Title: The Supreme Macaroni Company
Author: Adriana Trigiani
Genre: Contemporary fiction
Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
Source: ARC from the publisher for a tour with TLC Book Tours
Number of pages: 352
First line: The Hudson River lay flat and black like a lost evening glove.
Goodreads blurb: For over a hundred years, the Angelini Shoe Company in Greenwich Village has relied on the leather produced by Vechiarelli & Son in Tuscany. This historic business partnership provides the twist of fate for Valentine Roncalli, the school teacher turned shoemaker, to fall in love with Gianluca Vechiarelli, a tanner with a complex past . . . and a secret.
A piece of surprising news is revealed at The Feast of the Seven Fishes when Valentine and Gianluca join her extended family on a fateful Christmas Eve. Now faced with life altering 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.” The proud, passionate Valentine is going to fight for everything she wants and savor all she deserves-the bitter and the sweetness of life itself.
First of all, I have to tell you that I totally loved the first two books in Adriana Trigiani’s Valentine series. I listened to them on audio, narrated by the incomparable Cassandra Campbell, and fell in love with Valentine and the whole Roncali clan. I had no idea that there was going to be a third book in the series, and in fact, when I agreed to review this book, I had no idea it was a Valentine book.
Having said all of that, I kind of wish that she had left the Valentine story where she did at the end of book two, because this wasn’t a “love it” book for me. There was something missing. The plot seemed to move through time much too quickly, never lingering over one event or conversation long enough to give it depth. And I really didn’t like what happened to Valentine’s character. I understand that many women struggle with the fight between family and career, but Valentine’s disregard for Gianluca and his wishes seemed out of character to me. It made me like her less as a character, and I hated that.
I am left wondering if my lack of enthusiasm for this third volume is because I read it myself instead of listening to the audio. Maybe I only loved the first books because of Cassandra Campbell’s stellar narration? Who knows? All I know is that I think I would have been happier with remembering Valentine and Gianluca as they were at the end of book two.