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Milk Glass Moon: A Novel (Ballantine Reader's Circle) Paperback – July 1, 2003

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Fans of Trigiani's delightful trilogy (Big Cherry Holler; Big Stone Gap) will be sorry to part with Ave Maria MacChesney in this final installment. Readers who have followed Ave through her marriage at 35 to the rock-steady Jack, the death of her four-year-old son and all the ups and downs of family life will now witness her struggle to let go as she acknowledges her growing daughter's need for independence. In Ave's dealings with Etta as Etta changes from a stargazing 12-year-old tomboy to a strong-willed 18-year-old, the author reveals great insight into the minefield of mother-daughter relationships. Trigiani's unerring portrayal of the singular personalities that make up the small southwest Virginia town-the lively Iva Lou, Ave's best friend; gossipy Fleeta, who works at the Mutual Pharmacy with Ave; the town's Rock of Gibraltar, Spec Broadwater-brings humor and poignancy to Ave's richly drawn life in Big Stone Gap. Equally compelling are the scenes in Italy, when the three MacChesneys and Iva Lou visit Ave's birthplace and spend time with her Italian family. The folksy dialogue and unabashed sentimentalism can be cloying, but Ave's astringent insights and critical self-appraisal sharpen the tale. And as always, it is the day-to-day details of life in the charming backwater town of Big Stone Gap (including a recipe for "Chocolate Coca-Cola Cake") that make the story shine. Trigiani skillfully brings her compelling trilogy to a satisfying conclusion.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Library Journal

The last in the "Big Stone Gap" trilogy (Big Stone Gap, Big Cherry Holler) brings us back to Ave Maria and Jack Mac during daughter Etta's teenage years. Despite upheaval and family tensions, this is a happy book, sprinkled with gentle, down-home humor and a rich sense of place the mountains of both Virginia and Italy. The advice from the Wise County Fair fortune-teller to "redream" or reinvent one's life is perfect for readers of all ages. Trigiani does a fine job of resolving 20-year story lines while still leaving readers wanting more. Fans of the previous novels will savor this title as well while anticipating the film version of Big Stone Gap. Recommended for popular fiction collections. Rebecca Sturm Kelm, Northern Kentucky Univ. Lib., Highland Heights
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
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Product Details

  • Series: Ballantine Reader's Circle
  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Ballantine Books; Reprint edition (July 1, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0345445856
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345445858
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.6 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (144 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #119,937 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

25 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Khemprof TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on September 7, 2002
Format: Hardcover
Milk Glass Moon written by Adriana Trigiani is book three of a triology in the Big Stone Gap series, (Big Stone Gap, Big Cherry Hollar and Milk Glass Moon). This book takes us six years further into the lives of Ave Maria Mulligan MacChesney and her family and friends.
All of the characters that we loved in the previous books are growing up or matured and their character is coming out well in this book. The mother/daughter relationship is strong in this book, as Ave Maria doesn't want to let going of the little girl that is now maturing, her daughter is facing her first love and mother is experiencing heartbreak.
This book is about life through Ave Maria's eyes, in the Southwestern part of the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia with all of the flavor of that small town distilled into this book making it a wild ride throgh the emotional roller coaster.
With twist and turns woven into the main story we learn what's happening to Ave Maria's friends, Iva Lou, Pearl Grimes, Theodore Tipton, Jack Mac, and Fleeta. With humor, you will laugh along with the characters as life in Big Stone Gap is changing.
You'll love reading the book as the narrative is simple but very effective and you can imagine the characters in your mind as you read on, making this book engaging. There is drama, mountain wisdom along ith a sprinkle of humor and romance all rolled into a very well told story.
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23 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Nancy R. Katz VINE VOICE on August 5, 2002
Format: Hardcover
Readers of Adriana Trigiani's first two books in this trilogy, Big Stone Gap and Big Cherry Holler, certainly have a great deal to look forward to when they pick up and read Milk Glass Moon. What reader wouldn't enjoy another visit to this mountain town in West Virginia, which the author describes so beautifully and fills with such vivid characters and events. And if by chance you read this book without realizing it's the third installment in a series, you have the added pleasure of being able to go back and savor the first two books putting all of the pieces in the puzzle together.
At the beginning of Milk Glass Moon, which refers to what Jack's grandfather described as a smoky, hazy moon, life is pretty much the same for Ave Marie and Jack MacChesney. Their marriage is a good and fulfilling one after several years and they look forward to the future together. Ave Marie continues to work in the pharmacy she once owned while Jack is busy with his construction company. Rounding out their lives is their daughter, Etta, a bright and adventurous 13 year old who is bound to turn Ave Marie's hair gray. But life really never stays the same and once again Ave Marie is faced with new challenges in her life as well as the changes in her friends lives. Once again, we get to spend time with Ave and her beloved mountain friends from the first two books. Theodore Tipton, the former marching band leader who suddenly moves to New York City, Peter Rutledge who Ave Marie first met in Italy five years ago, Iva Lou, the brash and sexy book -mobile driver, Fleeta, the grouchy but big hearted employee of the pharmacy, Spec the paramedic Ave Marie used to work with and Ave Marie's large family in Italy.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Jennifer Sandell on September 2, 2003
Format: Paperback
Adriana Trigiani is truly a wonderful and masterful storyteller and I certainly hope this isn't the last visit we have to Big Stone Gap. I have fallen in love with all characters from hip sexpert Iva Lou, to crusty but loveable Fleeta not to mention late-bloomer, Ave Maria and the love of her life, Jack Mac. When I startred this book, I felt like I was taking a walk through Cracker's Neck Holler getting reaquainted with everyone, I felt welcomed back into the fold, that I missed everyone and I was anxious to see what they had been up to.
This book tells the story of the struggle between Ave Maria and her her now teenage daughter, Etta. Ave struggles of course with what every mother struggles with and that is letting go. Etta can be rebellious at times and is struggling to find her own way in the world and it is Etta's father, Jack Mac that seems to understand this better than Ave, who, throughout the course of this heartwarming, spirited novel is forced to learn a lesson or two from her daughter and all the people in this close-knit community that love her.
This novel, as well as the other two books in this series has something for everyone: The characters are extremely well-drawn and lively, the romance is timeless, one sentence can make you laugh wholeheartedly while the next breaks your heart. And for those who like adventure, Milk Glass Moon transports us from the mountains of Virginia to the Tuscan countryside and the Italian Alps for a visit once again with Ave's family.
I am very sad to see this book and the series end, but I look forward to anything else written by Ms. Trigiani. For those who have not yet discovered this talented author, pick up Big Stone Gap, Big Cherry Holler, and Milk Glass Moon and READ THEM!!! they are better than a five star rating can say and should not be missed!
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Denise Bentley on August 7, 2002
Format: Hardcover
The third book in the Big Stone Gap Series, life with Ave and Jack Mac continues like a slow sun rising over the mountains. The love and warmth of the people that we have come to know and care for, their trials and tribulations, life and death, it is all here in the Holler.
In this book we find Etta to be a blossoming teen with a mind of her own, and mom (Ave) has some hard won lessons to learn. This book spans several years and the road gets rocky at times, even down right hard to swallow, but our characters trudge on to the rewards that lie in wait around the corner. Ave comes to terms with the love, and men in her life and finds balance and peace in doing so.
The author left this book open in a way that leaves the reader to believe that another book might be on the way. I will be on the look out for more of this authors talented writing and heartwarming characters. Kelsana 8/7/02
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