Valentine Roncalli does not believe she is the pretty one Nor is she the smart one. Valentine in fact looks at herself as the funny one. It’s an easier spot to be in.
Yet now that the Angelina Shoe Company, the one her family has owned for more than a century seems to be on the verge of financial destruction, funny just is not going to cut it. To save the business Valentine must find a way to bring their business into the 21st century, all awhile juggling her own romance with chef Roman Falconi, her larger and opinionated family, and not only enter but try to win a design challenge presented by a prestigious department store.
Valentine will turn her life, and their business upside down in ways she never expected.
Very Valentine is a re-read for me. In fact, it was this book, along with Brava Valentine that entered me into an Adriana Trigiani contest two years ago that lined me up with dinner with her along with 5 other book bloggers when we were in New York in 2010.
When my book club chose this for our February read I was thrilled for them to get a chance to experience this wonderful author, but for me was unsure if I was going to read the book again (what is the Italian word for idiot? 😯 )
As the time came closer to our review I thought I had better skim through it at least and had downloaded it on my NOOK (my challenge to read all book club books this year on my NOOK) and opened the story up… within a minute I was smiling to myself.
Do you know that feeling when you walk into a bakery or a fresh bread store and a scent brings you back to an earlier in life moment? That’s what Very Valentine did for me…. the opening lines made me smile. I was suddenly whooshed back to Valentine’s world and it is a busy one filled with voices of family, amazing Italian dishes, and shoes… oh the shoes. Skim shim… I read the book in its entirety again. 🙂
Last night at the Bookies review we had a wonderful time discussing family and traditions, two very large and important topics throughout Very Valentine. We also discussed the shoes and Angie (By Book Or By Crook) brought along a slideshow presentation of shoes, embellishments for the shoes, Italy, the windows discussed in the book…. it was awesome. I love that our book club will do the little extras to bring a book to life.
And much like a big Italian, family ourselves, we brought food… delicious food, we ate, we laughed… and before we left it was 9 pm…. (we usually end at 8 pm) 😯
The book was enjoyed by all. The discussion and food were wonderful (I did not even get a picture of the desert!