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Big Cherry Holler: A Big Stone Gap Novel [Kindle Edition]

Adriana Trigiani
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (166 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $15.00
Kindle Price: $11.72
You Save: $3.28 (22%)
Sold by: Random House LLC

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Book Description

BIG CHERRY HOLLER, the extraordinary sequel to BIG STONE GAP, takes us back to the mountain life that enchanted us in Adriana Trigiani’s best selling debut novel. It’s been eight years since the town pharmacist and long time spinster Ave Maria Mulligan married coal miner Jack MacChesney. With her new found belief in love and its possibilities, Ave Maria makes a life for herself and her growing family, hoping that her fearless leap into commitment will make happiness stay. What she didn’t count on was that fate, life, and the ghosts of the past would come to haunt her and, eventually, test the love she has for her husband. The mountain walls that have protected her all of her life can not spare Ave Maria the life lessons she must learn.

BIG CHERRY HOLLER is the story of a marriage, revealing the deep secrets, the power struggle, the betrayal and the unmet expectations that exist between husband and wife. It is the story of a community that must reinvent itself as it comes to grips with the decline of the coal mining industry. It is the story of an extended family, the people of Big Stone Gap, who are there for one another especially when times are toughincluding bookmobile librarian and sexpert Iva Lou Wade Makin, savvy businesswoman Pearl Grimes, crusty cashier Fleeta Mullins, and Rescue Squad captain Spec Broadwater, who faces the complications of his double life. Ave Maria’s best friend Theodore Tipton, now band director at the University of Tennessee, continues to be her chief counselor and conscience as he reaches the pinnacle of marching band success.

When Ave Maria takes her daughter to Italy for the summer, she meets a handsome stranger who offers her a life beyond the Blue Ridge Mountains. Ave Maria is forced to confront what is truly important: to her, to her marriage, and to her family. Brimming with humor, wisdom, honesty, and the drama and local color of mountain life from Virginia to Italy, BIG CHERRY HOLLER is a deeply felt, brilliantly evoked story of two lovers who have lost their way and their struggle to find one another again.


From the Hardcover edition.

Books In This Series (4 Books)
Complete Series


  • Editorial Reviews

    From Publishers Weekly

    "Something is wrong. Something has shifted and the change was so subtle and so quiet that we hardly noticed it. We pull against each other now." Ave Mari is describing her marriage to miner Jack MacChesney after eight years. During that period they had two children: a daughter, Etta, who is now an energetic preteen, and a son, Joe, who died suddenly of leukemia. Joe's death and the sorrow and pain beneath a tranquil surface is the focus of this tale. When the mine closes, Jack loses his job and Ave suspects that he is involved with another woman. She visits her family in Italy for the summer and finds time to gather her thoughts, to question her behavior as well as Jack's. There she meets the handsome Pete Rutledge, and her own fidelity is tested. Trigiani (Big Stone Gap) reads this story convincingly, with the rural Virginia accent of the friendly and earnest Ave. Well-paced and engaging, this deeply felt story invites the listener to reflect on the nature of love. Simultaneous release with the Random House hardcover (Forecasts, May 14).

    Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

    From Library Journal

    In this sequel to Big Stone Gap (LJ 4/1/00), it's now the late 1980s, and Ave Maria and Jack MacChesney have been married 11 years. They have a ten-year-old daughter, Etta, but lost their younger child, Joe, a few years earlier. This loss and other marital stresses have tested their relationship, but the summer brings on the biggest trial yet. As Jack tries to launch a new construction business in Big Stone Gap, VA, Ave Maria and Etta take off for Italy. While many of the same humorous characters of the first novel reappear here, the tragedy of the death of a child and the chill it can cast on any marriage make this work more somber than its predecessor. Nonetheless, this novel of love and forgiveness delivers its story in a believable manner. Ave Maria remains someone readers would like to know, and Iva Lou, her librarian friend, still has her finger on the pulse of Mars/Venus relationships in this neck of the woods. Recommended for popular fiction collections. Rebecca Sturm Kelm, Northern Kentucky Univ. Lib., Highland Heights
    Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc.

    Product Details

    • File Size: 530 KB
    • Print Length: 298 pages
    • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0375506179
    • Publisher: Random House; 1st edition (July 3, 2001)
    • Sold by: Random House LLC
    • Language: English
    • ASIN: B002VM7G3E
    • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
    • X-Ray:
    • Word Wise: Not Enabled
    • Lending: Not Enabled
    • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #76,653 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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    Customer Reviews

    Most Helpful Customer Reviews
    22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
    4.0 out of 5 stars YO! Adriana! June 13, 2001
    Format:Hardcover
    This author delivers in a big way. What a treat it was to see her interviewed on the Today Show and realize there was a sequel to Big Stone Gap. Her characters are multi-dimensional...real, endearing, flawed, fun, exasperating folks. The author employs a engaging practice of setting each of these books after a life-altering event, so the big event itself exists as if a silent but essential player in the unfolding of the story. This is a book one is anxious to speed through, but sorry to see end. This reader believes it is best to read Big Stone Gap first or some developments in Big Cherry Holler could be confusing. It's fun to see what has happened, not only to Ave Maria and Jack Mac, but to Pearl, Iva Lou, Fleeta, Spec, and Aunt Alice. (What great names!) Both books are immensely funny and achingly sad, this reader's favorite combination in a novel. I can't wait to find out what happens next.
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    13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
    3.0 out of 5 stars Good story with one flaw! September 6, 2001
    Format:Hardcover
    Big Cherry Holler is a more than adequate sequel to the first entry in this series. I love Ave Maria and feel that she is a lot more like real women than alot of characters I have come across in novels. She is flawed but still immensely lovable which I believe makes her very believable. My biggest problem with the story however was that I feel that Ava was basically getting a raw deal by everyone in her life. Why was this estrangement from her husband all her fault? Either her husband and friends were blaming her unjustly or her terrible behavior towards Jack Mac wasn't actually depicted in the book. I saw a woman dealing with the death of her son the best she could and being a wife and mother to her reamining family the best she could. Granted, she was far from perfect, but who is? Furthermore, her husband seemed to me to be the one having trouble communicating anything to his wife. Time and again, Ava says that Jack Mac doesn't talk to her about anything or that she has to pull everything out of him and then we are told that she is the one who closes herself off from him. Am I missing something?? Other than this albeit rather major flaw, I did enjoy the story and would look forward to a third installment in this series.
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    21 of 24 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful return... July 10, 2001
    Format:Hardcover
    Adriana Trigiani has done it again! After reading this novel, I felt like I had been to the best family reunion ever. Although a bit more serious than its predecessor, Big Cherry Holler was a pleasure to read and its characters a joy to revisit.
    It's been eight years since Ave Maria Mulligan and Jack MacChesney tied the knot. Their marriage started off wonderfully, but like most relationships, eventually things change. Feelings regarding the death of their son and changes in the mining industry -- Jack's lifeblood -- has put a major strain on their relationship. And with too many years as an independent spinster behind her, Ave Maria finds it hard to completely let go and be a full participating part in her marriage. Plus, those rumors of infidelity don't help matters much. In hopes to fuel the dying spark, Ave plans a summer trip to Italy for her, Jack and their 8-year-old daughter, Etta. But as they say, the best laid plans can often go awry....
    Big Cherry Holler is a wonderful testimony to the joys and trials of marriage. I related to both sides of the story and even felt I learned something about men versus women. And of course those quirky Gap residents are back for more laughs: still-sexy-but-married Iva Lou Wade Makin, who has all sorts of marital advice to share; savvy business woman Pearl Grimes; Theodore Tipton, Ave's best friend with a secret all his own; and Rescue Squad volunteer Spec Broadwater, who finds himself in an interesting situation. I loved this novel - more so as it neared the end. Vibrant cast of characters and a real drama that unfolds slowly throughout the book. Hope there is another Big Stone Gap novel in the works!
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    9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars Big Cherry Holler April 7, 2002
    Format:Paperback
    Big Cherry Holler by Adriana Trigiani is a charming book. After reading Big Stone Gap, I had to get Big Cherry Holler to find out what was going to happen to these charaters in later life. Southwest Virginia is in for some tough times as the coal mining company is pulling out and Jack Mac loses his job.
    Now, the true test of the characters mettle is about to be told. This book is about life and some true soul searching. Told in a simple Virginia narrative, life's joys and tribulations are coming to us though the main character Ave Maria.
    She narrates all of the things that run through her mind, be it good or confused... as she reaches a crossroad in her life. Being that this is a small town and everyone knows everyones business, advice is being offered, but will Ave Maria take it or strike out on her own?
    This book is filled with humor, love, and passion. Also, romance and some homespun country wisdom are sprinkled into the mix, making this book readable and enjoyable. If you want to find out what happens to Ave Maria read Big Cherry Holler as it starts eight years from where Big Stone Gap left off.
    A great read, I recommend it highly...an excellent story to treasure.
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    12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars It just gets better! May 22, 2001
    By Linda
    Format:Hardcover
    BIG CHERRY HOLLER is a sequel that delivers! I loved it! Ave Maria is truly everywoman -- she juggles a job, her child, and her marriage. The humor, love and community of the first book are still there, and while the first book had Ave coming to terms with herself, BIG CHERRY HOLLER has her coming to terms with her marriage. And what a story! The twists and turns (not to mention a trip to Italy) kept me hooked from the beginning. But there are tender moments and poignant moments as Ave deals with the loss of her son. Adriana Trigiani captures the ups and downs of marriage, the juggling act all mothers face and the love that keeps it all together. Even if it is tested once in awhile.
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    More About the Author

    Adriana Trigiani is beloved by millions of readers around the world for fifteen bestsellers, including the blockbuster epic The Shoemaker's Wife; the Big Stone Gap series; Lucia, Lucia; the Valentine series; the Viola series for young adults and the bestselling memoir Don't Sing at the Table. She is the award-winning filmmaker of the documentary Queens of the Big Time. Trigiani wrote and directed the major motion picture Big Stone Gap, based on her debut novel and filmed entirely on location in her Virginia hometown, to be released nationwide in the fall of 2015. She lives in Greenwich Village with her family.

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