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Sunday, August 12, 2012


Discussion of:  The Shoemaker’s Wife by Adriana Trigiani

A thought for you to ponder while reading my blathering:  Is this really a discussion if you don’t take the time to say anything?

‘Besides, in the years to come, Ciro would remember only the facts, while Eduardo would paint them with a soft brush.  Neither would be true so what did it matter?’
This is a quotation from the very beginning of the book and is relevant to the entire tome and lifetime is clear.  Sometimes it really is how we view an event that affects of memory and living.

Iggy says: ‘Pretty on the outside but so complicated within.  Don’t marry a beautiful woman, Ciro.  It’s too much work.”  ‘Then Fall in love with a plain girl. Plain girls never turn bitter.  They appreciate their portion, no matter how meager.  A small pearl is enough.  They never long for the diamond.  Beautiful girls have high expectations.”  Then Iggy goes on to say women are like pot de crème and you eat and eat and eat until it makes you sick.  ‘Love and pot de crème – the same.”    And Ciro responds with wisdom beyond his years that ‘love is the only dream worth pursuing.’ 

‘A man who need a mirror is looking for something’ – Ciro commenting on Don Gregorio. 
  
Sister Teresa: ‘Some of us struggle with vows; for others, it’s easier.  Humans are capable of divine acts but sometimes they sin.’ ‘I have no sway over the priest.’  ‘You cannot go by the costume.’  
            Maybe Sister Teresa could have poisoned this priest?  I am so sorry to be suggesting murder – maybe just some torture for an infidel.  This exchange conjured up the horrible priest sex scandal in America and it is almost like people stand by and are confused by the outrage.  I do know that since the beginning of man there have been perverts and perversions but when they are hiding behind the ‘costume’ as Sr. Teresa says it makes me infuriated.

So then it makes me think: is this behavior worldwide and people look the other way but in America we ‘get our backs up’?   If this event hadn't happened what would have become of Ciro and Eduardo when they ‘came of age’ in the convent – what did their future hold?  Doesn’t this really come down to the proverb about good things vs. bad and making the most out of every situation?  BTW: I think that is one theme of this book.

Ciro, along with Iggy, Remo and a few others smoked cigarettes but not all the time.  They had one in the evening while relaxing under the trees.  Knowing how 'anti-smoking' this country has become I wonder if lung cancer would be as prevalent if people only smoked 1 a day?   I know, you are going to say that Ciro died from lung cancer but what if it was from working with leather and glues all this American life?  Or what if it was from living in a polluted city?  

Now lets think about how far the medical field has come.  Enza almost died on the trip to America because of seasickness.  Can you believe that!  As motion sick as I get, I never realized that people could actually die!  How sad that she could never 'go back' and see her native land and family.  I am so happy I live in the time when we can travel and visit people and lands around the world and experience such varieties of cultures, being ever so grateful for my ancestors who traveled across the water to settle in America, grateful in the knowledge that someone invented Dramamine!

I am going to post these preceding comments now and continue in a week.  In the meantime, think about how this story is told and how the credits are dedicated to Adriana Tigliani’s grandparents.  When I go back and read the comments I have made to write this blog so many of them seem to come out of the mouth of an older person – say a grandparent from the ‘old country’.  Ciro always seemed to have an 'older, wiser' man in his life that could lead him in the 'right' directions.   The sayings, insinuations, and situations seem to be from an ‘old world’ perspective.  What do you think?  Did you have anyone in your life who gave you the ‘old world’ view?

See you in about a week and in the meantime, happy reading.

Barbara

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