Nestled in the lush Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia, the town of Big Stone Gap has been home for Ave Maria Mulligan Machesney and her family for generations. She's been married to her beloved Jack for nearly 20 years, raised one child and buried another, and run a business that binds her community together, all while holding her tight circle of family and friends close.
But with her daughter, Etta, having flown the nest to enchanting Italy, Ave Maria has reached a turning point. When a friend's postcard arrives with the message "It's time to live your life for you", Ave Maria realizes that it's time to go in search of brand-new dreams.
But before she can put her foot on the path, her life is turned upside down. Ave Maria agrees to helm the town musical, a hilarious reunion of local talent, past and present. A lifelong friendship collapses when a mysterious stranger comes to town and reveals a long-buried secret. An unexpected health crisis threatens her family. An old heartthrob reappears, challenging her marriage and offering a way out of her troubles. Then an opportunistic coal company comes to town and threatens to undermine the town's way of life and the mountain landscape Ave Maria has treasured since she was a girl. Now she has no choice but to reinvent her world, her life, and herself, whether she wants to or not.
Trigiani is at her best in this exquisite novel. Home to Big Stone Gap is an emotional and unforgettable journey that reminds us that you can go home -- again and again.
Go home again -- don't miss the rest of the Big Stone Gap series.
©2006 Adriana Trigiani; (P)2006 Books on Tape
"Funny, charming, and original." (Fannie Flagg)
"Trigiani is a wonderful storyteller." (USA Today)
"With her original cast of characters, playwright and television writer Trigiani blends playfulness and pathos in this evocative portrait of a small southern town." (Booklist)
I didn't pay attention when I ordered this, but the narrator is not the author. For some that may not be a big deal, but in this case it is. I am working through the series and have enjoyed Ms. Trigiani's voice and character very much. This narration doesn't fit with the rest! Oh, the story is still a great story, but Iva Lou just doesn't sound right in Cassandra's voice!!
I absolutely love Cassandra Campbell which is why I decided to buy this 4th in the series with her narration. I had no idea how much Trigiani's twangy voice and upbeat energy and even the little bit of music was so much a part of these characters for me. I listened for an hour, but I deeply missed Ave Maria's voice from the first 3 books, so I gave it up and bought her version. I want to get the most out of this delightful series. I reiterate, I am someone who searches under Cassandra Campbell because I enjoy her narration, but it just did not work for me here. I highly recommend her reading of Trigiani's Queen of the Big Time. It was great!
I have been a long time fan of Miss Trigiani's but this book was dissappointing. Maybe she has been writing about these characters for too long. I listened to the end because I cannot give up on a story.
I would highly suggest reading Lucia! Lucia! before this one.
The things I know for sure I am are: Christian, Wife, Mother, Daughter, Granddaughter, Sister, American, Patriot, Friend, Teacher, Student, Seeker, and Thinker. I am far from perfect but I do try to be kind, honest, honorable, trusting and trustworthy. Lover of sunshine, books, southern food, vacations in national parks, singing in my car, cookie dough and icing, and cucumber margaritas.
I was very disappointed. At least 30 minutes of this book was the narrator reading a recipe in it's entirety. While they might be very good recipes, in this book, it was obviously filler. It was as if the author was up against a deadline to submit the book and had to come up with a few things to add to the length of the book. It would have been better to leave the recipes out and stuck to the true story line.
I LOVED the first 3 Big Stone Gap books read by the author, Adriana Trigiani and, I guess that I am having a hard time getting interested with Cassandra reading the book.
I do not think it is good to changed readers in a series...if possible. In this case it was the author so, I am sure she could have read this book also...
Having Adriana Trigiani be the reader.
Yes. I have listened to 4 others and enjoyed them. It was disappointing to not have the author's voice for the conclusion of this series.
Her accents did not seem authentic.
I'm really sad that the series is over. That whole gang had been through some tough times but they made it out of them. They all grew a bit and I know a lot of people don't thin Ave grew very much, but I think she did. I loved hearing Jack more and how far Etta has gotten.
Those stories followed the natural progression of life of a family with flawed people. We're all flawed in some way and some more than others but recognizing it is important. And these characters learn their flaws. It's endearing and touching and even heartbreaking but it was beautiful just the same.
Adriana did a wonderful job with this series. Now I've read all of her books and I'm waiting for more.
This book was like a random walk in the woods. There was no purpose and nothing particularly exciting. Certainly, it wasn't enough for a book. I really enjoyed The Queen of the Big Time and Lucia!Lucia! but this was a complete let down. I find Ave Maria to be tedious and including recipes in in a novel, to me, is a sign that the author needed filler. I'd recommend passing on this one.
I enjoyed all the other books in this series. This one, however, did nothing to satisfy me.
I typically like the unabridged versions of books, but this is the exception. The others, while brief, get to the story and don't do a lot of repeating. I have to think that, after hearing this one, editors were only attempting to make her story better by removing redundancies. Plus, I disliked the readings of the recipes - which would have been tolerable, if the story were better, or if there were a story at all.
What I disliked about this book is that nothing new really happens. This book is a rehash of everything we have already heard; past romances, past personal conflicts, past memories. It neither resolves anything nor takes the reader anywhere new. Plus, she repeats and repeats references to these things, making it even more unbearable. I found myself rolling my eyes more than once, wishing the story would just get on with it and make something happen. Nothing ever does.
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