I first read Trigiani in a compilation book of American female authors. I was intrigued by Trigiani's writing style and decided to give this novel a try as my first full read from her. What a story! A novel full of life lessons all can relate to and characters that you'll love and hate. I loved the book so much, that I immediately read the sequel "Big Cherry Holler" the next day! Easy to read- you could plow through both books in a day.
The characters made me feel warm and cozy even if the story seemed a waste of time. The story was ridiculous and trite, but escaping to the beautiful scenery and joining in the company of a local drug store pharmacist, a book-mobile driver and a bunch of fun-lovin' other characters was embarrassingly fun. My literary senses were entirely assaulted and I love it. Kinda kinky in a bookworm way... I guess sometimes your story life needs a little trashy spice!
This charming book reminded me of the movie "Waitress" (starring Keri Russell and Nathan Fillion) ... in fact, so much did it remind me of the movie that, remembering the name of the female writer/director of "Waitress" was some form of "Adrian," I had to make sure the author and the director were not the same person. (They aren't. This is Adriana Trigiana; "Waitress" was Adrienne Shelly.)
Still, if you liked "Waitress," you might like this book. The qualities of "Waitress" this reminds me of are the tone (that hard to define way of being naturally quirky, effortlessly conveying the idea that the characters are just like this without being aware that it's unusual), the small-town setting, and the piercing insight of the main character's revelations into the world around her and her place in it.
It's a great book to curl up with on a rainy day or a slow Sunday. I read a lot of books in quick 5-minute "bites" of time; this was not a good book for that type of reading. It's a book to take some time with in order to enjoy the progress of the rolling storyline. (Not that the storyline is "slow" - there are plenty of interesting plot developments - but it doesn't have intermittent climactic moments or chapter-by-chapter cliffhangers as so many modern novels do.)
I had never read anything by Trigiani before, but this book may have made me a fan. I will be ordering more of her novels ASAP.
This is the second book I've read by Adriana Trigiani and I intend on reading everything else she has written! Loved this story about "Ave Maria," a single woman in her 30's who, after her mother dies, finds that she needs a change. Full of wonderful characters, this book does not disappoint!
My first Adriana Trigiani book and I thoroughly enjoyed it. The peole were true-to-life, very much like Southerners act, speak and think....with both the good and bad traits presented.
Set in 1978 in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia, Big Stone Gap is a typical coal-mining town. The people are dependant on the coal mines for their living, even as they deny that the mines are responsible for the Black Lung and other related diseases that take their menfolk. Ave Marie Mulligan, the town pharmacist and self-proclaimed spinster, discovers she's not who she always thought she was when her mother dies and Ave Marie discovers a letter her mother wrote to her before her death. That letter starts her on a journey of self-discovery, for herself and the ones she holds dear.
For a book that will make you stop and question your own life-goals, follow Ave Marie as she learns who she really is and finds that sometimes you have to lose your old self before you can find who you really are.