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)
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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