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Big Stone Gap Audio, Cassette – Abridged, Audiobook

4.3 out of 5 stars 729 customer reviews
Book 1 of 4 in the Big Stone Gap Series

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

In the town of Big Stone Gap, Virginia, not much happens. The highlight of 35-year-old Ave Maria Mulligan's week comes on Friday, with the arrival of the Bookmobile, the sight of which sends her into raptures. Her favorite book concerns the ancient Chinese art of reading faces. Through her face-readings, we come to understand the hostilities simmering within her family: her father whose small eyes are the clear "sign of a deceptive nature." Her aunt who "has a small head and thin lips. (That's a terrible combination.)" Adriana Trigiani's first novel concerns the family scandals that befall Ave Maria in this seemingly uneventful town. Greed, lust, envy--all the ancient emotional elements--manifest themselves even in this hamlet of "ordinary folk." Fans of Fannie Flagg or Rebecca Wells will enjoy this down-home tale, full of small, everyday details and colloquial revelations. The writing is often awkward, but so too are the characters who inhabit this place: the Bookmobile lady who thinks of herself as the sexiest woman alive; the amateur actors in the local Outdoor Drama who bristle with ambition when they hear that Elizabeth Taylor is coming to visit. In Big Stone Gap, her visit is so anticipated, it's like she's an angel sent from heaven. --Ellen Williams --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Publishers Weekly

Trigiani's story of a middle-aged spinster finding love and a sense of self in a small Virginia coal town is a lot like a cold soda on a hot summer day: light and refreshing, if just a little too sweet. Trigiani, a playwright, filmmaker and former writer for The Cosby Show, has a Southern voice that perfectly embodies her main character, the embattled Ave Maria Mulligan. Ave Maria, who's satisfied if not exactly happy in her role as the town pharmacist, begins questioning her quiet, country life after a posthumous letter from her mother reveals a jarring secret. Ave Maria soon faces a crisis of identity, the advances of a surprising suitor and the threat of her acerbic, money-grubbing Aunt Alice. From the suitor, who points out his brand-new pickup truck during a marriage proposal, to the town temptress, who dispenses romantic advice from her bookmobile, Trigiani brings the story alive with her flexible vocal inventions. Fans of true love stories and happy endings certainly won't be disappointed. Based on the Random hardcover (Forecasts, Jan. 31).
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Product Details

  • Audio Cassette
  • Publisher: Random House Audio; Abridged edition (April 4, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0375409475
  • ISBN-13: 978-0375409479
  • Product Dimensions: 4.4 x 1.2 x 7.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.1 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (729 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #7,401,081 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
If Jan Karon, Billie Letts and Fannie Flagg could be made into one person, they would create Adriana Trigiani. All the essentials are present: Jan Karon's quaint community charm, Billie Letts's honest and triumphant storylines, and Fannie Flagg's quirky and one-of-a-kind characters. A lively mix, to say the least....
According to the Chinese art of face-reading, something extraordinary is supposed to happen in the 35th year of Ava Maria Mulligan's life. Well, it's been 35 years -- and Ava Maria is getting impatient! Being the town spinster, town pharmacist, and all-around good gal just isn't good enough anymore. Even though Ava Maria tries to convince herself that she likes being alone and predictable, fate has another scenario in mind. With the discovery of a very big family secret, the entire world and life as Ava Maria has come to know and depend on is turned upside down. But that isn't necessarily a bad thing...
Plenty of surprising things and supressed feelings come to the surface during the course of Ava Maria's 35th year, which makes it one that will never be forgotten. Readers will fall in love with the town of Big Stone Gap, Virginia and all it's wonderful residents: Sexy bookmobile driver and jewelry peddler Iva Lou Wade, who has sampled many of the town's male appetizers; Theodore Tipton, director of the high school band and Ava Maria's very best friend; Jack MacChesney, the big, burly coal-miner who lives with his momma out in the holler; and Pearl Grimes, a 15-year-old mediocre mountain girl with potential that's just starting to crack the surface. Readers will see themselves in one or many of these characters, which makes this novel so appealing. A must read for Southern fiction fans and those who enjoy down-home humor and characters with heart.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I was born and raised in Big Stone Gap, and this book captures the essence of life in that town. As I read the book, I could smell the mountain air, hear the bookmobile coming around the street corner at the Post Office, and See the town merchants placing their wares on the sidewalks. What memories it brings back! The characters are real, the talk is true, and the honor and chivalry depicted in the book are still a part of that town. If you want a romantic novel that makes you yearn for the traditional values of yester year, this is the one to read. Big Stone Gap is real, refreshing, and a wonderful read to get lost in!
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Format: Hardcover
Quite often, opening lines of a book may beckon to a reader and hold onto them for the duration of the book. As an avid reader I couldn't help but feel this way when I read the following opening lines from Big Stone Gap by Adiana Trigiani, "This weekend will be a good weekend for reading." And I felt my fingers skipping to turn the pages and begin reading more of this book. Now that I've finished the novel by Ms. Trigiani , I too must add my kudos along with the many other readers who have also recommended and enjoyed this title. Like the authors Fannie Flagg and Rebecca Wells, Ms. Trigiani has assembled a cast of Southern characters who are homespun, fun loving and just quirky enough to appeal to reading audiences everywhere.
Ave Marie Mulligan at 35 is an unmarried pharmacist in Big Stone Gap, Virginia. The product of an Italian mother and Scotch Irish father, who died some years before has come to accept her father's cruelty when she was younger. She also has come to accept that her life most likely will never change either. Running the local pharmacy, which she inherited, making deliveries to the hollers, working with the ambulance squad and directing the Outdoor Drama musical every summer fill her days and years. But when Ava reads a letter from her recently deceased mother, she is left with some revelations and unsettling questions. Now Ava must find out the answers and we as readers fully realize that Ava's life will never be the same again.
Ms. Trigiani offers her readers a delightful book which will surely be read and reread by her many fans. And the best part is that once you finished reading Big Stone Gap you can return to the area and people once again by reading the second book in this trilogy, Big Cherry Holler, and the recently published third and last book, Milk Glass Moon. Take it from me, spending time with Ave Marie Mulligan with her friends in Big Stone Gap is a perfect way to spend any weekend.
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Format: Hardcover
I loved this book--the characters became your friends and neighbors. Ms Trigiani has created a wonderful character in Ave Maria Mulligan--one that I hope will reappear in subsequent novels. Ave Maria may be an oddity in the little town of Big Stone Gap but she shares the hopes and disappointments of all women. She comes from a warm and loving mother and a father who could not show emotion though later in the story we find out that Fred Mulligan was a very good man--he left his business and his home to Ave's mom thus insuring that they would be passed on to her. Surprises and twists abound and true love wins the day in this great "chick" book. Ms Triagiani can create characters and give them such life you take them home with you--I shall miss Jack Mac Theodore Iva Lou and Pearl. Rita Mae Brown has a definite rival for best Virginia storyteller.
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By A Customer on August 28, 2001
Format: Hardcover
The characters in this book are so friendly and down to earth. Since I know that Big Stone Gap really exists I can't help but wonder are any of these people real or like someone who lives in the real Big Stone Gap. This book covers so many things in life, birth, death, love, jealousy, success, and anger to just name a few. The leading lady is like so many of us seeming to have confidence in herself one minute then confused the next. Helping others often neglecting herself. The men are handsome, friendly and willing to help. I'm glad that I got to visit Big Stone Gap in the pages of this book
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