The Shoemaker’s Wife is a love story set in the early 1900’s, first in the Italian Alps when Enza and Ciro meet and leave a very distinct impression on each other, then later in New York City where they meet up again by chance. Both of their lives are shaped by their childhoods - Ciro being raised in a convent by nuns with his brother after his father passes away, & Enza as the oldest child of five with the pressure of keeping her family financially afloat. When a scandal causes Ciro to leave the convent and come to America, he becomes an apprentice to a shoemaker and quickly learns the trade to make it his profession. Enza starts off as a seamstress in a factory in Hoboken, New Jersey, and eventually lands her dream job working at the Metropolitan Opera as a seamstress.
Enza and Ciro have several chance encounters that become missed opportunities. But their time spent apart shapes the people they become, and helps them to get through what they will eventually face together. The author does an incredible job of describing the beautiful Italian setting, and her attention to detail is impeccable. Ultimately it is this strong relationship that you build with the characters and the setting that makes the read a memorable one.