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
“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)
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.
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.
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.
Yes, and I leave that to the reader/listener to decide for themselves. I don't want to give anything away.
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.
If you are in the mood for a mellow read this is a great book for you.
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!
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.
The narrator /author brings such authenitity to the story. Her accent and terminlogy is very authentic. At times, I have to remind myself that the narrator is the author not a personal friend who happens to be from SW VA where the story is set. I've been to Wise County, VA, where the story is set, & the author describes it very well. I have cried almost all the way thru the story not necessarily because its sad but because its so beautifully written. I have cried til my nose is chapped & my eyes swollen. I had to limit myself to listening for 12 tissues at a time and then move to a different story. While listening to BIG STONE GAP, I have cover up my crying while listening at the fitness center, while on fitness equipment, using my towel to dry my eyes pretending that I've worked up a sweat.
Ave Maria & Jack Mack.
I have to start off stating that I love the way Adriana Trigiani writes. She has a way with words and uses them to paint a scene so vivid that you feel as if you're there.
I started reading her books out of order. I discovered her last book The Shoemaker's Wife from the NYT Best Seller's List and fell in love. From there I read all her other books except this series because I prefer audiobooks and there were only abridged versions. I wanted the whole story so I waited and Wala!! Here they are.
Her books are always so heartfelt. Big Stone Gap made me fall in love with Virginia like no other. The book had me in tears almost throughout the whole thing. I was either heartbroken, touched, or so happy that the tears wouldn't stop flowing. It took me two days to finish this book and I want more already.
Ave Maria was a 35 year old "spinster" as far as she was concerned. She was too busy doing ... doing everything. She did so much that she couldn't even make time for her own thoughts or feelings until she put herself into a deep sleep for 7 days. As her life fell apart in small ways but all at once she realized that it was all to strip away and find the real her. Her life changed, new opportunities arose and great things came from that.
She didn't trust men and thought she really didn't want love in her life, but I think she had so much to give and was just guarding it all from possible heartbreak. She was alone ... her mother died months before and her "father" years before. The life she had lived was a lie anyway, so stripping it away was not a problem really. In the end she found love and was better for it.
It was difficult watching her walk around so "strong" and "held together" when you knew all she really needed was a good cry. She needed to admit that she wanted to love and be loved. She didn't think she was worthy. We watched her grow and realize how good she was. Ave's story was an incredible story of self discovery and growth.
Happy ending always make it that much better.
Light Funny Fun
The night Elizabeth Taylor came to town.
Yes, because of the story and characters.
Come On Down For A Visit
The Narration was too slow and deliberate .
Authors seldom make good readers.
I recommend this book to all my friends, coming from an Italian family this book touches home
Ave Maria is my favorite character by far
The ease by which your were drawn into Ave Maria's. life and predicaments. Her voice was commanding and soothing at the same time. Would compare it to comfort food that makes you feel soothed and satisfied.Her problems became real to the reader as well as to herself. I reread (listened) to these books as soon as I was done with them.
Queen of the Big Time. Another of Adrianna's books. I love books that go through generations of families. She brought America and the family's ties to Italy together in this one as well. Stressing family values no matter how much outside pressure is being placed on it's members. She is one of my favorite writers.
I think when she decided to leave Joe Mack. She was filled with self righteous indignation, but her friend took a hard stand and made her truly take a look at who she was and what she had done herself. It was her Ah Hah moment.
Ave Maria's Rite of Passage? Finding Yourself Amongst the Chaos?
Would love to hear her read Queen of the Big Time. I think the reader can make or break a book. She would definitely make this one. Hope she keeps writing LOVE her style and story lines.
Yes, because the author is reading it and puts her special knowledge of each character in to her narration.
Ave Maria because she is not perfect and she is ok with that! She is also willing to change.
This is a coming of age story about a 35 year old town pharmacist who has never been married. This book is so much fun! It takes place in the south with all the traditions, twang and hilarity that comes with it. You can actually envision the big hair on these ladies that we come to love. There are so many fabulous one liners it would take forever to write them all down. I found myself laughing out loud through the entire book. Not the epic masterpiece of The Shoemakers Wife but it is a wonderful, heart warming, great characters kind of book. Perfect for any time of the year!
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