Brava, Valentine by Adriana Trigiani (Plus, Win a Trip to Italy!)

What I love most about this book is the abbondanza with which Adriana Trigiana faces life. At least through her character, Valentine.
She is a cannoli-eating, lipstick-wearing, shoe-designing woman with whom I felt a great simpatico. Because she was bold,  not hiding behind an image she thought she should be, but completely honest about her family’s idiosyncrasies and foibles. Her own insecurities. Her inability to trust because of the effect of her father’s past indescretion.
When she described her family’s trip to Italy for her Gram’s wedding, or the funeral of her lifelong friend June, or the Thanksgiving dinner from Hell, I could picture myself perfectly within the midst of her family. I could hear the accent, see the mannerisms, and laugh at their flaws like every family has. But by facing her own flaws, Valentine can reach for her dreams in the arms of Gianlucca, the man she loves.

Brava, Valentine is a wonderful vacanza into all the best parts of Italy: its beauty, its warmth, its food, and most especially, it’s exuberant people. Whom I love.

(Tell me, Adriana, what is the shade of lipstick which adorns your fair lips? I want it!)
Also, enter the contest to win a 7 day trip to Italy here!