Wednesday, October 10, 2012
The Shoemakers Wife
Enza is the oldest daughter of a large family. Her father works hard to support their family by driving a carriage. Enza is an excellent seamstress and helps out as much as she can. When Enza's youngest sister dies, Ciro is sent to dig the grave for the little girl. He and Enza have an immediate connection but shortly after their meeting Enza and her father leave for America. She to work as a seamstress and her father to work in the mines. Ciro heads to America about the same time not knowing that Enza is there too. There are a number of missed connections between the two over the course of the book, but they are believable and the lives the characters lead are well crafted.
The only gripe I have about the book is I never really understood what happened to the boys' mother. There is a brief explanation later on, but it didn't really clarify anything for me.
A very satisfying read with excellent descriptions. When I first started reading the descriptions were so detailed it distracted me a little bit, but then I realized the reason is that not many authors bother with detailed descriptions anymore, it's all dialogue and plot. Once I got past that, I quickly got sucked in. This book is full of ups and downs and there were times when things were going well for Ciro and Enza and I would stop reading for a while so they could exist in their happy little world in my mind for a while.
Apparently the story is partly inspired by events of the authors own family although it is a work of fiction. I don't normally read too many reviews of books before I read them for fear of spoilers, but as I read some reviews now, I find it funny that a couple of people were glad to read a book about Italy and Italian immigrants in New York that did not include any mafioso. I hadn't thought about that but it's true. Then again, these are Northern Italians so maybe that's why. I definitely recommend it, and will be looking for more books by this author.
Next up are the Night Circus and Gone Girl. I've already started Night Circus and am enjoying it but just got Gone Girl from the library and it's a 14 day loan since it's a pretty popular book.