Thursday, February 25, 2010

Very Valentine by Adriana Trigiani

Last night we met for Book Group and discussed Very Valentine: A Novel. Well, mostly we gossiped but we did discuss the book for a few minutes.

Very Valentine is the story of an Italian American 30-something named Valentine, who has moved in with her Grandmother so she can learn the custom shoe industry from her. At around the time she meets a good looking Italian boy she learns that the family shoe business is in deep financial trouble. Trying to save the company puts strain on all of her relationships and she must try to decide what is truly important to her. This is very much a Chick-Lit title with more focus on the main character growing as a person than on her romances.

During the discussion, there was some unhappiness with the relationship between Valentine and her boyfriend, especially from the attendees who are romance readers. However, learning that this is the first in a trilogy did seem to make a difference to a few of the people who expressed this frustration. Others found the not-so-perfect relationship to be very typical of the modern dating world and felt it contributed to the style and pacing of the story. One person thought there was too much focus on the back story and family dynamics. Everyone agreed that her relationship with her Grandmother was the strongest part of the book and very charming.

I personally enjoyed this novel very much. I liked the dynamics with her family and co-workers much more than I did the sections about her budding relationship. I love novels in which the character or characters build their own family (especially when they throw in a couple of quirky characters.) I will definitely be checking out the second in the series, Brava, Valentine: A Novel which came out February 9, 2010.

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