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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 (127 )
5 star
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4.3 (113 )
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Story
4.2 (113 )
5 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Brad B Traveling 09-17-12
    Brad B Traveling 09-17-12 Member Since 2008

    Brad Black

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    4
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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 Corrales, NM, United States 07-09-12
    Rebecca Corrales, NM, United States 07-09-12 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    5
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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
  •  
    Kathleen Minneapolis, MN, USA 08-28-12
    Kathleen Minneapolis, MN, USA 08-28-12 Member Since 2005
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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
  •  
    Debbie Toney, Alabama 02-22-14
    Debbie Toney, Alabama 02-22-14 Member Since 2009

    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.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "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 . . .

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    DIANE Thornhill,, Ontario, Canada 12-16-13
    DIANE Thornhill,, Ontario, Canada 12-16-13 Member Since 2009

    I am an avid "reader"- I prefer to listen to books rather than read them due to the added dimension added by the narrator.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Hard to get into but worth the try"
    Where does Big Stone Gap rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    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.


    What did you like best about this story?

    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.


    Have you listened to any of Adriana Trigiani’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    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.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    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.


    Any additional comments?

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Gina murrieta, CA, United States 10-24-13
    Gina murrieta, CA, United States 10-24-13 Member Since 2011

    If one cannot enjoy reading a book over and over again there is no use in reading it at all. Oscar Wilde

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    ratings
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    "An Italian countrygirl you go girl"
    What did you love best about Big Stone Gap?

    This book is a feel good book. Coming from an Italian family I can say I felt at home


    What about Adriana Trigiani’s performance did you like?

    I felt like she made the book interesting. She brought the characters to life


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    This is definitely a curl up and listen to book. Grab a cup of coffee a blanket and relax


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kimberly Grants Pass, OR, United States 10-18-13
    Kimberly Grants Pass, OR, United States 10-18-13 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "First book of a great series"
    If you could sum up Big Stone Gap in three words, what would they be?

    I want more


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    I cannot pick just one. They were all hilarious.


    Which character – as performed by Adriana Trigiani – was your favorite?

    Probably the lead.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    A hilarious, heart felt beginning.


    Any additional comments?

    Easy listen. Leaves you wanting more.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Carolyn Covington Twp, PA, United States 08-26-13
    Carolyn Covington Twp, PA, United States 08-26-13 Member Since 2013
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    "Great Book!"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Big Stone Gap to be better than the print version?

    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!


    If you could take any character from Big Stone Gap out to dinner, who would it be and why?

    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...


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ellen Jamul, CA, United States 07-05-13
    Ellen Jamul, CA, United States 07-05-13 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Soupy"

    Although there were parts of this story I thought were enjoyable, it was a bit too soupy for my taste.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sojourner Detroit, MI 05-23-13
    Sojourner Detroit, MI 05-23-13 Member Since 2006
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    2
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    "One I listen to again and again..."
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    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.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The trip to Italy.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    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.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    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.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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