Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Review: Home to Big Stone Gap by Adriana Trigiani

Home to Big Stone Gap by Adriana Trigiani
Ballantine Books
October 2007
Format: Paperback, 336 pages

First line: As the wind blows through our bedroom window, it sounds like a whistling teakettle.

From the back cover: 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. But with her daughter, Etta, having flown the nest to enchanting Italy, Ave Maria has reached a turning point, and she realizes that it’s time to go in search of brand-new dreams. Yet 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. An opportunistic coal company 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. 

My thoughts: This is the 4th and final book in Adriana Trigiani's Big Stone Gap series and I am so bummed it has come to an end...I loved this series. What started out as a slow read quickly became a much-loved series and I came to feel as if Ave Maria, Jack Mac, Etta, Iva Lou, Fleeta and all the rest of the gang were old friends.

Now that Ave Maria's daughter Etta is married and living in Italy, she experiences all the typical empty-nest worries - she worries about her and Jack's health, about their mortality, about their marriage, about family, and about friends. At the same time that she thinks she's lost her daughter, a dear friend discovers hers. And when a health scare comes about for Jack Mac, she finds out that he's always dreamed of visiting Scotland. Worrying has always been a part of Ave Maria, but when she begins to acknowledge her inability to control events around her, she relaxes and starts to enjoy her friends and family in a way she never has before. 

Taking us from a small town in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia to a small town in Scotland, Adriana Trigiani does so in such a way that you the reader feel like you are right there with the characters. Her writing is so descriptive and compelling that you can't help get caught up with all that is going on. 

I feel as if I have lost my best friend now that I have finished reading this series. It is definitely going to be a series that I will reread some time in the future - maybe I will even try the audio version of the books. Have you ever read a series that you just didn't want to end or do you have a series that you reread over and over again?

(I got this book from Paperback Swap.)

Books in this series:
  1. Big Stone Gap
  2. Big Cherry Holler
  3. Milk Glass Moon
  4. Home to Big Stone Gap

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