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Big Stone Gap: A Novel | [Adriana Trigiani]

Big Stone Gap: A Novel

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.
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Publisher's Summary

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

What the Critics Say

“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)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.2 (193 )
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4.2 (172 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Brad B Traveling 09-17-12
    Brad B Traveling 09-17-12 Member Since 2013

    Brad Black

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Laughs, Tears & a Place I'd Like to call Home"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    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.


    What other book might you compare Big Stone Gap to and why?

    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.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    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.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    Yes, and I leave that to the reader/listener to decide for themselves. I don't want to give anything away.


    Any additional comments?

    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.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rebecca 07-09-12
    Rebecca 07-09-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Small town, simple life and lovely story."
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    If you are in the mood for a mellow read this is a great book for you.


    Any additional comments?

    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!

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Debbie Toney, Alabama 02-22-14
    Debbie Toney, Alabama 02-22-14 Member Since 2013

    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.

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    Story
    "Italy meets Appalachia . . . Gotta Love It!!!"

    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 . . .

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kathleen Minneapolis, MN, USA 08-28-12
    Kathleen Minneapolis, MN, USA 08-28-12 Member Since 2015
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    "The first in a wonderful trilogy."

    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.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    elisamarie78@hotmail.com 07-19-15 Member Since 2014
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    "A must listen to"

    Wonderful story and lovable characters. You will never forget your first visit to Big Stone Gap. What made it even more special is the author narrating the book. No one else could have captured the quirkiness like she did.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rita Pavolka 07-18-15 Member Since 2011
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    "The characters are wonderful!"

    This is my first time reading/hearing any of Ms Trigiani's books. I enjoyed it a lot, but really had trouble getting into her narration at the beginning. It had a strident twang and moved too slowly. Either I got used to it or she picked up the pace a little as the book moved along.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Elizabeth Console Syracuse, NY USA 05-04-15
    Elizabeth Console Syracuse, NY USA 05-04-15 Member Since 2013

    Beth

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Please Adriana Trigiani, no more narrating!"
    Would you try another book from Adriana Trigiani and/or Adriana Trigiani?

    I have read numerous books by Adriana Trigiani and enjoyed them immensely. This one, however, falls seriously short.


    What was most disappointing about Adriana Trigiani’s story?

    Compared to her other books, this is a weak story with a lot of prattling about nothing. Slow development with with flat ending.


    What didn’t you like about Adriana Trigiani’s performance?

    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.


    What character would you cut from Big Stone Gap?

    Probably a number of them or keep them and give them a better story.


    Any additional comments?

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jane 04-18-15
    Jane 04-18-15 Member Since 2001
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    "Good ole' feel good, easy reading evening!"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    avid rita 02-02-15
    avid rita 02-02-15 Member Since 2009
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    "Chick lit that is actually lit(erature)"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    leanne United States 08-06-14
    leanne United States 08-06-14 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Do not listen to the interview at the end!"
    Any additional comments?

    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!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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