Nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia, the tiny town of Big Stone Gap is home to some of the most charming eccentrics in the state. Ave Maria Mulligan is the town's self-proclaimed spinster, a thirty-five year old pharmacist with a "mountain girl's body and a flat behind." She lives an amiable life with good friends and lots of hobbies until the fateful day in 1978 when she suddenly discovers that she's not who she always thought she was. Before she can blink, Ave's fielding marriage proposals, fighting off greedy family members, organizing a celebration for visiting celebrities, and planning the trip of a lifetime - a trip that could change her view of the world and her own place in it forever. Brimming with humor and wise notions of small-town life, Big Stone Gap is a gem of a book with a giant heart....
©2003 Adriana Trigiani (P)2012 Random House Audio
“Delightfully quirky... Chock full of engaging, oddball characters and unexpected plot twists.” (People)
"As comforting as a mug of chamomile tea on a rainy Sunday." (The New York Times Book Review)
“Charming... Readers would do well to fall into the nearest easy chair and savor the story." (USA Today)
Absolutely. I would for my friends who love peaceful journeys, who enjoy meadering down the path to see what each day brings. This book was a pleasure.
Jan Karon's Mitford Series. They are similar in they are about small town life, the characters who live, love, laugh, and pass into and out of your life. These are the type of books that refuel me.
One that made me laugh outloud was the scene at the football games Halftime activies in front of the visiting dignitaries Elizabeth Taylor and her husband, Senate hopeful, John Warner.
Yes, and I leave that to the reader/listener to decide for themselves. I don't want to give anything away.
Yes, I was very concerned with the author being the narrator. In most cases I have found that doesn't work, but I wanted this book quite a lot so I gave in. Adriana Trigiani has won me over. She is perfect for the part. She IS the book. In fact, I was so please with this book & narrator I imediately purchased the next two in the series. I would have purchased the 4th but I ran out of credits.Thank you Adriana Trigiani for an absolutely delightful stroll through Big Stone Gap, a place I'd love to live.
If you are in the mood for a mellow read this is a great book for you.
Admittedly I am a little biased about this book. My parents are from BSG and reading this one brings back childhood memories at the grandparent's house. It really is a lovely read. Not as outright gripping as some but I looked forward to every word. highly recommend!
Retired CFO, Army wife, Mom of five, Grandma of six, two sons who served in combat, love to read books that reflect my values and faith, love mysteries, historical, military stories, and books that don't waste my time . . . if it doesn't have an ending that was worth the wait, I'm not a happy camper.
There's nothing more country than mountain folk, and Big Stone Gap is all that and more. When thirty-five year old, Ava Maria, the town pharmacist, who's considered an old maid by mountain folk standards, loses her mother, her world goes into a tail spin. Everything she thought she knew changes. She's always known her mother was Italian, but when she finds a picture and letters in her mother's room, she's in shock. She doesn't even know herself anymore. I absolutely love this story . . . being a hillbilly myself and having married very young (still married 42 years later), I can easily relate to all the "goings on". The narration is spot on. I've already downloaded the next two books in the series.Can't wait to start the next one . . .
Ave Maria Mulligan lived in a small town in the Blue Ridge Mountains, Big Stone, Virginia. She had just lost her mother and had inherited a pharmacy business. She became a pharmacist and ran the store. She also inherited her mother’s house. She also got from her lawyer a copy of a letter which her mother left for her to read after her mother’s death. This letter indicated that she was not the daughter of Fred Mulligan, but of a man her mother had known in Italy before she came to America. The lawyer’s wife/secretary was a big gossip and let it be known all over town that Ave Maria was “a bastard.” This raised her ire, and she began to fight for her own rights rather than just please everyone else. In record time, she received two marriage proposals, and hosted visitors from Italy. This is really a feel-good novel. The author is the best narrator one could have found for these books, a trilogy of which this is the first. You think you’re just having a conversation with Ave Maria in your living room. I’m going right on to the next book.
A different narrator! Yes--I understand the author narrated the book...but she really shouldn't have! Perhaps I should not have listened to The Shoemaker's Wife right before this one...just dreadful.
Anyone but her
Didn't get that far
Perhaps the story could have been decent...just could not get past her "folksy" , boring, drone.
I have read numerous books by Adriana Trigiani and enjoyed them immensely. This one, however, falls seriously short.
Compared to her other books, this is a weak story with a lot of prattling about nothing. Slow development with with flat ending.
The narration was horrible. The author's gravelly voice sounds old and it was hard to picture the 36 year old protagonist in the book while listening to that voice. It is a voice that grates on you in any context. Please stick to writing from here on out.
Probably a number of them or keep them and give them a better story.
I am not sure, but I think this is book 1 of a series. I will never know because I couldn't possible follow Ava Maria any further. I really held on by my fingernails to get through this one.
I enjoyed the story and the characters. There were some nuggets of truth and knowledge about life in it, too. It is a just sit back and enjoy some southern life sprinkled with an Italian adventure Ava Marie figures herself out.
The story line, the place, the characters had an authenticity that was enhanced by the author's reading. Could not put it away until the satisfying conclusion.
Do not listen to the interview at the end of this book! The Author is wonderful but gives away some very important information regarding the plot in the second book. I was very frustrated!
I am an avid "reader"- I prefer to listen to books rather than read them due to the added dimension added by the narrator.
I really loved Big Stone Gap. And yet, during the first hour or so, I found myself wondering if this was the same author as The Shoemaker's Wife and other favourites of mine. However, I stuck with it and it paid off. I found myself connected to Ave Maria in a way I never thought I would.
I loved the way the characters in the little town were developed and the view we got of the life of people in a small town in the southern U.S. I loved Ave Maria. This story reminded me somewhat of the help though there were no maids involved.
I have never listed to one of her performances. At first, I found her voice intensely annoying. But as the story progressed, I found I relaxed into it and actually found it added to my enjoyment of the book.
It was not that sort of book really. One scene sort of eased into the next. Even crises were handled calmly and in such a way as to ease the reader into them with the same calm as the reader.
I am anxious to read the second book in the trilogy as I've become attached to these people. I love Adriana Trigiani's writing style. I'm hooked on her books.
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