Monday, March 15, 2010

Brava, Valentine

I love Adriana Trigiani's books. I have read every single one of her books and each time I go away happy with my experience. Sure, there are some stories I love more than others, but the writing is always something I enjoy reading.

Trigiani has created another group of characters with her Valentine trilogy (Brava, Valentine, the second book was just published). This second installment picks up where the first left off. Valentine is still working for the family shoe company. The only difference is that now her eighty year old grandmother has married and moved to Italy leaving Valentine on her own, with the help of her brother, Alfred, who Valentine has had a contentious relationship with for years. Valentine also is working through her status as a single thirty four year old woman - perhaps hiding behind her work, or perhaps needing nothing more than that. When an opportunity for love arises, Valentine has to examine her own beliefs and look inside herself. The same characters that make up the first Valentine book, Very Valentine, are a part of this one - ex-boyfriend, Bret, Gram, Valentines sisters, her brother and their families, and her friend, Gabriel to name just a few. I love it when there is a familiarity with characters as a series continues. Trigiani is also known for the Italian flair each of her books contain - and this book opens with Gram's wedding in Italy, and continues following a big and loud Italian American family. Valentine shows us that even a person who is grown is constantly learning about themselves, life, relationships, love - she is easy to identify with.

I am always amazed at the number of people I talk to who have never read Trigiani's work. I look forward to her books months before they come out and feel like she is a must-read for anyone who enjoys women's fiction.

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