We are currently making improvements to the Audible site. In an effort to enhance the accessibility experience for our customers, we have created a page to more easily navigate the new experience, available at the web address www.audible.com/access.
 >   > 
Big Stone Gap Audiobook

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.
    • 1 audiobook per month
    • 180,000+ titles to choose from
    • $14.95 per month after free trial

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

4.3 (280 )
5 star
 (146)
4 star
 (86)
3 star
 (31)
2 star
 (10)
1 star
 (7)
Overall
4.4 (247 )
5 star
 (143)
4 star
 (69)
3 star
 (25)
2 star
 (6)
1 star
 (4)
Story
4.3 (245 )
5 star
 (142)
4 star
 (64)
3 star
 (23)
2 star
 (10)
1 star
 (6)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Brad B Traveling 09-17-12
    Brad B Traveling 09-17-12 Member Since 2013

    Brad Black

    HELPFUL VOTES
    24
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    10
    6
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "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.

    5 of 5 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.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    1239
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    419
    418
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    63
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    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 . . .

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rebecca 07-09-12
    Rebecca 07-09-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    53
    11
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "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 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    333
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    150
    129
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    38
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "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
  •  
    Christine Earlham, IA, United States 10-10-15
    Christine Earlham, IA, United States 10-10-15 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    22
    2
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Absolutely loved this book!"

    I thought the story line was engaging. Great characters! I look forward to reading the other books I the series very soon.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rita Pavolka 07-18-15 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    66
    2
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "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.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    James Grants Pass, OR, United States 10-23-12
    James Grants Pass, OR, United States 10-23-12 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    6
    1
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Fun & Funny Story About Small Town Life"
    If you could sum up Big Stone Gap in three words, what would they be?

    Light Funny Fun


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Big Stone Gap?

    The night Elizabeth Taylor came to town.


    Would you be willing to try another one of Adriana Trigiani’s performances?

    Yes, because of the story and characters.


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

    Come On Down For A Visit


    Any additional comments?

    The Narration was too slow and deliberate .
    Authors seldom make good readers.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Janet C. Schleeter Dushore, PA., US 07-20-14
    Janet C. Schleeter Dushore, PA., US 07-20-14 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    12
    3
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Is it just me?"
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    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.


    Has Big Stone Gap turned you off from other books in this genre?

    Very possibly.


    Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Adriana Trigiani?

    Anyone but her


    What character would you cut from Big Stone Gap?

    Didn't get that far


    Any additional comments?

    Perhaps the story could have been decent...just could not get past her "folksy" , boring, drone.

    3 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    KaeCie09 01-28-16
    KaeCie09 01-28-16 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    0
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    28
    5
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "I Love It!"
    Where does Big Stone Gap rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Big Stone Gap ranks up at the top with the murder mystery books I have been reading.


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

    Ave Maria is my favorite character. I feel like I have known her all my life. Ave Maria's insecurities are similar to some that I have felt.


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

    The book made me laugh out loud.


    Any additional comments?

    The characters are unforgettable. I have fallen in love with all of the characters in Big Stone Gap and their eccentricities. Like Iva Lou who drives the bookmobile; Fleeta who listens to all of the conversations in the drugstore and voices her opinion; and Pearl who grows to become more self-confident once she is given a chance; and all of the other characters who live in Big Stone Gap.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rikamae Kentucky 12-07-15
    Rikamae Kentucky 12-07-15 Member Since 2015
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    6
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Spoiler Alert at the end of the book"
    Would you listen to Big Stone Gap again? Why?

    Yes, I would. I enjoyed it more than I thought I would.


    What did you like best about this story?

    There were some very funny parts, and I liked the humor and wit of the characters. The story was sweet, and romantic, and very enjoyable.


    What does Adriana Trigiani bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    At first, I didn't care for the author reading the book. I felt that a professional reader would bring more life to the characters and the voices would sound a bit different, like hearing a play. But as I became used to her voice, I wasn't bothered by it. There were times, though, when I thought the accent was a little thick. Do the people from Big Stone Gap really talk like that?


    Who was the most memorable character of Big Stone Gap and why?

    I liked everyone. Of course, Ave Maria is very memorable and I really liked Jack from the very first.


    Any additional comments?

    Shame on the author and her publisher for not saying something ahead of time that story lines from future books would be revealed during a chat with the author at the end of the first book.There was NO mention of a spoiler alert, so I had no idea that I'd be hearing some major developments in future stories that I would not have wanted to hear in advance. I would never have listened, and now, I'm not sure I'll purchase future books to listen to. I never read ahead in a book - I feel very disappointed.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Report Inappropriate Content

If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.

Cancel

Thank you.

Your report has been received. It will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.