Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Review: Big Stone Gap by Adriana Trigiani

First line: This will be a good weekend for reading.

From the back cover: 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.

My thoughts: I first came across Adriana Trigiani when I found her book, Very Valentine, in the library. I picked that one up, loved it and then read the next one in the series, Brava Valentine. I found her writing to be refreshing and her stories engaging. I have since read a few other of her books and then last year, I got the four books of the Big Stone Gap series.

Big Stone Gap is a romantic novel that makes you yearn for the traditional values of the past. Filled with honor, chivalry and small-town life, it is easy to get pulled in and feel that you are right there in the town of Big Stone Gap. Ave Maria is the main character and the one who is narrating the story. She is a young woman who is the town pharmacist and the "unmarried" one. She is happy with her life but misses her mother who passed away and left her with a secret regarding who her real father is. The story unfolds from there as Ave Maria confronts her feelings of love for a man who is almost too good to be true. The people of Big Stone Gap will have you laughing and cheering their antics.

There are many threads throughout this story, which helps to keep the pace moving. It also highlights all the different relationships that are out there, and we get a look at each one - mother/daughter, father/daughter, men and women as friends, men and women as more than friends, and the different types of relationships that exist between girlfriends.

I enjoyed my visit to Big Stone Gap and look forward to reading the next in this series, Big Cherry Holler.

(I got this book from Paperback Swap.)


  1. I really liked Ave Maria's story - she's such a likable character. Great series!

  2. I just got this for a dollar from our Library Used Book Store. Glad it is worth reading!! Thanks.

  3. @ BookfanMary: I had a hard time getting into the story at first, but then I found I couldn't put the book down. Have you read the rest of the series?

    @ BookQuoter: I got my book from Paperback Swap - have you ever checked that out?

  4. This book was my first introduction to the author and I LOVED it - I didn't want the series to end. I also read the Valentine series and loved it - I can't wait for the 3rd installment of that one.


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