Review: The Supreme Macaroni Company

Rating: 3.5/5

352 pages

Harper Paperbacks; Reprint edition (2014)

For more than one hundred years, the Angelini Shoe Company in Greenwich Village has relied on the leather produced by Vechiarelli & Son in Tuscany. This ancient business partnership provides a twist of fate for Valentine Roncalli, the schoolteacher-turned-shoemaker, to fall in love with Gianluca Vechiarelli, a tanner with a complex past . . . and a secret.

But after the wedding celebrations are over, Valentine wakes up to the reality of juggling the demands of a new business and the needs of her new family. Confronted with painful choices, Valentine remembers the wise words that inspired her in the early days of her beloved Angelini Shoe Company: “A person who can build a pair of shoes can do just about anything.” Now the proud, passionate Valentine is going to fight for everything she wants and savor all she deserves—the bitter and the sweet of life itself.

When we picked this up, we didn’t realise that The Supreme Macaroni Company was the the last book in a series called Valentine.

It caused some confusion in certain scenes or references but overall, the story was a relatively pleasant read. We kept feeling frustrated by the main character, Valentine, however because she felt like a 2 dimensional characterisation instead of a realistic portrayal of a woman. We actually researched the previous two books, Very Valentine and Brava Valentine to get a sense of the trilogy’s backstory and while it added some depth to the story, we were still left scratching our heads when it came to some of the more outlandish behaviours by various characters as well as time jumps.

We also kept waiting to see if the novel’s title would be referenced in any way and it was – in an almost blink-and-you’ll-miss-it reference.

We weren’t sure what to think by the time we turned the final page. The story felt hurried and some chapters seemed to have plotholes that we couldn’t understand…we’re not sure if that’s because we didn’t read the previous two books or because it seemed as though Adriana was rushing in an attempt to complete it.

We might give it a second read sometime in the future, and preferably after reading the previous two books first.

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