“FUNNY, CHARMING, AND ORIGINAL.”
Nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia, the tiny town of Big Stone Gap is home to some of the most charming eccentrics in the state. Ave Maria Mulligan is the town’s self-proclaimed spinster, a thirty-five year old pharmacist with a “mountain girl’s body and a flat behind.” She lives an amiable life with good friends and lots of hobbies until the fateful day in 1978 when she suddenly discovers that she’s not who she always thought she was. Before she can blink, Ave’s fielding marriage proposals, fighting off greedy family members, organizing a celebration for visiting celebrities, and planning the trip of a lifetime–a trip that could change her view of the world and her own place in it forever. Brimming with humor and wise notions of small-town life, Big Stone Gap is a gem of a book with a giant heart. . . .
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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 WilliamsFrom the Back Cover:
"BIG STONE GAP is a southern novel that has the ring of truth, by which I mean
its characters are bizarre, its story is hilarious, and that it hooked me on
"Have there ever been more engaging late bloomers than Ave Maria Mulligan and her circle of doting, meddlesome friends? Adriana Trigiani writes with wit and grace about misguided romances and family secrets, and so very winningly about generous hearts. This urban Yankee reader found hours of bliss in Big Stone Gap, Virginia."
-- Elinor Lipman
"Funny, charming and original!"
-- Fannie Flagg
"It is one of my all-time favorite novels . . . unforgettable."
-- Whoopi Goldberg
"I have not enjoyed a novel this much since Cold Mountain. The characters are exquisitely and richly drawn. Ave Maria Mulligan is so real, she is almost a miracle. The story is poignant without being sentimental, and funny without being mean, and the story, the people, and the place of Big Stone Gap have stayed with me long after reading the book."
-- Rosanne Cash
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