Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Review: Milk Glass Moon by Adriana Trigiani

Milk Glass Moon by Adriana Trigiani
Ballantine Books
July 2003
Format: Paperback, 288pages

First line: The Wise County Fair is my daughter's favorite event of the year, and I think it's safe to say that includes Christmas.

From the back cover: Ave Maria Mulligan MacChesney has never been a devotee of tarot cards or crystal balls. And yet when the fortune-teller at the county fair suggests that it is time for her to "redream" her life, Ave Maria realizes she is wide open to the suggestion. Not a bad idea considering that her beloved daughter, Etta, is growing up fast. In the face of the trials of adolescence, Ave Maria tries to prepare herself for the day when Etta will rebel big-time. Of course, everyone in Big Stone Gap sees it's coming: Cranky cashier Fleeta has warned her, county sexpert Iva Lou has consoled her, even Pearl, now a mother herself, has lent her sympathy - but that doesn't make the changes in Etta any easier to handle. The third installment in the Big Stone Gap series, Milk Glass Moon chronicles the challenges Ave Maria faces in her parenting and in her marriage, with more surprising twists and turns than on the mountain roads of southwest Virginia.

My thoughts: Oh how I love Adriana Trigiani and her books!!! Milk Glass Moon is the third in her Big Stone Gap series and this is slowly becoming one of my favorite series. I just love the characters of Big Stone Gap.

Etta MacChesney is growing up and she is the main focus of this book. We follow her through her teens and find out that she is nothing like her mother, Ave Maria. She is a smart girl, but she also exhibits the typical teenage angst and rebellion, which leads her to trouble at times. Adriana Trigiani really focuses on the mother-daughter relationship in this book, and how at times it is the parent that learns something from the child. We also see Etta's relationship with her father, Jack Mac and this is nothing like her relationship with her mother - something I think tends to mirror real life more times than not. 

Change is also a big part of the overall theme to this book, something that Ave Maria has trouble with. She is content with the way things are - she likes her home in Big Stone Gap, enjoys having her daughter home with her and Jack Mac. She's not ready for Etta to go away to college or to be a grown-up. She doesn't want to explore new places or ideas like Jack Mac does. Will this cause another rift between her and Jack Mac? Will Etta be able to make her own choices, choices that might not gel with what Ave Maria would choose for her?

Throughout the book, we also get to catch up with other BSG characters - Iva Lou, Pearl, Fleeta, Theodore, Spec, and the rest of the quirky characters that live there - as well as the Italy family contingent. There is another trip to Italy, a visitor from Italy comes to stay with the MacChesneys and there's even a trip to NYC.

I am looking forward to reading the next and final book in this series, Home to Big Stone Gap, although part of me wants to wait a bit because I don't want to see the series end! With each subsequent book in this series, I have fallen more in love with these quirky characters.

I got this book from Paperback Swap awhile ago. When it came, it went on the shelf, just waiting to be read. Well, to my surprise, when I started reading it, I happened to notice that it's signed by Adriana Trigiani - now it will go on the shelf of signed books instead of being given away!

(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. A new one for me so thank you for the post.

    1. It was a great series...I just finished reading the last one.

  2. I've only read the first and last book in this series...I must back up and read Big Cherry Holler and Milk Glass Moon. I love this series, too. It was my first experience with this author.

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts.


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