book review: Big Stone Gap by Adriana Trigiani

Summary: Big Stone Gap is the first in Adriana Trigiani's successful Big Stone Gap series. The book is set in 1978, and it tells the story of Ave Maria, the 35-year-old daughter of an Italian mother and Southern father. She's lived in Big Stone Gap, Virginia, a tiny mining town, all of her life. She went away for college, and returned to work as the pharmacist at her father's pharmacy. She looks forward to the bookmobile each Friday evening. Most importantly, she is funny.

Review: I'm not a huge fan of Southern literature. I like good fiction, and if it happens to be Southern, that is fine, but I don't seek it out. I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I was surprised at how funny it was. The characters, especially Ave Maria are delightful. I laughed out loud repeatedly. It's a love story, but for me, it's more a life story (or part of a life story, as it becomes a series) and the story of a place. Despite being rather short (less than 300 pages), it was a read I savored. The language was lovely, and I look forward to the next installment of this series and reading more of Adriana Trigiani's work. Big Cherry Holler is the next book in the series.

Fun fact: Adriana Trigiani wrote for both The Cosby Show and A Different World, which were two of my favorite shows as a child.

Rating: 4 stars (out of 5 stars)
Pages: 272 pages
Publication date: 2001
Source: my local public library

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  1. I have heard nothing but good things about this author and I just love those life stories. Thanks for the review.

  2. Fun! I loved Adriana Trigiani's Very Valentine but haven't actually read any of the books in this series, which I've heard a lot about... maybe I'll start it this year! :)

  3. I've always wanted to read these but for some reason they've always passed me by. I'll have to pick it up!

  4. I didn't realize she'd written for those TV shows. I love the whole Big Stone Gap series, but the 2nd book is the weak one in the series.


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