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)
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 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.
If one cannot enjoy reading a book over and over again there is no use in reading it at all. Oscar Wilde
This book is a feel good book. Coming from an Italian family I can say I felt at home
I felt like she made the book interesting. She brought the characters to life
This is definitely a curl up and listen to book. Grab a cup of coffee a blanket and relax
I want more
I cannot pick just one. They were all hilarious.
Probably the lead.
A hilarious, heart felt beginning.
Easy listen. Leaves you wanting more.
Something about the way Adriana Trigiani tells the story makes me feel like I am there and that I may actually know her and her family!
I think it would be Ava Maria...she thinks she is so plain but, she is very interesting! I relate to her on many levels...
I not only have recommended this book I have purchased it for friends to good reviews. Big Stone Gap is the kind of book you want to curl up with. This book has romance, mystery, travel and a cameo by Liz Taylor that is a lot in 10 hours.
The trip to Italy.
The Scene where Ava Maria described the baby bird that her Mom returned to it's nest, one of the best descriptions of being in love I have read.
Sometimes, other times I want to savor for the next night. I listen to audio books at night when I am in bed so sometimes I want to know I have a proven winner cued for the coming night.
The narrator /author brings such authenitity to the story. Her accent and terminlogy is very authentic. At times, I have to remind myself that the narrator is the author not a personal friend who happens to be from SW VA where the story is set. I've been to Wise County, VA, where the story is set, & the author describes it very well. I have cried almost all the way thru the story not necessarily because its sad but because its so beautifully written. I have cried til my nose is chapped & my eyes swollen. I had to limit myself to listening for 12 tissues at a time and then move to a different story. While listening to BIG STONE GAP, I have cover up my crying while listening at the fitness center, while on fitness equipment, using my towel to dry my eyes pretending that I've worked up a sweat.
Ave Maria & Jack Mack.
I have to start off stating that I love the way Adriana Trigiani writes. She has a way with words and uses them to paint a scene so vivid that you feel as if you're there.
I started reading her books out of order. I discovered her last book The Shoemaker's Wife from the NYT Best Seller's List and fell in love. From there I read all her other books except this series because I prefer audiobooks and there were only abridged versions. I wanted the whole story so I waited and Wala!! Here they are.
Her books are always so heartfelt. Big Stone Gap made me fall in love with Virginia like no other. The book had me in tears almost throughout the whole thing. I was either heartbroken, touched, or so happy that the tears wouldn't stop flowing. It took me two days to finish this book and I want more already.
Ave Maria was a 35 year old "spinster" as far as she was concerned. She was too busy doing ... doing everything. She did so much that she couldn't even make time for her own thoughts or feelings until she put herself into a deep sleep for 7 days. As her life fell apart in small ways but all at once she realized that it was all to strip away and find the real her. Her life changed, new opportunities arose and great things came from that.
She didn't trust men and thought she really didn't want love in her life, but I think she had so much to give and was just guarding it all from possible heartbreak. She was alone ... her mother died months before and her "father" years before. The life she had lived was a lie anyway, so stripping it away was not a problem really. In the end she found love and was better for it.
It was difficult watching her walk around so "strong" and "held together" when you knew all she really needed was a good cry. She needed to admit that she wanted to love and be loved. She didn't think she was worthy. We watched her grow and realize how good she was. Ave's story was an incredible story of self discovery and growth.
Happy ending always make it that much better.
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