"Outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read." Groucho Marx

Thursday, March 6, 2014

The Shoemaker's Wife by Adriana Trigiani

There isn't one particular outstanding element in this book that would send me running to my friends to recommend it, but I LOVED it. I adored the characters. The mix is just about perfect. There's sketchy people, reserved people, outgoing people, shady people, helpful people-and they are all so well done it's hard for me to imagine that they are not alive and well somewhere in the world cooking, singing, sewing, or making shoes.  I loved the hodgepodge of early 20th century America. I loved reading about the hard-working, hopeful spirit Ellis Island inductees brought to the country in the name of love, safety, and prosperity. I loved that the characters were not without their trials but they were also not without their successes. (I hate a book that has you falling in love with the characters but never gives them a "win". The Shoemaker's Wife is not one of those novels).

The gap from four stars to five comes from the second half of the novel. There is a fairly lengthy segment when everything is going along swimmingly, the years are flying by, and nothing's really happening. That part of the novel had me searching for the point and thinking the plot had been lost. I'm glad I was mistaken and the tale snapped right back to total engagement but the momentum is noticeably slower through that section. I'll definitely read more of Adriana Trigiani's work. In fact, I'm looking for more right now...

You will find an official plot line description at: 

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