Top critical review
As a "check in" with the Characters, it's great. As a novel, it's lacking
on November 12, 2014
So, yeah, I gave this book 3 stars--but I feel I have to explain that rating a bit. I actually liked this book more than I enjoyed any other 3 star book, but I just didn't feel I could give it 4 stars. I gave he two books that precede this one the series (Big Stone Gap and Big Cherry Holler) 4 stars each and, despite the fact that I enjoyed this book, it just wasn't as good as the other two.
First off, this is not a stand alone book. If you haven't read the two previous books, this one will make no sense. I'm not counting that against Milk Glass Moon, but I do feel I should say that. However, for those of you who have read (and enjoyed) Big Stone Gap and Big Cherry Holler, Milk Glass Moon will feel like coming home. The characters are still as lovable and quirky as ever .... which is both good and bad.
It's great if you want something familiar. Yes, the fact remains that no one has really changed--including Ave Maria. Because of that, this book felt a bit stalled as the characters haven't really developed since the first and second books. Ave Maria is still dealing with the same feelings that she doesn't belong that she did in the first book, feelings that I felt had been (or should have been) resolved already.
This book also seemed to lack any real plot. It takes place over about 4 or 5 years and at times it really feels like Trigiani is just skipping through time. Without a strong plot to hold such a long time period together, an author has no choice but to write only on the topmost layer of things.
I guess what I'm saying here is that it was like visiting old friends who are always the same, but it wasn't a satisfying read. I'm glad I read it, but I think I could only recommend it to people who are fans of the first 2 books and want a "check in" with the characters. There is one more book in the series, which I will be reading at some point in the not-so-distant future, and I hope that Trigiani returns to storytelling with the conclusion to this series.