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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
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Performance

  • 4.4 out of 5.0
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Story

  • 4.4 out of 5.0
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  • Story

Laughs, Tears & a Place I'd Like to call Home

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

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.

What other book might you compare Big Stone Gap to and why?

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.

Which scene was your favorite?

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.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

Yes, and I leave that to the reader/listener to decide for themselves. I don't want to give anything away.

Any additional comments?

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.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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  • Debbie
  • Toney, Alabama
  • 02-22-14

Italy meets Appalachia . . . Gotta Love It!!!

There's nothing more country than mountain folk, and Big Stone Gap is all that and more. When thirty-five year old, Ava Maria, the town pharmacist, who's considered an old maid by mountain folk standards, loses her mother, her world goes into a tail spin. Everything she thought she knew changes. She's always known her mother was Italian, but when she finds a picture and letters in her mother's room, she's in shock. She doesn't even know herself anymore. I absolutely love this story . . . being a hillbilly myself and having married very young (still married 42 years later), I can easily relate to all the "goings on". The narration is spot on. I've already downloaded the next two books in the series.Can't wait to start the next one . . .

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • James
  • Grants Pass, OR, United States
  • 10-23-12

Fun & Funny Story About Small Town Life

If you could sum up Big Stone Gap in three words, what would they be?

Light Funny Fun

What was one of the most memorable moments of Big Stone Gap?

The night Elizabeth Taylor came to town.

Would you be willing to try another one of Adriana Trigiani’s performances?

Yes, because of the story and characters.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

Come On Down For A Visit

Any additional comments?

The Narration was too slow and deliberate .<br/>Authors seldom make good readers.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Small town, simple life and lovely story.

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

If you are in the mood for a mellow read this is a great book for you.

Any additional comments?

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!

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Owley
  • Fort Bragg, NC
  • 11-19-15

I normally hate books read by the author but...

What did you love best about Big Stone Gap?

I loved Ave Maria. Her inner monologue really spoke to me. Thinking about every crazy thing that could happen? Yep, that's me.

What about Adriana Trigiani’s performance did you like?

I normally really dislike books read by the author, but Adriana Trigiani did an excellent job with this one! The Appalachian in Ave Maria's character really shined through. I loved it.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Yes! I wore head phones around my house for two days just so I could finish it!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Kathleen
  • Minneapolis, MN, USA
  • 08-28-12

The first in a wonderful trilogy.

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.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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I Love It!

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

Big Stone Gap ranks up at the top with the murder mystery books I have been reading.

Which character – as performed by Adriana Trigiani – was your favorite?

Ave Maria is my favorite character. I feel like I have known her all my life. Ave Maria's insecurities are similar to some that I have felt.

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

The book made me laugh out loud.

Any additional comments?

The characters are unforgettable. I have fallen in love with all of the characters in Big Stone Gap and their eccentricities. Like Iva Lou who drives the bookmobile; Fleeta who listens to all of the conversations in the drugstore and voices her opinion; and Pearl who grows to become more self-confident once she is given a chance; and all of the other characters who live in Big Stone Gap.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Spoiler Alert at the end of the book

Would you listen to Big Stone Gap again? Why?

Yes, I would. I enjoyed it more than I thought I would.

What did you like best about this story?

There were some very funny parts, and I liked the humor and wit of the characters. The story was sweet, and romantic, and very enjoyable.

What does Adriana Trigiani bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

At first, I didn't care for the author reading the book. I felt that a professional reader would bring more life to the characters and the voices would sound a bit different, like hearing a play. But as I became used to her voice, I wasn't bothered by it. There were times, though, when I thought the accent was a little thick. Do the people from Big Stone Gap really talk like that?

Who was the most memorable character of Big Stone Gap and why?

I liked everyone. Of course, Ave Maria is very memorable and I really liked Jack from the very first.

Any additional comments?

Shame on the author and her publisher for not saying something ahead of time that story lines from future books would be revealed during a chat with the author at the end of the first book.There was NO mention of a spoiler alert, so I had no idea that I'd be hearing some major developments in future stories that I would not have wanted to hear in advance. I would never have listened, and now, I'm not sure I'll purchase future books to listen to. I never read ahead in a book - I feel very disappointed.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Finally!!!

I thought I would never find a book like this again. I couldn't stop listening. I laughed out loud, cried a little, connected to all the characters. It was such a refreshing book.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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spoiler alert! don't listen to the author discusio

I enjoyed this book and look foward to the next. BUT was very disappointed in finding something out in the authors discusion about what goes on in book 2. BOO. There should be a spoiler alert at the intro to the final chapter!!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful