The lives of two young Italian lovers, Enza Ravanelli, a practical girl born into poverty and Ciro Amadei, a dreamer raised in a convent orphanage, are woven together in this lush, epic novel set against the landscape of world events in the first half of the 20thcentury. The Shoemaker's Wifespans two world wars, immigration, the birth of American manufacturing, the rigors of assimilation and the perils of the Great Depression. Like the times they were born into, Enza and Ciro's story is filled with surprising twists and turns. Together, they embrace the promise of a new and better life as they attempt to survive by the labour of their own hands. But when Ciro is diagnosed with a deadly cancer from the bombs he endured in World War I, he returns home alone to Italy to say goodbye, and solve a final mystery about his family.