Big Stone Gap: A Novel Paperback – Apr 3 2001
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In the town of Big Stone Gap, Virginia, not much happens. The highlight of 35-year-old Ave Maria Mulligan's week comes on Friday, with the arrival of the Bookmobile, the sight of which sends her into raptures. Her favorite book concerns the ancient Chinese art of reading faces. Through her face-readings, we come to understand the hostilities simmering within her family: her father whose small eyes are the clear "sign of a deceptive nature." Her aunt who "has a small head and thin lips. (That's a terrible combination.)" Adriana Trigiani's first novel concerns the family scandals that befall Ave Maria in this seemingly uneventful town. Greed, lust, envy--all the ancient emotional elements--manifest themselves even in this hamlet of "ordinary folk." Fans of Fannie Flagg or Rebecca Wells will enjoy this down-home tale, full of small, everyday details and colloquial revelations. The writing is often awkward, but so too are the characters who inhabit this place: the Bookmobile lady who thinks of herself as the sexiest woman alive; the amateur actors in the local Outdoor Drama who bristle with ambition when they hear that Elizabeth Taylor is coming to visit. In Big Stone Gap, her visit is so anticipated, it's like she's an angel sent from heaven. --Ellen Williams --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Publishers Weekly
Trigiani's story of a middle-aged spinster finding love and a sense of self in a small Virginia coal town is a lot like a cold soda on a hot summer day: light and refreshing, if just a little too sweet. Trigiani, a playwright, filmmaker and former writer for The Cosby Show, has a Southern voice that perfectly embodies her main character, the embattled Ave Maria Mulligan. Ave Maria, who's satisfied if not exactly happy in her role as the town pharmacist, begins questioning her quiet, country life after a posthumous letter from her mother reveals a jarring secret. Ave Maria soon faces a crisis of identity, the advances of a surprising suitor and the threat of her acerbic, money-grubbing Aunt Alice. From the suitor, who points out his brand-new pickup truck during a marriage proposal, to the town temptress, who dispenses romantic advice from her bookmobile, Trigiani brings the story alive with her flexible vocal inventions. Fans of true love stories and happy endings certainly won't be disappointed. Based on the Random hardcover (Forecasts, Jan. 31).
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
A very nice and pleasing book, I plan to read the sequel. However, my one main complaint was that the characterisation here wasn't actually that impressive, compared to other aspects of the book. The men in this novel aren't discernible from one another at all. The women are written much better, but even some of them seemed more like cut-outs rather than fully-fleshed characters. That being said, Ave Maria, the main character, was written well, and I liked her and want to know her better (although, is this good or bad I wonder?) The plot was, in general, logical and neat. One full extra rating point because for some reason I can't place, I stayed up until 4am reading this book! Must be something!
For those who read "Big Stone Gap", you will enjoy this book immeasurably and for those who haven't, it can be read as a stand-alone, however it would be best to read the first part so you'll have an idea who is who and what the changes in this novel really mean.
Ave Maria Mulligan MacChesney and her beloved husband, Jack live in the lush Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia. Ave Maria has quite the string of quirky and absolutely adorable friends. Her family means more to her than anything, especially her daughter, Etta and the son she lost through leukemia at age four.
In this sequel, Ave Maria agrees to head up the town musical and as she's busy and in deep concentration with collecting actors, assigning parts, talking about costumes she receives an unexpected visit from a total stranger who reveals a very long held secret to her. Bad enough Ave Maria must find a way to deal with this secret but her husband, Jack becomes ill, her daughter moved away to another country and one of her old `heartthrobs' returns for a visit.
How is Ave Maria going to deal with this long held secret, worry over Jack and finding a way to reinvent her life?
This is a fabulous story as is every novel from Adriana. DON'T MISS it!!
Ave Marie Mulligan at 35 is an unmarried pharmacist in Big Stone Gap, Virginia. The product of an Italian mother and Scotch Irish father, who died some years before has come to accept her father's cruelty when she was younger. She also has come to accept that her life most likely will never change either. Running the local pharmacy, which she inherited, making deliveries to the hollers, working with the ambulance squad and directing the Outdoor Drama musical every summer fill her days and years. But when Ava reads a letter from her recently deceased mother, she is left with some revelations and unsettling questions. Now Ava must find out the answers and we as readers fully realize that Ava's life will never be the same again.
Ms. Trigiani offers her readers a delightful book which will surely be read and reread by her many fans. And the best part is that once you finished reading Big Stone Gap you can return to the area and people once again by reading the second book in this trilogy, Big Cherry Holler, and the recently published third and last book, Milk Glass Moon. Take it from me, spending time with Ave Marie Mulligan with her friends in Big Stone Gap is a perfect way to spend any weekend.
The story is about Ave Maria Mulligan, 35 year old pharmacist, who is at a turning point in her life. She considers herself the town "spinster" and through some events that happen after her mother's death, she decides her life needs some changes. She feels she doesn't fit in to the natives of Big Stone Gap, even though she was born there, mostly because her mother was an Italian immigrant and she's Catholic. The changes don't exactly turn out to be the ones she plans, but oh what a fun ride along the way!
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