The Supreme Macaroni Company by Adriana Trigiani
Paperback: 352 pages
Publisher: Harper Paperbacks; Reprint edition (May 6, 2014)
In The Supreme Macaroni Company, Adriana Trigiani transports readers from the cobblestone streets of Greenwich Village to lush New Orleans to Italy and back again while exploring the tricky dynamics between Old World craftsmanship and New World ambition, all amid a passionate love affair that fuels one woman’s determination to have it all.
For over a hundred years, the Angelini Shoe Company in Greenwich Village has relied on the leather produced by Vechiarelli & Son in Tuscany. This ancient business partnership provides the twist of fate for Valentine Roncalli, the schoolteacher turned shoemaker, to fall in love with Gianluca Vechiarelli, a tanner with a complex past . . . and a secret.
But after the wedding celebrations are over, Valentine wakes up to the hard reality of juggling the demands of a new business and the needs of her new family. Confronted with painful 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.” Now the proud, passionate Valentine is going to fight for everything she wants and savor all she deserves—the bitter and the sweet 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: an unforgettable narrative about family, work, romance, and the unexpected turns of life and fate.
This is the third in the Valentine Trilogy, which includes Very Valentine (2009) and Brava, Valentine (2010). Even though this is the third in the series, there is enough info in the book so that it can be read as a stand-a-lone. I haven’t read the first two, but do have a copy of the second one and am eager to get the first so that I can read them too.
I didn’t connect with Valentine right away, but she grew on me and I did enjoy her for the rest of the book. The descriptions of the places and events brought the words to life, and the characters were very well written. The family relationships were like every family I know. Sometimes they didn’t agree or get along, but love was always present.
I loved every aspect of this book, even the shoe making. My late brother in law was in the shoe business, and I remember being fascinated with him and his job. He took me with him a few times and I loved going with him. This book brought back lots of memories of him and the shoes, which also endeared the book to me.
The book made me laugh, which is the best I can hope for in any book, but it also made me sad which I also love. To me, feeling emotional while reading a book makes it a winner!
About the author:
Adriana Trigiani is an award-winning playwright, television writer, and documentary filmmaker. Her books include the New York Times bestseller The Shoemaker’s Wife; the Big Stone Gap series; Very Valentine; Brava, Valentine; Lucia, Lucia; and the bestselling memoir Don’t Sing at the Table, as well as the young adult novels Viola in Reel Life and Viola in the Spotlight. She wrote the screenplay for Big Stone Gap, which she also directed. She lives in New York City with her husband and daughter.