A copy of The Shoemaker’s Wife came into my possession after my mom’s book club read it last month. A sweeping epic about Italian migrants to America in the early 20th century wouldn’t be my normal go-to reading, but that’s the joy of book clubs (both mine and other people’s). They expose you to things you wouldn’t normally pick for yourself and it’s nice to get out of your comfort zone.
Not that my comfort zone isn’t sweeping romantic family sagas, because it often is. My favourite book is Gone With The Wind and I also have a soft spot for The Thorn Birds, which I was probably much too young for when I read it at 14. The Shoemaker’s Wife is probably a lot more similar to the latter than the former, and despite its size, it’s a good, pacey read. I liked that the majority of the book was told from the man’s point of view, which is a different take on the general norm for historic romantic novels.
It’s no Gone With The Wind – and hey, it’s no Thorn Birds either – but it was pretty good for what it is, and with so much going on, I can see why it’s a popular book club pick.