The Shoemaker’s Daughter by Adriana Trigiani(3 out of 5)
It’s the early 1900’s and Ciro and his brother live in a convent after their mother leaves them there. They make a life there, although missing her dreadfully. He ends up meeting Enza when he ends up digging the grave for her deceased sibling. What follows? Immediate connection and a haunting image of her in Ciro’s mind. Things don’t go as planned, of course, for Ciro. He witnesses forbidden contact between a priest and a parishioner, and is cast from the convent. Enza and her father end up in New York after the going gets too tough in Italy.
What happens? Do they battle the odds of hardship in America and become successful? Do they continue to struggle? What happens to their families? Do Ciro and Enza end up meeting and becoming lovers, as their pre-destined glances of each other would suggest? Does Trigiani continue her trend of writing well-developed characters and capturing the reader’s heart and mind? Well…..
Obviously, you should read the book so there will be no secrets spilled here. This novel, unlike the Big Cherry Holler and Big Stone Gap novels I attempted years ago, was an enjoyable read. It was just…that… enjoyable. There was something missing. The characters in the novel are in-depth and wonderfully written. One thing that did annoy the mistletoe out of me was that the paragraphs where Trigiani decided to describe something were alarmingly detailed- to the point of boredom. You shouldn’t have to go on for hours while describing surroundings. If your story is capturing your reader, they can form their own version in their mind’s eye. When you go on for two paragraphs about how to clean a fish, something’s wrong.
The worst thing? Simply put, it just didn’t capture my attention as I had hoped. I did, however, enjoy it far more than the other Trigiani books I have read, just not that I can call it a 5-star read. Those droning descriptives just killed it for me.