The introduction of Adriana Trigiani's work for me has been with the two audiobooks for Very Valentine and Brava, Valentine. Let's put it this way - I am so enamored with the audio versions, that I just can't imagine the character of Valentine not voiced by the incomparable Cassandra Campbell. You better believe that when the final book comes out, I will be downloading the audio straightaway. Does anyone know when that third book is coming out?
In Very Valentine, The Angelini Shoe Company is part of the shrinking world of family-owned small businesses in Greenwich Village, and with their primary product being original designs of handcrafted wedding shoes, combined with mismanaged financials, it is soon uncovered that this business might not be around for too long. But Valentine is the last single woman in the Angelini family (as Trigiani calls her), and come hell or high water, she will do what she can to find a way to save the family business. With a new relationship forming with sexy chef Roman Falconi, Valentine travels back to Italy with her smart and sassy grandmother, Teodora, to learn new techniques and designs that she might be able to bring back to America to rejuvenate the business.
A fun and endearing story, Adriana Trigiani knocked it out of the park with this one for me. I was in the mood for a story about family and friendships, and combined with the Italian countryside, culture, and people, for a good part of the story, it just couldn't go wrong. It was hilarious, it was heart-warming, it just was all the things I needed to read right now. And the characters! Who can read this book (or listen to it), and not love Teodora, Valentine's grandmother? You have no soul if you can experience this book and just not fall madly in love with her.
These were characters so magically developed that to experience this in an audio format made it all so true to life and each one virtually bounded out of the story and into my heart. The angst between the in-laws and *the* family itself were superbly genuine, and when the story moves to Italy, it felt right. (Although I might be a teensy bit biased with that since, well, I love all things Italia).
What we all know about Adriana Trigiani, is that what makes her stories so memorable and tug at our heartstrings, is her ability to describe the family dynamic perfectly. Trigiani is a master artisan herself, of character development and the intertwined relationships of the large Italian family. With that expert comedic flair, she just rounds out the story perfectly.
And what can I say about the über-talented Cassandra Campbell? Once again at the helm of another best-seller, Campbell voices the character of Valentine and the family with an authenticity that is unquestionable. Like Trigiani, there is nothing pretentious with Campbell's work - both are delivered phenomenally, and it is a solid performance all around. This is a good pairing, and I can't wait for more. I'm almost done with Brava, Valentine, and again I ask, when does the third one come out?
You have to check out Adriana Trigiani on the Today Show - click here to see this clip of her promoting Brava, Valentine. It is this personality that comes out so resoundingly successful in her stories. She is hilarious!
About the Author
Adriana Trigiani is an accomplished author with thirteen books under her belt. Her bio on her website is filled with oodles of insight, so to really get to know this quirky and down-to-earth author, click here.
Millions of fans know her best for the Valentine series, and especially Big Stone Gap. I'm excited to read everything by her.
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FTC Disclosure - I downloaded this audiobook from iTunes. Go. Experience this fun for yourself, too.