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Publisher's Summary

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

Critic Reviews

“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)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.3 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    242
  • 4 Stars
    124
  • 3 Stars
    46
  • 2 Stars
    13
  • 1 Stars
    8

Performance

  • 4.4 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    238
  • 4 Stars
    96
  • 3 Stars
    35
  • 2 Stars
    16
  • 1 Stars
    7

Story

  • 4.4 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    228
  • 4 Stars
    104
  • 3 Stars
    46
  • 2 Stars
    9
  • 1 Stars
    4
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  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Like being there!

Listening to the author was like being in the story. She makes the characters feel like your friends and neighbors. If you want to cry, then laugh out loud, you'll love this book. I can't wait to read another one of her books.

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  • Story

A bit slow

Nice storyline, but just too much unnecessary details that slows down the story too much and becomes obvious as you get into the book. In saying that, if you're looking for a leisurely pace to relax to, this would do it cause the story is decent.

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love this book

This book has a good storyline, quirky, fun characters, and is emotionally moving without being heart-wrenching.

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  • Story

Amazing story!

The characters come to life and the reader becomes intimately involved every step of the way.

You come to know the setting as an active participant...excellent writing!

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A must listen to

Wonderful story and lovable characters. You will never forget your first visit to Big Stone Gap. What made it even more special is the author narrating the book. No one else could have captured the quirkiness like she did.

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Good ole' feel good, easy reading evening!

I enjoyed the story and the characters. There were some nuggets of truth and knowledge about life in it, too. It is a just sit back and enjoy some southern life sprinkled with an Italian adventure Ava Marie figures herself out.

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Chick lit that is actually lit(erature)

The story line, the place, the characters had an authenticity that was enhanced by the author's reading. Could not put it away until the satisfying conclusion.

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Do not listen to the interview at the end!

Any additional comments?

Do not listen to the interview at the end of this book! The Author is wonderful but gives away some very important information regarding the plot in the second book. I was very frustrated!

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  • Performance
  • Story

Is it just me?

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

A different narrator! Yes--I understand the author narrated the book...but she really shouldn't have! Perhaps I should not have listened to The Shoemaker's Wife right before this one...just dreadful.

Has Big Stone Gap turned you off from other books in this genre?

Very possibly.

Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Adriana Trigiani?

Anyone but her

What character would you cut from Big Stone Gap?

Didn't get that far

Any additional comments?

Perhaps the story could have been decent...just could not get past her "folksy" , boring, drone.

3 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • DIANE
  • Thornhill,, Ontario, Canada
  • 12-16-13

Hard to get into but worth the try

Where does Big Stone Gap rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

I really loved Big Stone Gap. And yet, during the first hour or so, I found myself wondering if this was the same author as The Shoemaker's Wife and other favourites of mine. However, I stuck with it and it paid off. I found myself connected to Ave Maria in a way I never thought I would.

What did you like best about this story?

I loved the way the characters in the little town were developed and the view we got of the life of people in a small town in the southern U.S. I loved Ave Maria. This story reminded me somewhat of the help though there were no maids involved.

Have you listened to any of Adriana Trigiani’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

I have never listed to one of her performances. At first, I found her voice intensely annoying. But as the story progressed, I found I relaxed into it and actually found it added to my enjoyment of the book.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

It was not that sort of book really. One scene sort of eased into the next. Even crises were handled calmly and in such a way as to ease the reader into them with the same calm as the reader.

Any additional comments?

I am anxious to read the second book in the trilogy as I've become attached to these people. I love Adriana Trigiani's writing style. I'm hooked on her books.