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THE SUPREME MACARONI COMPANY: A Novel about the Angelini Shoe Company ~Adriana Trigiani

“’My one journey to enlightenment gave me a rash. Go figure…Anyhow, my point is that even when you don’t make a plan of it, you will change.  You will want different things at different points in your life, just as he will.  Circumstances will hit you with some whammies, and you’ll fight back, and sometimes you’ll just give in to it and choose to lie down in the river and glide.  Whatever you do, know that there’s a long line of us that came before you who walked in your shoes.’ Mom looked around the shop.’ It always comes back to shoes with us, doesn’t it?’” page 115-116 in New York City


THE SUPREME MACARONI COMPANY is the name of the Angelini Shoe Company’s new factory in Ohio and I found the title to be the attraction to this new book by Adriana Trigiani.   I also have two friends who read every book that Trigiani writes and they are consummate Italian-Americans romantics who want to find such perfect happiness in a marriage and family; both would love this boisterous, argumentative family story.

This book is part of a family saga, which I believe to be three volumes long at this point in time.  The Great Grandparents immigrated to the United State to design and make Italian shoes in Greenwich Village, NYC.   One of the Great Granddaughters has discovered an artistic ability to design shoes and is trained by her Grandmother to take over the family business; Valentine wants to have it all.  This is the story of her marriage to an “Old World” tanner and good business man from Italy, also of her efforts to rescue her family business in the USA.   Her brother and sisters are all married with big families and the book begins with this 35 year old announcing her engagement at a Christmas Eve dinner and extended family gathering. The family is rowdy, vocal, a bit drunk, and thrilled about Val’s exciting news and worried about Charlie having lost his job.  The reader can just feel the children running around and Aunt Feen, being caustic and negative.

Gianluca is an older man who has been married before and he is graciously meeting the whole family as he has recently arrived from Italy.  His father is married to Val’s Gram and she now lives in the Old Country.  He has a daughter from his first marriage and she is also recently married.  The rules of the Italian-American family are seen as new through his eyes. Gianluca is a very romantic fellow, calm and careful.   This is a story about the first 2 years of his new marriage and the lessons of a long and connected family tree.

I was constantly hungry while reading this book, no lie, there was so much discussion about food and restaurants and venues; I could have gained five pounds within the first 100 pages.  As a person who is intolerant of tomatoes, it was a bit too much about all the passion wrapped up in this red fruit.  Trigiani has a mastery of the dialogue for this big family and for recognizing the folks left out of the dynamics.  The family becomes increasingly dependent on Val’s skills and is forming  a dynasty; regrouping around the initial gifts of the family legacy.

The story became predictable as it was winding down – too predictable and the sentimentality was over the top maudlin.  My prim British mum would have thought that the emotionality was depressing and displaying ignorance about what we have learned about emotions – too old school for an astute business woman with too much on her plate.  This was a traditional story and maybe that is the best way to think about this book, an old school family saga before they catch up with the new century.

tlc logoMy friends will not care and will just be happy that TLC Online Book Tours  sent me a copy of Adriana Trigiani’s new book for review.  I am sure it will be a best seller and I raise a glass of champagne to THE SUPREME MACARONI COMPANY

Adriana Trigiani is honoring her aunt Violet Ruggiero with this story.

You might also enjoy her New York Times Bestseller – The Shoemaker’s Wife: A Novel

Related:
The Idea Of Him 
He’s Gone
The Time Traveler’s Boyfriend
In The Garden of Stone

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11 Responses to “THE SUPREME MACARONI COMPANY: A Novel about the Angelini Shoe Company ~Adriana Trigiani”

  1. Sam Juliano Says:

    I was laughing hard when you said your could have gained 5 pounds after reading the first 100 pages. Italians and food of course are synonymous, and the indulgence is woven into the culture and lifestyle. Excellent review. Sorry it got too emotional and predictable.

    Patricia Reply:

    Sam,
    It made me miss the Italian favorite spots when I was living in your area of the country. Although last year for Thanksgiving in SF we truly did an Italian feast tour for the whole week – Including the main meal at the Stinking Rose.
    Turkey stuffed with over 300 cloves of garlic!

    I loved the great family spirit too with this one, but all the fighting – eh! enough already!
    Patricia recently posted..THE SUPREME MACARONI COMPANY: A Novel about the Angelini Shoe Company ~Adriana TrigianiMy Profile

  2. Laurie Buchanan Says:

    “The story became predictable as it was winding down – too predictable and the sentimentality was over the top maudlin.”

    Patricia — That would be a tough pill for me to swallow.
    Laurie Buchanan recently posted..Talons & TwigsMy Profile

    Patricia Reply:

    Laurie,
    Loved the title of the book….but it is my least favorite of all the books I have read of Trigiani… I know a couple of my book group buddies will be disagreeing.
    Patricia recently posted..THE SUPREME MACARONI COMPANY: A Novel about the Angelini Shoe Company ~Adriana TrigianiMy Profile

  3. Sara Healy Says:

    Well, the opening quote was wonderful, but I confess I’m not big on family sagas.

    On the other hand, you made this one interesting, even with the warning about the ending. What amazes me is the ability of an author to stay with her characters and let them grow and change in multiple books. The idea of doing a series seems very daunting and I admire authors who do this.

    While you weren’t a fan of this book, it is nice to know you liked the others:~)
    Sara Healy recently posted..Story Photo Challenge: Air, Sea or Land?My Profile

    Patricia Reply:

    Sara,
    I liked the story and all the ones I have read with my book buddies. My friend Shannon – says I am nuts as she read this one in 2 days and says it is the best one yet and she thought the ending was a total surprise…

    Yep it was a well written series and romance by an Italian PRO

    :)
    Patricia recently posted..THE SUPREME MACARONI COMPANY: A Novel about the Angelini Shoe Company ~Adriana TrigianiMy Profile

  4. Adriana Trigiani, author of The Supreme Macaroni Company, on tour May 2014 | TLC Book Tours Says:

    […] Monday, June 9th: Patricia’s Wisdom […]

  5. Heather J. @ TLC Book Tours Says:

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this book for the tour.

    patricia Reply:

    Heather J

    Thank you for coming by and being the commenting force on so many posts.

    You are amazing!

  6. janice Says:

    Thanks for alerting me to this, Patricia. (Sorry if I ever accidentally refer to you as Pat; it’s not intentional. I have a friend who shortens her name.) I loved AT’s first mountain/Italy trilogy – she has such a gift for creating settings as well as characters that I enjoy the total escapism of it all. After a break, I read Lucia, Lucia (cried at the end, if I remember right) and then the first one about the shoe factory. This one will be a perfect summer read. And I confess, I do love books with loads of mediterranean food details; that’s what we cook at home!
    janice recently posted..I Find Your LoveMy Profile

    Patricia Reply:

    janice,
    Pat is fine – I just felt when I turned 60 that I was more of a Patricia, which means woman of wealth and wisdom!

    I think I have read 8 books by Trigiani over the years. I have never read a whole series of her work. But my one book group keeps us posted and each new one.

    I think if I had been at the beach I might have liked this one even more, but my life looks like I might not be traveling anywhere in the future so it made me a bit sad. I am also up against a 20 book review month in July…and I want to do my best job for each author and make my 200 book challenge this year. A personal read is not on the table for awhile yet :)

    Oh and Italian food….maybe I was just too hungry!

    Glad to know you like her stories too…Thank you for coming by
    Still listening to you song on your blog – lovely
    Patricia recently posted..SWEET TOOTH: A Memoir ~Tim AndersonMy Profile