By Adriana Trigiani
Harper, $26.99, 496 pages
In her new book The Shoemaker’s Wife, author Adriana Trigiani tells the story of the trials and tribulations of the immigrant experience in the early 1900s. Although Eduardo and Ciro are orphans living in a convent, they live the idyllic country life in their homeland of Italy. When the boys are kicked out of the convent, Ciro decides to make his future and face life’s harsh realities by sailing to New York City to learn the trade of making shoes. Ciro woos many Italian girls in Little Italy, but his mind still lingers on Enza, a girl back home. Unbeknownst to Ciro, Enza and her father Marco have been forced to sail to New York so that they can earn money and send it home to help make ends meet. A chance encounter between Ciro and Enza changes everything.
Trigiani weaves a tale so believable and so immersive that I could not put this book down. She documents the hard work and the way in which the immigrants scrupulously saved in order to realize their dreams.
Reviewed by Seniye Groff