibling's affair, and the subplot with her renewed friendship with ex-boyfriend Bret. All this goes in the background while Valentine takes center stage, trying to move forward in both her professional and romantic life. While Valentine doesn't know what she wants in the latter, she definitely is a lot more focused with the Angelini Shoe Company in this tale; her focus made me like her more as a character. The loss of one of my favorite characters at the end is sad; it also helps propel the story to a new level. I really liked this story. I hope Valentine Roncalli comes back with her fabulous shoes again soon.
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I thought Very Valentine was Trigiani's best since Big Stone Gap. Act 2, Brava Valentine, is a big letdown and feels very contrived.
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I really enjoyed this book, it is a bit of fluff , but I enjoyed every bit of it. Leaves you with a good feeling. you must read the first book called Very Valentine.
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Here is the second in Trigiani's Valentine series, which will presumably go for one more so that it can be a trilogy as was her Big Stone Gap series. A lot of similarities exist between the two--single, older career woman who has never married but who has a close gay friend upon who she depends for emotional support. Both leading ladies have Italian origins, and part of the books take place in Italy. Valentine lives in New York City rather than in rural Virginia, and she also ventures off to Brazil. Otherwise, there are lots of parallels between the two books, and I see that as both a strength and a weakness. It makes for a pleasing story line, but it also gives this latest book sort of an also-read feel. Before book three, I think Trigiani needs to think of something original for Valentine to do that hasn't already been done in the Big Stone Gap books. For those who have not read the original trilogy, this will be a definite winner.
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Although this is the second installment in the series, I really feel that one could read this book without reading the first because of the good job that Trigiani does of bringing the reader up to speed. She also provides stimulating descriptions of two destinations that I long to visit, both New York and Italy. And after closing this book my desire to go to Italy has only blossomed.The novel opens in Italy as Valentine and her entire family travelled to Tuscany for her grandmother's wedding. And as you can imagine, with the joining of two Italian families there was not a dull moment during the entire event. Valentine finds herself looking forward to laying her eyes on Gianluca once again, but will the reunion go as she would like?Gram has a surprise for Valentine after her wedding when she explains to her that she has decided to take Alfred, Valentine's brother, as a partner. With his financial background Gram figures that Alfred is just what is needed for the Angelini Shoe Company. There has always seemed to be a friction between Alfred and Valentine so one would think that this partnership would never work, but not only did they make it work and help the business flourish at a new level, but they also found a deeper respect and understanding for each other.Secrets are uncovered in this novel, both from the present and the past. When Valentine takes a business trip to Buenos Aires she uncovers a long kept family secret that will not only strengthen Angelini Shoes but also the relationships with her extended family. While in Buenos Aires she finds some time for pleasure as she is surprised by the handsome Gianluca. She feels the pull of her heart towards Gianluca and enjoys the time that they spend together, but can Valentine make the commitment that is needed for this relationship to blossom?I loved so much about this book, from the cobblestone streets in Italy to the family squabbles back in New York City. I love how Trigiani brings out the real feelings in her characters-they do not live perfect lives and they do make mistakes. With themes of family dynamics, love, friendship, and sacrifices, this book was an excellent follow up to the Very Valentine. I recommend this series but even moreso if you feel like being whisked away to fabulous destinations.
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The author does terrific job creating characters whom the reader cares about. I like that Valentine doesn’t have it all figured it, that she struggles with family, career, love and friends. Even the minor characters are real and well-drawn, from June, the fabric cutter to Roberta, the new-found cousin to Pamela, the sister-in-law who doesn’t fit in.Trigiani comes from a close-knit Italian family herself, and she excels at the family relationships and scenes. Everyone can relate to the family dynamics that occur during weddings and family dinners, culminating with a Thanksgiving dinner that starts out with such promise and high hopes, only to disintegrate into a truth-telling, secret-spilling train wreck. Tough topics, such as infidelity, job loss, death and racism are also tackled in the novel; Trigiani does not shy away from the tougher things in life we all face. She also does humor very well; you will find yourself laughing out loud when Valentine and Gianluca are almost caught naked in a hotel by her young niece.Trigiani is a very visual author. Her scenes are so detailed, and they scream out to be made into a visual medium of some type- a film or a TV miniseries. Luckily, Lifetime TV has optioned the first novel in the series, VERY VALENTINE, for a movie; I can't wait!She describes the shoes she creates in such detail that I had hoped to see sketches of them in the novel. Her trips to scenic Italy and Argentina, her Greenwich Village neighborhood and the extreme home makeover of Gram’s apartment above Angelini Shoes by her gay best friend Gabriel are so vividly described, the reader can picture it all so clearly in her mind.“The living room is wallpapered in cream with a black-striped border. Gabriel has positioned his zebra-print love seats in front of the windows. He created draperies that mimic stage curtains, opulent turquoise silk drapes with black silk braid tiebacks. He used Gram’s simple black onyx-based lamps to anchor the love seats.”Food is another important element in her novels, and I swear you can almost smell the cannolis the Roncalli sisters are stuffing for dessert. (In the paperback version of VERY VALENTINE Trigiani added a section titled “Eat and Read” containing recipes for some of the dishes in the novel- a definite incentive to buy the paperback.) Readers must be prepared to use all of their senses when reading BRAVA, VALENTINE smelling and tasting the Italian delicacies, seeing the beautifully designed shoes, and the scenery of Italy and Argentina- it is truly a sensual experience.Trigiani also pays tribute to music in BRAVA, VALENTINE. Gram has a collection of Frank Sinatra albums, and the author has titled each of the chapters a different Sinatra song- “It Isn’t a Dream Anymore”, “Autumn in New York”, “Polka Dots and Moonbeams” are examples. It’s a clever homage to a great Italian-American singer.BRAVA, VALENTINE is a must-read for fans of Meryl Streep’s film “It’s Complicated” and “Sex in the City”.
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When Valentine's grandmother begins a new life in Italy, she places Valentine and her nemesis, her brother Alfred, as partners in the Angeline Shoe Company, makers of handcrafted wedding shoes since 1903.
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When Valentine Roncalli’s beloved grandmother moves to Italy and gets re-married she leaves her custom shoe business to Valentine and Valentine’s brother, Alfred. Valentine and Alfred haven’t always gotten along, so Valentine’s concerned for the business that she’s grown to love.While Valentine is tying to take the business in a new direction, she’s also balancing a budding romance and drama from her large, Italian-American family. Needless to say, some things work out better than others.I read Very Valentine by Adriana Trigiani last year and have to admit that I was a little disappointed. It’s not that it’s not a good book, it just didn’t meet the high standards that I’ve set for Trigiani’s work. Well, let me tell you, she is back on her game with Brava, Valentine. I thought this book was great! For me, it delivered everything I expected of it. Great relationships, family dynamics, a little romance and a little controversy. I laughed and I cried while I read it and any book that makes me feel emotions like that is a good one to me.I think the fantastic characters are what make this book so special to me. I love Valentine and think she is a wonderful character that many women can relate to. She is strong, smart and independent, yet she is full of self-doubt and finds herself trying to please others. I can’t wait to see what happens to Valentine in the next book.
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Lots of fun, humorous, just enough romance to work. This is the 2nd in the series, and Valentine Roncalli is a heroine who works - literally- for a living. She makes shoes, she runs a business, she takes care of her typical (almost stereotypical) Italian family, and she has a triumvirate of males slobbering over her.Where else will you have a heroine who manages to maintain love relationships (in all variations) with three different men? There's her life-long friend and ex-fiance Brett who is now a business advisor, but who is still a BF; her live-in 'wife' - the not overly flamboyant gay roomate Gabriel, who makes her coffee, decorates her house, and nurses her heart through the true romance Gian-Carlo - the Italian stallion who is the son of her grandmother's 2nd husband. Whew....got that straight? It's fabulous, it works, it's witty and well written.Lots of fun, and if you're looking for a good, not too steamy, but sultry lip-smacking romance for the summer, try this one.
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As much as I love Amish, Historicals, and suspense, I love a GREAT chick lit just as much! Now a days, with so much R rated content added in, it's truly hard to find a really good chick lit novel that I can get into. But, after hearing good things about Adriana Trigiani and her work, I was excited for the chance to review Brava, Valentine. Though, sadly, this is a follow up to her book Very Valentine, which I wish I would have read already, but it gives me something to look forward to reading in the future! That being said, though, I wasn't confused by the events or the characters in this book....in fact, this could be dubbed a stand alone title, as well. This book immediately captured me with not only the characters who become friends, but with the setting....parts of this book is set in Italy. I have ALWAYS wanted to go to Italy. And, reading a book like this, that's exactly what I got to do. I didn't even have to leave the comfort of my PJ's or my home! It was like I had just boarded a plane and was instantly next to the Angelini/Roncalli clan. Now, that's some fun traveling. I felt as though I could see the villages in Italy and I could just imagine the bella accents. Oh, how I love an Italian accent! Filled with lots of laugh-out-loud humor and a family secret, Adriana Trigiani really captures the readers' hearts with lovable characters like Valentine(she really was a sweet character!), Gianluca (*ppuurrr* can I have him?), Aunt Feen(well, let's just say that, um, she's definitely quite a character!), and even Gabriel(hhmm,he's sounds adorably funny, but...well,we'll leave it at that ;o)!). I really felt the pull into the story and became one of these characters, laughing out loud, running the family business with a nemesis and helping Valentine follow heart to what she REALLY wants. A story of longing, families, a'more and secrets, Trigiani has turned out a 4 star sexy, sassy, witty novel that, while I can't wait to go back and read book 1, is excellent! It's sexy, and passionate, yet there isn't any detailed R rated scenes, and with an extremely mild use of language (no F's !) that can be easily overlooked, it's one that I recommend to chick lit lovers! I'm hoping, really hoping, that Adriana Trigiani adds a third installment to Valentine's story!
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I love Adriana Trigiani's writing: it has its own style, it's witty, and it's sprinkled all over with hilarious and always-to-the-point metaphors. I also like how she gets it through to us that nobody is perfect, that we all make mistakes, mess up at times throughout our lives. The characters of her books do that... and so do we all, suggests the author. As for the contents of this particular novel, I found Valentine's ruminations, doubts, and hesitations a bit repetitive at times, but then, again, I could relate if not to the subject of her doubts but at least to the nature of them... Valentine makes fun of her own family, but loves them all to death, this is very endearing. On the whole, there was drama and there was optimism, and I found myself tearful at one point. For me, it all points to the value of a good book worth reading.
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WOWEE wow wow!! I thought BIG STONE GAP was my favorite book written by Adriana Trigiani, but it is now second after having listened to BRAVA, VALENTINE. I was in love with VERY VALENTINE and became enraptured with this second of the trilogy. Now I really can't wait to see what happens in the third one whenver that one comes out. I will get it as an audiobook, too. Hell, I may go get everything Trigiani has written as an audiobook! Especially if Cassandra Campbell is narrating. Campbell is big part of the magic of this trilogy. She voices the characters wonderfully. I adore Valentine, grin at her bestest buddy Gabe, and swoon over Gianluca. There's not much more that I can say that wasn't covered in the passage above from the back of the BOCD cover. Except that I loved watching Valentine come to terms with her Gram marrying and moving to Italy; learning how to be partners with her brother; finding out what it was like to trust her heart to someone. She had a lot of growing up to do and she didn't even realize that she needed to. Please, please, please! Do yourself a huge hug and get this book to read or listen to. It is wonderfully gorgeous!!!Five Wowee wow wow sparkly diamonds....
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Valentine Roncalli works at her family's custom show company in New York's West Village (love that neighborhood!) and this novel follows her pursuit of a career in the family business and her efforts to take the helm of the business and grow it in new directions as her grandmother exits. Her ascent to head of the company is complicated by her brother, Alfred, and his lack of faith in her business skills and inability to understand her need to keep the "family" in family business. Beyond their divergent views on business, they also view families and relationships very differently and that makes for some interesting tension in their work life and in their family's gatherings.Valentine really begins to grow into herself in this book and takes ownership of her role as creative head of the family business. I liked seeing this evolution in this character - in Very Valentine, she seemed reluctant to own that role and see her talents as a shoe designer whereas in this book she is almost empowered by her talent and takes the lead more naturally. With her growing career, come questions about work/life balance and whether she wants a family and how to have that family and dedicate the time necessary to build her business - a never-ending dilemma to which most readers can relate. Her challenged love life from book one continues and I found myself hoping she would get out of her own way and just let love happen to her!There is so much more to this book than the snapshot I have offered above in the plot summary - Valentine uncovers a long lost family secret and travels to Buenos Aires to learn more about it, she faces infidelity in her family and the loss of a close friend. The book is fantastic and offers a deeper dive into the characters from book one. In fact, in her Blog Talk Radio interview about Very Valentine, the author talks about how she enjoys writing books in series of threes so that she can really "crack" a character and develop them more fully. I saw that in this book as she offers more insight into Valentine's brother Alfred, and what makes him tick - he moves from relatively one dimensional in book one to much more complex in book two.
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This genre is usually so not my thing, but something about Trigiani's writing, when set in New York, just grabs me.
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To be quite honest, I thought Brava, Valentine was definitely better than it's predecessor, Very Valentine. Brava, Valentine picks up a few months where Very Valentine left off. If you don't want minor spoilers, I suggest you stop reading at this point. Anyways, Valentine is still working diligently to save the company, mainly expanding on the solution from the last book. The romance within this book just seemed to sizzle off the page, even though there didn't seem to be a whole lot of play, if you know what I mean.I liked that Brava, Valentine featured more love and romance, than work work work. Valentine and Gianluca's relationship, while chaste for the most part, is rather sexy. Let me say, I wish my boyfriend would take some lessons from Gianluca. Let me say, there is way more chemistry between those two than her last boyfriend.Also, hip hip hurray for more Gabriel. He's Valentine's gay best friend. He is definitely a distinct and memorable character, and it is lovely how well he gets along with Valentine. I liked to see their personalities meshing, and just how strong of a friendship they had. However, there is less of Gram in this book, you can definitely feel her absence. Yet to make up for less Gram, there is more June, who if you recall, was Gram's best friend. Can I just state for the record that I love sassy old women?Anyways, I thought Brava, Valentine was a faster read than Very Valentine. I felt like I already knew the characters so there was no need for long winded introductions to these characters and their nuances. It's weird because I just felt so attached and invested in these people, that I felt myself reaching for the next book after finishing Brava, before realizing it's not out yet.
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Second installent to "Very Valentine". Great story of an Italian family in New York that owns a family shoe business. Good light reading with great characters.
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I've been a fan of Trigiani for years and anxiously await each new release. Brava, Valentine is a continuation of her last book Very Valentine. This book did not disappoint. It's the struggle of Valentine, a 35-year old single Italian American, to find love and herself. Valentine is so down-to-earth that you can imagine you are her then the story makes lovely departures from the ordinary to make you wish you were her. The characters, her large group of family and friends, are so richly written that you feel as if you know them all. Toward the end of the book, as I saw the remaining pages dwindle, I found myself already wishing for the next because I don't want the story to end. Now I am anxiously awaiting the third installment in the Valentine series.
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I absolutely LOVE the Angelini's. Very Valentine was great and this one is even better! Many new things have happened in Valentine's life and it make you happy, sad, anxious..all the above to go through it with her and her family. So far I have loved all of Adriana Trigiani's books!
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I love this series. I love this author. Andriana Trigiani makes me happy the way only a few authors do. I know I'm going to end up happy by the end of the story. I may not be happy with everything that happens in the book and boy this one had some drama.It seemed no one in the Angelini/Rocellli family made it out of this one unscathed. But they were all well on their way to healing by the end. And hopefully, by the third in the series (I do believe there's suppose to be three) I'm sure everyone will live happily ever after.I don't know if I love Valentine more than I love Ave Marie her heroine in the Big Stone Gap series but I know I can't wait to find out what happens next.Thank you Ms. Trigiani for another wonderful read. Please don't take too long to give me another.
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This book is second in the Trigiani's Valentine series. I don't want to give away any details since not all of you have read the first one in the series, so this summary will be vague! Valentine is back in the shoe shop struggling to manage the family business. She travels to Buenos Aires to explore further options for the company while exploring a buried family secret at the same time. Oh and there's a handsome gentleman that makes an appearance throughout the novel as well. Similar in premise to Very Valentine, the question is whether Valentine will balance her desire to prolong the life of the family's shoe company with her need to find love?I made a reading mistake. I should not have read Brava, Valentine right after reading Very Valentine. Can you say, too much Valentine? Many things that I found to be charming in the first novel was irritating in this one. I liked once again how Valentine travelled to Italy and Argentina. I also liked how she lives in a wonderful NYC loft on the Hudson River. These settings are described very vividly. Unforunately, I disliked several more things. Valentine's view of love is very annoying for me. She generally failed to overlook the fleeting nature of a physical relationship, and when she did look beyond the physical it was very cheesy. Another thing is that Valentine is selfish in her relationships. She admits this but never really works to change her ways - rude! Her family was not near as funny to me in this either. It turned out to be a family soap opera of sorts, and unless it's soaked with a good amount of humor, I do not necessarily want to read about another family's issues... especially when it's issue after issue after issue. So, if you are a diehard Trigiani fan and loved Very Valentine I imagine that you will like this one allright, too. As a person who isn't a usual reader of chick-lit, however, I really don't think Brava, Valentine is for everyone.
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Like its predecessor VERY VALENTINE, this installment of Valentine’s family saga starts off with a wedding – only this time, it’s Gram to her secret love in Italy. After the wedding, Gram drops a bombshell – she wants Valentine and her semi-estranged brother Alfred to run the shoe company together as they try and expand their business, developing the mass-market shoe Valentine designed in book one.I’ve got to hand it to Trigiani: she makes even the most mundane activities – such as securing a small business loan – seem fascinating. And that’s important in a novel like this which is built on small, everyday dramas rather than huge, life altering events. This time around, Valentine has discovered that her great grandfather who founded the business had a brother. The brother moved to Argentina and his descendants run a factory that makes upscale men’s shoes. The book jacket promises some sort of major scandal at the heart of this, but even though one character makes a big deal out of it, it’s really not. So that takes the wind of this novel’s sails a bit for me.And then there’s Valentine’s love life. Inexplicably, she has this thing for Gram’s new husband’s son, Gianluca, who is 20 years her senior and runs a tanning business in Italy. Now, first of all, Gianluca is not even the tiniest bit interesting, except that he’s kinda creepy. And then there’s the fact he lives on another continent. The major reason Valentine’s last relationship failed was because they both worked all the time and that guy was in NYC! So how is this long distance relationship between two work-a-holics supposed to work exactly? Going for Gianluca seems like an act of desperation that is beneath this character I’ve come to admire. I did not believe this romance for a second.What I did believe was the relationship dynamic between Valentine and her gay best friend Gabriel (love that he took a starring role here), between Valentine and her ex-boyfriend Bret, and Valentine and her brother Alfred. These connections, as well as the ones between family members, formed the backbone of the narrative. Good thing too, since the main romance was so dissatisfying.
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I enjoyed Valentine although she seemed to be sort of whiny in some parts. I liked the descriptions of her family and especially the background on the custom shoe business.
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I read all of Adriana Trigiani's Novels. How lucky am I that I got an Advanced Readers Copy as I am handicaped and spend alot of time in bed and they are easier to hold. I am in love with all of Adriana's characters....I love that we are in NY and then Italy. The explaination of the countries is so wonderful, I can see them. The charactors are strong and full of life. It is about family; born into and met along the way. Family is family no matter what. I love this whole Italian family and its ebb and flow.....You kept me involved in your life and I can not wait for the next installment...
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I've read other books by Ms. Trigiani, and the beginning of the first Valentine book. I was underwhelmed by the main love story. Valentine is right about everything and everybody, except when she's not appreciating Giancarlo enough, because he's so fabulous. Anyone with marriage problems just needs someone to tell them not to "throw away" all those years together, and magically, those problems disappear. Giancarlo's love letters are like a woman's fantasy of what she wants a man to say, but didn't sound remotely realistic to me. Gabriel's talk about men's ambition being based on pleasing women? Ridiculous. These characters were cardboard. The only one who seemed halfway real was Aunt Feen. I didn't like her, but she had something resembling a personality.
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Chick lit and a bit dramatic and unrealistic. Enjoyable easy beach read
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The continuation of the tale of Valentine, spinster sister in an Italian American family. I vaguely remember the first book, Very Valentine, so I started basically fresh with this. Yes, it's a chick book, with romance in it. But what really won the fourth star for me were the characters, and the realism there. As Valentine sorted through her Grandmother's stuff, and realized that though her family treasured the family concept, she was the keeper of the family history. To her fell the decisions about what to keep and what to discard. This was just a small bit of the story, but it really resonated with what I'm experiencing in my own world these days. Through it all, as well, Valentine grows up. She learns to read the strengths of her family, and appreciate what each can uniquely offer. She also learns more about love, some hard lessons, some easy. But it was a good book to listen to as I sorted through boxes of my mother's mementos. Art once again mimicking life in some ways.
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I loved this book! Trigiani's characters were perfectly flawed and beautifully developed. This book really paints the intricate picture of life within an Italian American family and the challenges that come with working together. I'll be reading her other works too.
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