Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Review: Big Cherry Holler by Adriana Trigiani

First line: The rain is coming down on this old stone house so  hard, it seems there are a hundred tap dancers on the roof.

From the back cover: It's been eight years since Ave Maria Mulligan married Jack MacChesney, moved up into the hills, and dug her roots in even deeper. In this enthralling second installment in the Big Stone Gap series, their honeymoon haze has evolved into a family life filled with familiar comforts - for better and for worse. As Ave Maria's marriage reaches a crossroads, almost everybody around her has advice to offer - including the Bookmobile's self-appointed sexpert Iva Lou Wade, savvy businesswoman Pearl Grimes, chain-smoking cashier Fleeta Mullins, and of course her best friend, the magnetic and talented band director Theodore Tipton. When Ave Maria meets a handsome stranger during a summer holiday in Italy, she is faced with the decision of a lifetime - one that will force her to choose the man who is truly her destiny.

My thoughts: Adriana Trigiani is one of my favorite authors. I love her books and find myself becoming totally enmeshed in the stories she writes. Big Cherry Holler is the second in her Big Stone Gap series and I really like this series. While I found the first book, Big Stone Gap, to drag a little, this one moved along a bit faster.  

The primary focus of Big Cherry Holler is Ave Maria and Jack's marriage. It gives us a look into the trials and tribulations that come along with wedded bliss. What happens when the coal mine where Jack works closes? What about when Ave Maria is offered a new job prospect? Will they be able to work through these and other issues without causing irreparable damage to their relationship? While they are confronted with these issues, we come to find out some things that happened in the eight years between the first book and this one. As things are slowly revealed, we learn why things are the way they are and we hope that both Ave Maria and Jack can move on together and not separately.

We also get to catch up with all the quirky residents of Big Stone Gap and Ave Maria's family over in Italy - who we briefly met in the first book. The scenery of both Ave Maria's hometown of Big Stone Gap and her visit over to Italy come alive on the pages. I felt as if I was there right alongside Ave Maria, especially when she was in Italy - a place I hope to get to one of these days.

I enjoyed this second installment in the Big Stone Gap series and am looking forward to reading the next one. Have you read this series? This is definitely more of a character-driven rather than plot-driven book. Do you have a preference for one over the other?

(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


  1. I have yet to read a book by this author. Love the first sentence though. It definitely has me intrigued!

    1. She has some really good books out there, my favorite being The Shoemaker's Wife that just came out this year. Some of her other books that I've enjoyed are the Valentine series and Lucia, Lucia.


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