The Shoemaker's Wife Sparknotes

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A brave, resilient gentleman is not typically presented with weaknesses and insecurities. Adriana Trigiani challenges this norm with the charming yet emotionally complex protagonist of The Shoemaker’s Wife. The titular shoemaker, Ciro Lazzari, must overcome immense conflict as an orphan in a monastery who faces the toxic trenches of warfare. Ciro is presented as a physically and spiritually robust man, but he has many underlying issues as a result of traumatic childhood incidents such as his mother’s desertion, his father’s enigmatic vanishment, and his tumultuous relationship in adulthood with an adamant and dedicated woman.
Ciro Lazzari first experiences abandonment at a young age, due to his mother’s forbearance of him and his brother Eduardo
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Although Ciro is told his father died in an American mining accident, he holds onto the belief that Carlo is, in fact, alive. However, his hopes are thwarted after his wife buys a tombstone for Carlo, sharing he had “hoped it [was not] true” (371). Despite the obvious love he feels for his father, Ciro also perceives that a part of him does not want to know what happened to him, seeing as the debacle “broke up [his] family, ruined [his] mother’s health, and split up [him and his brother]” (324). His feelings towards his father had been unshaken until Ciro had the opportunity to create a new life for a family of his own, just as Carlo had wanted to; years later, he makes a point to promise his newborn son that he “will never leave [his son …] and would do everything in his power to make certain [the words] would always be true” (381). After becoming a father, Ciro understands his predecessor’s sacrifices, but he does not seek to do unto his child as his father did to him. He begins to acknowledge that Carlo’s death was the cause of the Lazzari family’s falling apart, a rift that created a further uneasiness in regard to Ciro’s separation