"The stealth difference: we're both Italians, but I was an American first and he was truly an Italian first. All the vowels in the world that we had in common couldn't make up for the disparity in our points of view."
~ The Supreme Macaroni Company, Adriana Trigiani
Published in 2013, The Supreme Macaroni Company is the story of Valentine Roncalli, a talented shoemaker who enjoys working at the Angelini Shoe Company in Greenwich Village, NY. The beginning of the book centers around Valentine's upcoming marriage to Gianluca Vechiarelli, a handsome, blue-eyed tanner from Italy. Although Val is independent and career-minded, she wants to be happily married, but she knows that there will be obstacles to overcome, including a "glandular predisposition that prevents true happiness". She loves Gianluca, but she's worried about how her life will change once she's married. Val's mostly concerned because she thinks that Gianluca, who's eighteen-years older than she is and has an ex-wife and a grown daughter, would prefer to live in Italy. This novel explores many aspects of love, work, location, and family, and the connections between them.
What did I think of my first novel by Adriana Trigiani? Although I learned that this is the third book in the Valentine Trilogy, which includes Very Valentine (2009) and Brava, Valentine (2010), I didn't have a difficult time following the story (although I'd like to read the other two books in this series at some point). At the start of the book is an elegantly-rendered family tree which is helpful, especially if you stumble a bit over Italian last names (one of my goals in writing this review was to master the spelling of the author's name, A-d-r-i-a-n-a T-r-i-g-i-a-n-i). The author's writing lived up to my expectations; it's very lovely, and it's also very funny at times. The story is mostly set in two superlative places, in NY and Italy, and the descriptions of Italy furthered my desire to travel to this bella country. Magical writing brought Val, Gianluca, Dutch, Mom, Aunt Feen, and many other characters to life. I relished the company of Valentine and her large and lively Italian family, as they gathered together to experience and celebrate life.
The Supreme Macaroni Company made me smile, it made me laugh, and it made me cry (just a bit). It touched my emotions. It also made me think about how I spend my time, and what my priorities truly are. I'm thrilled to now have the chance to share this novel with a reader. The publisher is generously offering a giveaway for an autographed copy of The Supreme Macaroni Company (U.S. only).
- To enter this giveaway, simply leave a comment.
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- For one more entry, mention a different book by Adriana Trigiani that you've enjoyed reading.
Enter by 5 PM PDT on Monday, August 18. One winner will be selected randomly and announced on Tuesday, August 19. Buona fortuna!
Grazie to Laura from Italy Book Tours for sending me a copy of this book, and for offering this giveaway through the publisher. I'm honored to be the first stop on this book tour. For more reviews and giveaways, please visit Italy Book Tours' other stops for The Supreme Macaroni Company.