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Big Stone Gap
Cover of Big Stone Gap
Big Stone Gap
Big Stone Gap Series, Book 1
Borrow Borrow
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • The first novel in the beloved Big Stone Gap series, now a major motion picture written and directed by Adriana Trigiani, starring Ashley Judd, Patrick Wilson, Whoopi Goldberg, John Benjamin Hickey, Jane Krakowski, Anthony LaPaglia, and Jenna Elfman
 
“Delightfully quirky . . . chock-full of engaging, oddball characters and unexpected plot twists.”—People (Book of the Week)

It's 1978, and Ave Maria Mulligan is the thirty-five-year-old self-proclaimed spinster of Big Stone Gap, a sleepy hamlet in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia. She’s also the local pharmacist, the co-captain of the Rescue Squad, and the director of The Trail of the Lonesome Pine, the town’s long-running Outdoor Drama. Ave Maria is content with her life—until, one fateful day, her past opens wide with the revelation of a long-buried secret that will alter the course of her life. Before she knows it, Ave Maria is fielding marriage proposals, trying to claim her rightful inheritance, and planning the trip of a lifetime to Italy—one that will change her view of the world and her own place in it forever.
Millions of readers around the world have fallen in love with the small town of Big Stone Gap, nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia, and its self-proclaimed spinster. Full of wit and wonder, hilarity and heart, Big Stone Gap is a gem of a book, and one that you will share with friends and family for years to come.
 
WINNER OF THE LIBRARY OF VIRGINIA ANNUAL LITERARY AWARD
 
Don’t miss any of Adriana Trigiani’s beloved Big Stone Gap series
BIG STONE GAP • BIG CHERRY HOLLER • MILK GLASS MOON • HOME TO BIG STONE GAP
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • The first novel in the beloved Big Stone Gap series, now a major motion picture written and directed by Adriana Trigiani, starring Ashley Judd, Patrick Wilson, Whoopi Goldberg, John Benjamin Hickey, Jane Krakowski, Anthony LaPaglia, and Jenna Elfman
 
“Delightfully quirky . . . chock-full of engaging, oddball characters and unexpected plot twists.”—People (Book of the Week)

It's 1978, and Ave Maria Mulligan is the thirty-five-year-old self-proclaimed spinster of Big Stone Gap, a sleepy hamlet in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia. She’s also the local pharmacist, the co-captain of the Rescue Squad, and the director of The Trail of the Lonesome Pine, the town’s long-running Outdoor Drama. Ave Maria is content with her life—until, one fateful day, her past opens wide with the revelation of a long-buried secret that will alter the course of her life. Before she knows it, Ave Maria is fielding marriage proposals, trying to claim her rightful inheritance, and planning the trip of a lifetime to Italy—one that will change her view of the world and her own place in it forever.
Millions of readers around the world have fallen in love with the small town of Big Stone Gap, nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia, and its self-proclaimed spinster. Full of wit and wonder, hilarity and heart, Big Stone Gap is a gem of a book, and one that you will share with friends and family for years to come.
 
WINNER OF THE LIBRARY OF VIRGINIA ANNUAL LITERARY AWARD
 
Don’t miss any of Adriana Trigiani’s beloved Big Stone Gap series
BIG STONE GAP • BIG CHERRY HOLLER • MILK GLASS MOON • HOME TO BIG STONE GAP
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Excerpts-
  • From the book

    This will be a good weekend for reading. I picked up a dozen of Vernie Crabtree's killer chocolate chip cookies at the French Club bake sale yesterday. (I don't know what she puts in them, but they're chewy and crispy at the same time.) Those, a pot of coffee, and a good book are all I will need for the rainy weekend rolling in. It's early September in our mountains, so it's warm during the day, but tonight will bring a cool mist to remind us that fall is right around the corner.

    The Wise County Bookmobile is the one of the most beautiful sights in the world to me. When I see it lumbering down the mountain road like a tank, then turning wide and easing onto Shawnee Avenue, I flag it down like an old friend. I've waited on this corner every Friday since I can remember. The Bookmobile is just a government truck, but to me it's a glittering royal coach delivering stories and knowledge and life itself. I even love the smell of books. People have often told me that one of their strongest childhood memories is the scent of their grandmother's house. I never knew my grandmothers, but I could always count on the Bookmobile.

    The most important thing I ever learned, I learned from books. Books have taught me how to size people up. The most useful book I ever read taught me how to read faces, an ancient Chinese art called siang mien, in which the size of the eyes, curve of the lip, and height of the forehead are important clues to a person's character. The placement of ears indicates intelligence. Chins that stick out reflect stubbornness. Deep-set eyes suggest a secretive nature. Eyebrows that grow together may answer the question Could that man kill me with his bare hands? (He could.) Even dimples have meaning. I have them, and according to face reading, something wonderful is supposed to happen to me when I turn thirty-five. (It's been four months since my birthday, and I'm still waiting.)

    If you were to read my face, you would find me a comfortable person with brown eyes, good teeth, nice lips, and a nose that folks, when they are being kind, refer to as noble. It's a large nose, but at least it's straight. My eyebrows are thick, which indicates a practical nature. (I'm a pharmacistóhow much more practical can you get?) I have a womanly shape, known around here as a mountain girl's body, strong legs, and a flat behind. Jackets cover it quite nicely.

    This morning the idea of living in Big Stone Gap for the rest of my life gives me a nervous feeling. I stop breathing, as I do whenever I think too hard. Not breathing is very bad for you, so I inhale slowly and deeply. I taste coal dust. I don't mind; it assures me that we still have an economy. Our town was supposed to become the "Pittsburgh of the South" and the "Coal Mining Capital of Virginia." That never happened, so we are forever at the whims of the big coal companies. When they tell us the coal is running out in these mountains, who are we to doubt them?

    It's pretty here. Around six o'clock at night everything turns a rich Crayola midnight blue. You will never smell greenery so pungent. The Gap definitely has its romantic qualities. Even the train whistles are musical, sweet oboes in the dark. The place can fill you with longing.

    The Bookmobile is at the stoplight. The librarian and driver is a good-time gal named Iva Lou Wade. She's in her forties, but she's yet to place the flag on her sexual peak. She's got being a woman down. If you painted her, she'd be sitting on a pink cloud with gold-leaf edges, showing a lot of leg. Her perfume is so loud that when I visit the Bookmobile, I wind up smelling like her for the bulk of the day. (It's a good thing I like...
About the Author-
  • Adriana Trigiani is beloved by millions of readers around the world for her 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. Trigiani reaches new heights with All the Stars in the Heavens, an epic tale from the Golden Age of Hollywood. 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. She lives in Greenwich Village with her family.
Reviews-
  • Publisher's Weekly

    April 3, 2000
    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).

  • AudioFile Magazine In Big Stone Gap, a hamlet in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia, pharmacist Ave Maria Mulligan, a student of ancient Chinese face-reading, learns that at the age of 35 something significant will change her life. Grace Bennett's earthy and rich narration takes the listener on Ave Maria's journey during this discovery. With charm and gutsy charisma, Bennett describes this woman's deepest fears, longings, disappointments, and the rocky path to a woman's final destination. When Jack comes into Ave's life, Bennett turns up the sexual tension, and listeners will fall in love with love along the way. Bennett perfectly delivers a cozy and charming story. B.J.P. (c) AudioFile 2001, Portland, Maine
  • AudioFile Magazine Having cut her storytelling teeth on writing for television series like "The Cosby Show," Trigiani excels in this semi-autobiographical romp through Big Stone Gap, Virginia, in the 1970s as a woman tries to find some excitement in the thirty-fifth year of her very conventional life. Trigiani breathes vitality into the heroine, Ave Maria Mulligan, with her bright Southern inflections. And the cast of supporting characters also springs to life, thanks to her able performance. There are so many such colorful characters that at times it appears they're being trotted out, but the whole of the piece seems to sustain this whimsical yet compelling quest for life's adventure. R.A.P. (c) AudioFile 2000, Portland, Maine
  • People (Book of the Week)

    "Delightfully quirky . . . Chock full of engaging, oddball characters and unexpected plot twists."

  • The New York Times Book Review "AS COMFORTING AS A MUG OF CHAMOMILE TEA ON A RAINY SUNDAY."
  • USA Today "CHARMING . . . READERS WOULD DO WELL TO FALL INTO THE NEAREST EASY CHAIR AND SAVOR THE STORY."
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Big Stone Gap
Big Stone Gap
Big Stone Gap Series, Book 1
Adriana Trigiani
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