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Reader’s Den, Biblio File

Discussion Questions for "Brava, Valentine"

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This week, I'm introducting a few discussion questions for this month's Reader's Den title Brava, Valentine. Want to participate? Simply comment at the bottom of this blog post.

  • When her Gram moves to Italy permanently at the beginning of the novel, Val feels that it’s her responsibility to step up as head of the Angelini Shoe Company. This puts her into a more forceful role than she has been in before. Her willingness to take risks and try creative leaps is met with a certain amount of resistance, most notably from Alfred. Do you think Valentine is a strong woman? What qualities do you think make her either strong or weak?
  • Have you read Very Valentine? Do you feel that you need to read the first novel in order to enjoy the second?
  • Valentine maintains a healthy relationship with Bret, a businessman and perhaps her one true love. The only problem is, he’s the one that got away. Some of the conflict in Valentine and Gianluca’s relationship can arguably be ascribed to Bret, who begins working closely with Val as a business consultant as she tries to keep her shoe company afloat. Do you agree with Val’s decision to remain friends with Bret, even at Gianluca’s expense?
  • The Roncalli/Angelini clan is vast in number. Besides Valentine, which family member was your favorite? Why?
  • A large part of the novel deals with Valentine trying to keep her grandmother’s handcrafted shoemaking company afloat amidst difficult economic difficulties. Her optimistic and hopeful outlook on the family business is contrasted sharply with her brother’s brutal view of financial reality. Which sibling do you identify with more? Valentine, trying to keep family tradition and history alive with the business, or Alfred’s “Wall Street”-style bottom line?

READER'S DEN March 2011: Jump to Week: One | Two | Three | Four | Five |

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I think that the Valentine

I think that the Valentine series is spectacular, and I do believe that you have to read Very Valentine as well as Brava Valentine in order to get the history behind the shoe company and to see the dynamics of this Italian/American family and how they change over time. Can't wait for Ciao Valentine to come out!

First Book, Second Book

Thanks for commenting Joanne! I actually read part of 'Very Valentine' - then read all of 'Brava, Valentine' when it came out - then switched back to finish 'Very Valentine' after I was done the second book. I think new readers might be able to go back and forth between the two, but I definitely had a non-standard reading order for the books. I also cannot wait for 'Ciao Valentine' - I'm sure it will be worth the wait!

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