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 thoroughly enjoy the Big Stone Gap series. Adriana's narration of the 3 previous books is wonderful. This narration by Cassandra is forced. She obviously has never heard a person from the south speak because her southern accents fluctuate and edge on sounding British. If I wasn't so invested in the story, I'd stop listening based on the performance alone!
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.
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