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)
Adriana Trigani created a world that just came to life for me with heartfelt very real characters and entertaining dialogue. I was always engaged and enjoyed this series so much.
I just have to say I love Cassandra Campbell. She is one of my favorite narrators. However, after listening to the entire series with the voice of Adriana Trigani as Ave Maria, it was like the character just disappeared entirely. Adriana's voice was a part of Ave Maria for me, so I actually bought the Abridged version by her and stopped listening to this one.
Fabulous! Fabulous! Fabulous!
Iva Lou was my favorite character. She seemed so carefree, colorful and true to her life.
The reader was a real disappointment. Adriana read the three previous books in the Big Stone Gap series and she was wonderful. Her accent was perfect for the area having grown up there. The reader mispronounced Appalachia and other common names that the people from the area would recognize. The reader's accent was more geared toward South Carolina instead of our dear Southwest Virginia area tucked back in the mountains. I wish Adriana had chosen to finish out this series as the reader. I feel it would have made it more complete. I wonder if Adriana has even had a chance to listen to this last book? If so, I feel sure she would have had the reader correct some of the pronunciations of the names of the area and the local people who are from there that she chose to use as characters in her book. Read to us Adriana, Read to us!!!
The moment that moved me most was when Avae walked down the stairs on Christmas morning finding her father looking up at her having secretly arrived from Italy the night before.
I would suggest for everyone to read Adriana's books. She is a fabulous author that makes you want to read more and more of her writings. Love her books!
The story for me just wasn't right with someone else reading. This was a big disappointment, I thought it would be no big deal having another reader.....I was soo wrong!
I would like to see this book redone with Adriana reading.
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 would listen to Home to Big Stone Gap again simply because it completed the story of the previous three books.
Though Cassandra is a good reader, had her voice been used for the previous three books I don't think I would have given it a second thought. However, Adriana's voice became that of Ave Maria so much so that Cassandra's voice completely changed the character for me. I really missed Adriana's voice, which is funny because it took me so long to get used to it in Big Stone Gap!
Again, it would definitely be Ave Maria. She had somewhat warped ideas of how to be a good mother and wife… though she came through in the end after thinking things through. I kept thinking she and Pete would get together and wondered if Adriana would write a fifth book that brought them together???
Loved this "Quadrilogy". The people were like my family… I really got to know them and love them. Sometimes, I wanted to take Ave Maria and shake her up… but her good sense always ruled the day in the end.
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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