Home to Big Stone Gap: A Novel

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Millions of readers around the world have fallen in love with the novels of the New York Times bestselling author Adriana Trigiani. In Home to Big Stone Gap, she tells her most powerful story yet, full of humor and heart, wisdom and hope.

Nestled in the lush Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia, the town of Big Stone Gap has been home for Ave Maria Mulligan Machesney and her family for generations. She*s been married to her beloved Jack for nearly twenty years, raised one child and buried another, and run a business that binds her community together, all while holding her tight circle of family and friends close.

But with her daughter, Etta, having flown the nest to enchanting Italy, Ave Maria has reached a turning point. When a friend*s postcard arrives with the message ※It*s time to live your life for you,§ Ave Maria realizes that it*s time to go in search of brand-new dreams. But before she can put her foot on the path, her life is turned upside down.

Ave Maria agrees to helm the town musical, a hilarious reunion of local talent past and present. A lifelong friendship collapses when a mysterious stranger comes to town and reveals a long-buried secret. An unexpected health crisis threatens her family. An old heartthrob reappears, challenging her marriage and offering a way out of her troubles. An opportunistic coal company comes to town and threatens to undermine the town*s way of life and the mountain landscape Ave Maria has treasured since she was a girl. Now she has no choice but to reinvent her world, her life, and herself, whether she wants to or not.
Trigiani is at her best in this exquisite page-turner. Home to Big Stone Gap is an emotional and unforgettable journey that reminds us that you can go home again and again.

*STAR* Trigiani, Adriana. Home to Big Stone Gap. Nov. 2006. 301p. Random, $25.95 (1-4000-6008-7).
Tucked in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia is Big Stone Gap, the bucolic backdrop for Trigiani*s popular series. In this fourth entry, Ave Maria Mulligan MacChesney and her husband, Jack, must come to terms with the absence of daughter Etta, newly married and living in Italy. (The country holds a special place in Ave Maria*s heart: her biological father, Mario, whom she learned of and met only after her mother*s death, is Italian). Ave Maria has plenty to keep her mind off missing her only child (the MacChesney*s son, Joe, died of leukemia at age four). She*s a full-time pharmacist and the newly appointed director of the town*s annual musical. Then comes news that her longtime friend, glamorous librarian Iva Lou, has been keeping a startling secret for nearly 20 years. Other developments, including a health scare for Jack and a Christmas visit from a colorful former resident, move the plot along briskly. With her original cast of characters, playwright and television writer Trigiani blends playfulness and pathos in this evocative portrait of a small southern town. Fans of the Big Stone Gap series can look forward to a feature film; Trigiani has written the screenplay and is slated to direct. 每Allison Block
Is there ever trouble for Ave Maria Mulligan MacChesney, heroine of Trigiani's beloved Big Stone Gap novels, starting with her married daughter's move to Italy and leading right up to a stranger's disturbing appearance in town."每Library Journal

Praise for the Big Stone Gap novels:
※Delightfully quirky . . . chock-full of engaging, oddball characters and unexpected plot twists.§
People (Book of the Week)

※Funny, charming, and original.§
每Fannie Flagg

※Satisfying reading . . . As skillfully as Ms. Trigiani makes us laugh, she makes us cry.§
Richmond Times-Dispatch

※Heartwarming . . . Everythi...

Customer Reviews:

  • Home to Big Stone Gap - another thumbs up for Adriana Trigiani
    I love Trigiani's style! She makes you feel that you are part of the family.
    A wonderful read. I hope that Ms. Trigiani will continue to delight her readers with more on the adventures of the characters in the Big Stone Gap Series.
    Librarian in NJ...more info
  • Must Buy
    Love this author and look forward to every novel. Try to read them in order. The characters are like part of our family now. Thank you ....more info
  • Take a wonderful trip to Big Stone Gap
    If you love great storytelling, loveable yet complex characters, vivid holiday descriptions, and a plot full of secrets (and recipes), then this book is for you. Adriana has concocted a book that's filled with love and pathos which adds up to the best Big Stone Gap novel yet. Think you know everything about the citizens of this Virginia hamlet? Think again. You'll find redemption, surprises, change, adventure, and the holiday spirit within the covers of this book and it shouldn't be missed. Even if you haven't read the other BSG novels, this is a great place to start. And who could resist that beautiful cover?!?...more info
  • Enough of the family saga
    I read the first book in the saga as a book club member. We all liked the characters and empathized with the life choices of Ave Maria. The second book was a hit, the third was OK. This last installment (I hope it is the LAST installment) reads more like a personal journal than a novel and Ave is a bit of a whiner. Her husband is still a great guy who tolerates her incessant petulance like no man I know. Did her daughter moved to Italy for her husband , or to escape her mother? ...more info
  • Trigiani - Great, as usual
    Home to Big Stone Gap is as great as the rest of the series. I just wish it had been much longer....more info
  • Home to Big Stone Gap Review
    As always, Adriana Trigiani does an excellent job at absorbing you in to the family's world and taking you along for the ride. Love it!...more info
  • The best of the "Big Stone Gap" books!
    Some series weaken with each continuing novel, but not this one! Trigiani takes the familiar characters and back stories of the first three books, and uses them to create all-new episodes in the lives of Ave Maria, Jack Mac, Iva Lou, Fleeta and the other Big Stone Gap citizens.

    This novel picks up with Ave Maria's return home, following Etta's wedding in Italy. She's barely had time to adjust to having her daughter gone, when signs of serious illness begin to appear within Jack. Meanwhile, Ave Maria's agreed to take on the annual town play for the first time in years...and a mysterious stranger from Iva Lou's past threatens to break up Ave Maria and Iva Lou's decades-old friendship.

    Even if you haven't read the first three books, you'll want to give this one a try. It's hard to put down!

    ...more info
  • Heartwarming book
    Adriana Trigiani has given her many fans a real treat with this addition to the Big Stone Gap series. She once again takes us to the Blue Ridge Mountains and the life of Ave Maria Mulligan MacChesney and her husband, Jack. Life is changing for Ave Maria and she is having a hard time accepting it. Her beloved only daughter Etta has married an Italian and is living in his native country. Jack is being approached by a businessman whom Ave Maria considers a crook, and his health is also beginning to suffer. She has a falling out with her best friend, Iva Lou, who has kept a secret from her for many years. Since she has perfected the art of worrying, this has given Ave Maria a lot to worry about. As if this isn't enough, she is asked to direct a community production of "The Sound of Music" with a rag tag bunch of amateurs. Somehow she survives all of this and begins to embrace her husband Jack's more accepting and laid-back attitude. When she begins to acknowledge her inability to control events around her, she relaxes and starts to enjoy her friends and family in a way she never has before. This book lovingly looks at deep and personal issues which all women face at one time or another, and manages to provide the reader with a lot of chuckles along the way. This is highly recommended reading....more info
  • great story
    This book was excellent. It really held my interest and I couldn't put it down. It made me cry and laugh. Can't wait for the sequel !...more info
  • You Can Go Home Again~
    Fans of Big Stone Gap, Big Cherry Holler & Milk Glass Moon won't be disappointed in the 4th installment of the series. Home to Big Stone Gap is like going home again, to beloved friends and family members. Adriana Trigiani continues the story with her wonderful knack of storytelling that is charming, cozy and real. Once again, the last page will leave you wanting more. ...more info
  • A Trigiani seems like an old friend
    I have read all of the Big Stone Gap series. I just finished "Home to Big Stone Gap" and loved it. The characters in this series feel like friends, neighbors and family. You hate to wait for the next volume to see what is happening with them. I live about an Hour from Big Stone Gap, Va. and actually drove over and saw the "diner" after finishing this book. So much fun. I love these books....more info
  • Read her other books first
    Here I am a book lover and had not read any of Adriana Trigiani's books. Luckily I started with her series on Big Stone Gap. There are 3 of them. Read these first, then finish with the Home to Big Stone Gap. She is a witty but insightful author. She brings chuckles, tears and even good recipe's to the reader. You will not be disapointed!...more info
  • Outstanding!!!
    This is Adriana's best novel to date. I highly recommend this book to anyone who has enjoyed the Big Stone Gap series or for anyone who is looking for a wonderful story about good people, family relationships and the day to day challanges we all face. All of your favorites are back for new adventures and heartwarming tales with Ave and Jack. Reading this book is like having a nice visit with old friends! I look forward to more books in this series and other novels by Adriana. Her stories are always beautifully told and a joy to read....more info
  • Time to move on from Big Stone Gap
    I have really enjoyed this series of books, but this one seemed "forced." I agree with another reiviewr that this book seemed not like a novel, but more of a diary. At the end of the books, usually everything comes together and you feel like you "got" something from the book. When I finished this book, I realized there was absolutely no plot and nothing really happened with the characters. It was really boring, big disappointment. ...more info
  • Home to Big Stone Gap: Not that great
    "Home to Big Stone Gap" lacks drama. Pages at a time are devoted to the main character's thoughts and catching up with events that occurred in earlier Stone Gap novels. I ploughed through these pages at first, hoping to get to the point of this novel, but that never happened. Wouldn't recommend it. ...more info
  • Boring..boring..boring
    After reading the delightful book Queen of the Big Time, I was very disappointed in this book by Adriana Trigani. Somehow it just didn't work. I stuggled to find a plot and to discover in-depth characters who held my interest.

    ...more info
  • Okay
    It reminded me of Jan Karon's Mitford books without the Christian references. A little too sweet and not much happens, but still nice all around. ...more info
  • Home to Big Stone Gap
    HOME TO BIG STONE GAP by Adrianna Trigiani Ms. Trigiani makes her characters come alive. All in this series are wonderful. You get to know Ave Marie from her single days to mother-in-law. Her thoughts come alive and allow you to relate to her on a personal level. Her happy times, her insecurity, her anger; they are all reflected in her speech and thoughts. Her descriptions of the people and setting are vivid and so real. Great book! ...more info
  • Last of the Series
    This book was a fantastic ending to a great series of BOOKS-
    I hope the author writes more soon!...more info
  • BRAVO!

    What a nice visit with our friends and neighbors in Big Stone Gap! I have missed them. If you are new to the neighborhood you might want to read Big Stone Gap first but I do think you would enjoy them if you started with this one. The author has done a great job of filling in the blanks as you read all the new adventures of these lovable old friends while not giving up too much of the first three books. It is a winner! I am already looking forward to the next one from my favorite author.

    ...more info
  • Like reconnecting with old, dear friends...
    Since it's been about four years since we last left our friends from Big Stone Gap (in MILK GLASS MOON), the chance to reconnect with old, dear friends like these feels like a rare, treasured opportunity you want to savor slowly. Readers of the Big Stone Gap series know that her characters, particularly protagonist Ave Maria Mulligan MacChesney, also feel like family.

    The novel opens with the return of Ave Maria and Jack to their home in Big Stone Gap after the wedding of their daughter, Etta, in Italy. Ave Maria is struggling with "empty nest" syndrome, as she has a hard time adjusting to the realization that her daughter's happiness resides half a world away in Italy with her new husband. Ave Maria also struggles with her worries for her husband, whose many years as a coal miner have taken their toll on his health. And a long-held secret comes to the surface, threatening the relationship between Ave Maria and her longtime friend, Iva Lou.

    To say more about the plotline of HOME TO BIG STONE GAP would ruin it, because much of the joy here is in the unexpected --- like taking a walk through your long-forgotten hometown and rounding the corner, only to bump into your best friend from your school days. As is fast becoming her trademark, Trigiani includes a few recipes fresh from the kitchens of Big Stone Gap --- including one for Shorty Johnson's Biscuits and Gravy that I'm hoping to try this weekend --- that undoubtedly will inspire some fans to try to bring the taste of Big Stone Gap to their own tables.

    If it's been a long time since you've been back to Big Stone Gap, this latest arrival is a great reason to dust off your well-thumbed copies and read through them again to get yourself reacquainted. And if you have a book-loving friend who's never met Ave Maria, Jack Mac, Iva Lou, Theodore Tipton, Fleeta and the rest, Trigiani's publisher has just reissued the first three novels in lovely trade paperback editions.

    There's nothing like inviting friends to come home for the holidays, and this latest offering from Adriana Trigiani makes it a wonderful homecoming indeed.

    --- Reviewed by Lourdes Orive...more info
  • Not quite what I was hoping for...
    I found that I did not enjoy this book as much as the others. There were too many story lines leaving some underdeveloped. The whole book was weaker, though still entertaining. ...more info
  • Heart Warming
    I loved this whole series!!! It is too bad that the first book Big Stone Gap and the third book (which is the best in my opinion) are not available for download. The story of Ave Marie is very heart warming and makes me yearn for my little hometown in the hills of West Virginia. It is what small town life is all about. If you have not experienced small town life, read these books!!! I loved all four of them and was very sad when I had finished all four books....more info
  • Home to Big Stone Gap: A Novel
    Buy this book, buy this book. It is the final in the series and as sorry as I am to see the last of the tales of Ave Maria and Jack MacChesney, I thoroughly enjoyed reading it. Savoring it, actually. Trigiani still throws in the occassional recipe, which cracks me up everytime I read one.
    ...more info
  • Haven;t even read it & KNOW I will love it!
    Have read ALL of Adrians OTHER treasures (books)and felt like a family member by the time I was done. I have ye to read this one but my heart just feels good knowing it's waiting for me.

    ...more info
  • Catch up with old friends
    Most of us last spent time with the MacChesneys four years ago, when "Milk Glass Moon' was released. "Home to Big Stone Gap" gives us a chance to catch up with our old friends in southwestern Virginia. Now that her daughter Etta is married and living in Italy, Ave Maria experiences all manner of mid-life empty-nest worries: about health, about mortality, about marriage, about family, about friends. At the same time that she thinks she's lost her daughter, a dear friend discovers hers. And who knew that Jack Mac dreamed of visiting Scotland? This is another satisfying read from Ms. Trigiani, one that's sure to provoke readers into reconsidering some of their own views of Life. Though it can be read as a stand-alone title, those new to the series may want to go back and read the first three: "Big Stone Gap," "Big Cherry Holler," and "Milk Glass Moon." Then they will know "the rest of the story." ...more info


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