Big Stone Gap

Big Stone Gap

by Adriana Trigiani

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Overview

Big Stone Gap by Adriana Trigiani

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER 

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 the story of its self-proclaimed spinster, Ave Maria Mulligan. In the series’ enchanting debut, Ave Maria reaches her thirty-fifth year and resigns herself to the single life, filling her days with hard work, fun friends, and good books. Then, one fateful day, Ave Maria’s 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. 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.

NOW A MAJOR MOTION PICTURE • Features behind-the-scenes bonus material from the film—including photos, excerpts from the script, and favorite recipes from on the set
 
“Charming . . . Readers would do well to fall into the nearest easy chair and savor the story.”USA Today
 
“Delightfully quirky . . . chock-full of engaging, oddball characters and unexpected plot twists.”People
 
“[A] heartfelt tale . . . In an anecdotal style reminiscent of Fannie Flagg, Adriana Trigiani engagingly captures a slice of small-town America.”—San Jose Mercury News

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780345463616
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Publication date: 01/01/2003
Series: Big Stone Gap , #1
Sold by: Random House
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 320
Sales rank: 5,781
File size: 5 MB

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.


From the Hardcover edition.

Read an Excerpt

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 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 pharmacist—how 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 Coty’s Emeraude.) My father used to say that that’s how a woman ought to be. “A man should know when there’s a woman in the room. When Iva Lou comes in, there ain’t no doubt.” I’d just say nothing and roll my eyes.
 
Iva Lou’s having a tough time parking. A mail truck has parked funny in front of the post office, taking up her usual spot, so she motions to me that she’s pulling into the gas station. That’s fine with the owner, Kent Vanhook. He likes Iva Lou a lot. What man doesn’t? She pays real nice attention to each and every one. She examines men like eggs, perfect specimens created by God to nourish. And she hasn’t met a man yet who doesn’t appreciate it. Luring a man is a true talent, like playing the piano by ear. Not all of us are born prodigies, but women like Iva Lou have made it an art form.
 
The Bookmobile doors open with a whoosh. I can’t believe what Iva Lou’s wearing: Her ice-blue turtleneck is so tight it looks like she’s wearing her bra on the outside. Her Mondrian-patterned pants, with squares of pale blue, yellow, and green, cling to her thighs like crisscross ribbons. Even sitting, Iva Lou has an unbelievable shape. But I wonder how much of it has to do with all the cinching. Could it be that her parts are so well-hoisted and suspended, she has transformed her real figure into a soft hourglass? Her face is childlike, with a small chin, big blue eyes, and a rosebud mouth. Her eyeteeth snaggle out over her front teeth, but on her they’re demure. Her blond hair is like yellow Easter straw, arranged in an upsweep you can see through the set curls. She wears lots of Sarah Coventry jewelry, because she sells it on the side.
 
“I’ll trade you. Shampoo for a best-seller.” I give Iva Lou a sack of shampoo samples from my pharmacy, Mulligan’s Mutual.
 
“You got a deal.” Iva Lou grabs the sack and starts sorting through the samples. She indicates the shelf of new arrivals. “Ave Maria, honey, you have got to read The Captains and the Kings that just came out. I know you don’t like historicals, but this one’s got sex.”
 
“How much more romance can you handle, Iva Lou? You’ve got half the men in Big Stone Gap tied up in knots.”
 
She snickers. “Half? Oh well, I’m-a gonna take that as a compliment-o anyway.” I’m half Italian, so Iva Lou insists on ending her words with vowels. I taught her some key phrases in Italian in case international romance was to present itself. It wasn’t very funny when Iva Lou tried them out on my mother one day. I sure got in some Big Trouble over that.
 
Iva Lou has a goal. She wants to make love to an Italian man, so she can decide if they are indeed the world’s greatest lovers. “Eye-talian men are my Matta-horn, honey,” she declares. Too bad there aren’t any in these parts. The people around here are mainly Scotch-Irish, or Melungeon (folks who are a mix of Turkish, French, African, Indian, and who knows what; they live up in the mountain hollers and stick to themselves). Zackie Wakin, owner of the town department store, is Lebanese. My mother and I were the only Italians; and then about five years ago we acquired one Jew, Lewis Eisenberg, a lawyer from Woodbury, New York.
 
“You always sit in the third snap stool. How come?” Iva Lou asks, not looking up as she flips through a new coffee-table book about travel photography.
 
“I like threes.”
 
“Sweetie-o, let me tell you something.” Iva Lou gets a faraway, mystical twinkle in her eye. Then her voice lowers to a throaty, sexy register. “When I get to blow this coal yard, and have my big adventure, I sure as hell won’t waste my time taking pictures of the Circus Maximus. I am not interested in rocks ’n’ ruins. I want to experience me some flesh and blood. Some magnificent, broad-shouldered hunk of a European man. Forget the points of interest, point me toward the men. Marble don’t hug back, baby.” Then she breathes deeply, “Whoo.”
 
Iva Lou fixes herself a cup of Sanka and laughs. She’s one of those people who are forever cracking themselves up. She always offers me a cup, and I always decline. I know that her one spare clean Styrofoam cup could be her entrée to a romantic rendezvous. Why waste it on me?
 
“I found you that book on wills you wanted. And here’s the only one I could find on grief.” Iva Lou holds up As Grief Exits as though she’s modeling it.

Table of Contents

TOC not available

What People are Saying About This

Rosanne Cash

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.

Elinor Lipman

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.

Fannie Flagg

Funny, charming and original!

John Berendt

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 page one.

Whoopi Goldberg

It is one of my all-time favorite novels...unforgettable.

Reading Group Guide

1. Reading Group Questions and Topics for Discussion


Why do you think the author set Big Stone Gap during the late 1970s instead of today?

2. The coal mines are the site of danger and oppressiveness, while the caverns Ave Maria and Theodore visit reveal the beauty hidden deep in the earth. How does this dichotomy reflect Ave Maria?s inner world during her yearlong crisis?

3. As the novel progresses and Ave Maria learns more about herself and her past, her feelings for Big Stone Gap change from contentment to disassociation to joy. Have your feelings for your hometown changed as you?ve changed? How?

4. Ave Maria refers to herself as a ?ferriner,? but when she visits Italy she realizes that her home is in Big Stone Gap. What other works have you read in which the hero or heroine must travel to find his or her home in the world?

5. Ave Maria?s description of some events, such as kissing Theodore after the Drama and Jack Mac?s reaction to her gratitude for bringing over her Italian family, differs from other people?s perspectives. Do you believe Ave Maria?s interpretations? Why or why not?

6. Theodore and Ave Maria have romantic feelings for each other, but never at the same time. If their feelings had been more coordinated, do you think they would have entered a lasting marriage? Do you think their ?best friend? relationship will endure after Ave Maria and Jack Mac?s wedding?

7. When did you suspect that Ave Maria would fall in love with Jack Mac? What were the clues that the author left?

8. Jack Mac tells Ave Maria, ?Stop thinking.? Is Jack Mac correct? Does too much thinking lead Ave Maria into making the wrong choices? Are her emotions a trustier guide or equally unreliable?

9. A common theme in literature is that the heroine (e.g., Snow White, Cinderella, Jane Eyre, Nancy Drew) must lose a parent or parents before she is free to discover who she really is. Is this merely a literary convention or does it have roots in real life? Does it apply to male characters as well? How much significance does Mrs. Mac?s death have to Jack Mac?s personal development?

10. Ave Maria feels relief and not much surprise when she learns Fred Mulligan is not her father, and later she recognizes aspects of herself in Mario. Though Fred is not her blood kin, what traits did he pass on to Ave Maria while he raised her? How much of Ave Maria?s personality was shaped by nature and how much by nurture?

11. When describing her friend Iva Lou, the majorette Tayloe, and Sweet Sue, Ave Maria focuses on the power of beauty and desirability, but she also cautions Pearl that beauty fades while character endures. How does Pearl synthesize the importance of character with the force of beauty?

12. Both Ave Maria and Worley discover their fathers aren?t who they thought they were, but Worley learns of his true parentage when his father is still alive. Do you think Ave Maria?s expectations of love and marriage would have been affected if she had learned the truth about Mario before her mother died? How?

13. Ave Maria is named for the mysterious woman who took Ave Maria?s mother under her wing. Do you see another meaning in Ave Maria?s name? Does it tie in with her developing belief in destiny and faith?

14. Big Cherry Holler, Adriana Trigiani?s next novel about the people of Big Stone Gap, jumps forward eight years into Ave Maria and Jack Mac?s marriage. Knowing these two characters as you do, do you expect the path of true to love run smooth for them? What quirks do Ave Maria and Jack Mac bring to the relationship that could cause bumps or, conversely, even out the way?

From the Trade Paperback edition.

Foreword

1. Reading Group Questions and Topics for Discussion


Why do you think the author set Big Stone Gap during the late 1970s instead of today?

2. The coal mines are the site of danger and oppressiveness, while the caverns Ave Maria and Theodore visit reveal the beauty hidden deep in the earth. How does this dichotomy reflect Ave Maria?s inner world during her yearlong crisis?

3. As the novel progresses and Ave Maria learns more about herself and her past, her feelings for Big Stone Gap change from contentment to disassociation to joy. Have your feelings for your hometown changed as you?ve changed? How?

4. Ave Maria refers to herself as a ?ferriner,? but when she visits Italy she realizes that her home is in Big Stone Gap. What other works have you read in which the hero or heroine must travel to find his or her home in the world?

5. Ave Maria?s description of some events, such as kissing Theodore after the Drama and Jack Mac?s reaction to her gratitude for bringing over her Italian family, differs from other people?s perspectives. Do you believe Ave Maria?s interpretations? Why or why not?

6. Theodore and Ave Maria have romantic feelings for each other, but never at the same time. If their feelings had been more coordinated, do you think they would have entered a lasting marriage? Do you think their ?best friend? relationship will endure after Ave Maria and Jack Mac?s wedding?

7. When did you suspect that Ave Maria would fall in love with Jack Mac? What were the clues that the author left?

8. Jack Mac tells Ave Maria, ?Stop thinking.? Is Jack Mac correct? Does too much thinking lead Ave Mariainto making the wrong choices? Are her emotions a trustier guide or equally unreliable?

9. A common theme in literature is that the heroine (e.g., Snow White, Cinderella, Jane Eyre, Nancy Drew) must lose a parent or parents before she is free to discover who she really is. Is this merely a literary convention or does it have roots in real life? Does it apply to male characters as well? How much significance does Mrs. Mac?s death have to Jack Mac?s personal development?

10. Ave Maria feels relief and not much surprise when she learns Fred Mulligan is not her father, and later she recognizes aspects of herself in Mario. Though Fred is not her blood kin, what traits did he pass on to Ave Maria while he raised her? How much of Ave Maria?s personality was shaped by nature and how much by nurture?

11. When describing her friend Iva Lou, the majorette Tayloe, and Sweet Sue, Ave Maria focuses on the power of beauty and desirability, but she also cautions Pearl that beauty fades while character endures. How does Pearl synthesize the importance of character with the force of beauty?

12. Both Ave Maria and Worley discover their fathers aren?t who they thought they were, but Worley learns of his true parentage when his father is still alive. Do you think Ave Maria?s expectations of love and marriage would have been affected if she had learned the truth about Mario before her mother died? How?

13. Ave Maria is named for the mysterious woman who took Ave Maria?s mother under her wing. Do you see another meaning in Ave Maria?s name? Does it tie in with her developing belief in destiny and faith?

14. Big Cherry Holler, Adriana Trigiani?s next novel about the people of Big Stone Gap, jumps forward eight years into Ave Maria and Jack Mac?s marriage. Knowing these two characters as you do, do you expect the path of true to love run smooth for them? What quirks do Ave Maria and Jack Mac bring to the relationship that could cause bumps or, conversely, even out the way?

Customer Reviews

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Big Stone Gap 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 177 reviews.
My_Purple_Pen More than 1 year ago
I thought this book was okay, but it definitely is not great. The plot was predictable most of the time, except for the places where it was just weird. The twists were never clever, but mostly strange. I didn't like the characters at all. Sure they were different, and a few were possible to relate to, but for the most part it felt like she was trying to hard too create quirky characters and in the end she made a bunch of crazy, unrealistic people. And the romance? Awkward. Even though Trigiani was setting it up through the whole book, it felt weird. I kept hoping for someone new to come along and steal Ave Maria's heart so that she wouldn't be with Jack. All in all, not great. The best thing that I can say for this book is that I was able to finish it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The 'plot twists and turns' were absurd and did not relate to REAL life. I found many of them to be completely ridiculous and annoying and ruined the story. It was an okay book, but not anything to knock your socks off or write home about.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A classic of introspection that exposes the subtle influences of one's upbringing. Easy-flowing 1st person narrative that sometimes broke my heart while inviting me to consider my own life: my relationship with my father, my husband, my daughter, my life as a single. Secrets intended to spare those we love, secrets kept out of shame, and the healing power of truth and honesty are the underlying themes.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Story of an unmarried lady in a Southern Virginia town who eventually works through her background and foreground problems. This seems to have cleared the air to allow her to love a friend of 30 years.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was very good. The plot was interesting which made me just want to keep reading! I cant wait to read the other books!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved this book. One really feels they know the characters and can relate to them.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I never read any of her books this was my first. My friend gave me a author signed copy from a luncheon I missed her speaking at. After the first chapter I was hooked. When I finished the book I couldn't wait to get the next one in the series. Hopefully, she will continue writing about this town and the people it in it!
Guest More than 1 year ago
It took me a little while to get into this book for some reason, but I eventually found myself really hooked to each character and situation. The southern dialect did annoy me at some parts, but it really just made a better impression of how the characters lived. Ave Maria is a great character that stands up for herself and knows how to take a chance. This is a really good book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Big Stone Gap is a close knit town, where all the players are familiar with each other. The narator, Ave Maria, feels as though she is a plain woman, who does not stand out in the town - the town spinster. Throughout the novel, Ave Maria, and the reader, come to learn what effect she has on the other town members. She learns how significant she actually is. This is a heartwarming read that I would recommend to anyone who enjoys a beautifully written story, and likes to read about wacky small town characters.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is my first Adriana Trigiani book and it won't be my last! I laughed at the wry, witty social observations of small town life, spoken with a bit of self deprication. I cried at the hard learned lessons of love, family and self. It is engaging from start to finish. Big Stone Gap is a heartfelt glimpse into small town USA. I'm glad I had the chance to visit.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This novel was beautifully written and heartwarming. The characters were well-developed and realistic. I was skeptical when my Mom encouraged me to put down my mystery novels and read this book. I thought I would be bored and would not complete it, but that certainly was not the case. I flew through this novel and read the other 2 in the set as well. Ms. Trigiani is an amazing writer with the ability to make the reader cry and laugh all within the same paragraph. I was completely impressed with the details regarding location descriptions, as well. Do not miss out on this wonderful novel. Ms. Trigiani is a breathe of fresh air...and if you get the chance to see her in person, it is a real treat!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have reread this book at least three times. It is like an old friend that you love to visit from time to time. This book is funny yet poignant. Adriana Trignani really knows how to convey feelings through her prose.
LovelyLitLady More than 1 year ago
I found this book on a whim and I just requested all of Trigiani's books from my library after I finished it today. I absolutely love the quaint characters and their town. Ave Maria's character is so real. You can really relate to her, especially in the area of not appreciating all of your blessings that have been in front of you all along. I had to hold my hand over my mouth while my kids were napping because I was laughing so hard at certain passages!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I love this book. It pulled me in right from the start. The characters are comfortable and familiar, and the story has restored my faith in good old-fashioned romance. I just started Big Cherry Holler, and it seems promising.
Guest More than 1 year ago
With a charming Appalachian background, this debut novel by Adriana Trigiani was very enjoyable! Ave Maria engrossed me with her insecurities, her wit, and her refusal to be pitied as the 'town spinster'. All of the characters were interesting, from Theodore - her soul mate, to her bookmobile friend Iva Lou, to Pearl, the young girl she takes under her wing. I hope Adriana is working on a second book!
bellalibrarian on LibraryThing 6 days ago
Big Stone Gap was an easy read, but it's endearing southern characters make you want to learn even more about them. Onto the next title in the trilogy...
kellyoliva on LibraryThing 6 days ago
Big Stone Gap is an easy, amusing read with quirky, memorable characters. However, it does lack the momentum of an exceptional story that leaves the reader completely satisfied. It is easy to love Ave Maria, the novel's protagonist, yet the love story that Trigiani weaves for her is drawn-out and overly sentimental. I found the plot line to be weak and, in some places, too unrealistic. The book did not hold my interest throughout, and, though I bought the second book along with the first, I am unsure that I will read the sequel. Overall, I found this book to be a disappointing read.
TanyaTomato on LibraryThing 6 days ago
Nope not for me - too cutesy, and to many parenthesized phrases (what's with that, huh?). I liked Lucia, Lucia so I thought I'd try another, but it didn't work out.
brightspark on LibraryThing 6 days ago
I didn't expect to enjoy this book, (there was something about the cover that put me off) but was very pleasantly suprised. I liked the characters, and it had a good story-line. Had to stop myself from reading the second one straight away.
turtlesleap on LibraryThing 6 days ago
This is not a book that will make you think but is, nevertheless a pleasant book to read. There is humor here although some of Trigiani's representations of regional characteristics are a bit overdone. The characters seem real and likeable and the story is intriguing enough to keep the reader's attention engaged. That said, the story also becomes a bit tedious in places. I found myself paging rapidly through some parts of the book, thinking, "just get on with it!" more often than I would have liked. Still, I'd recommend it to a friend.
Sink222 on LibraryThing 6 days ago
Pretty good "book club read" liked the trilogy. Slow at first, but kicked in a bit. I enjoyed it
Brandie on LibraryThing 6 days ago
Cute book ... I really enjoyed it. Not sure if I wil read the follow-up book though. I read part of it from the back and, well, it didn't grab me like this one did! Maybe someday ...
mzonderm on LibraryThing 6 days ago
I started this book with high hopes; I'd heard such good things about Trigiani's other books (especially Lucia, Lucia). But I was more than a little disappointed. I found the writing to be trite, and the characters' behavior too often inexplicable.This book is supposedly about how Ave Maria, the "town spinster" of Big Stone Gap, finds herself and finds love over the course of a year. I suppose that she does, but there were too many improbable things in the story to make either of her discoveries believable.One discovery that is believable: after her mother dies, Ave Maria is given a letter that her mother wrote and left in the care of her lawyer. The letter explains that the man Ave Maria has thought of as her father (who died many years before the story begins), isn't, and that her real father is an Italian man that her mother had to leave behind when she became pregnant. So far, fine. Part of what results is that the family of her erstwhile father come clamoring for what they see is now their inheritance, including the house Ave Maria grew up in and the pharmacy business she now owns and runs. What does Ave Maria do? Rather than fighting this based on the fact that her father's will gave all of his property to her mother, who then gave it to her (although this is mentioned), Ave Maria chooses to protect the assets from the grubbing relatives by transferring the whole thing to her 16-year-old assistant! And as if that weren't improbable enough, she then begins to separate herself from the every-day running of the business and leaves it in the teenager's "capable hands"!Moving on. At 35, Ave Maria is thought of by the town and by herself as a spinster. She prizes herself on her independence, although she wishes she could fall in love with someone who would want to marry her. But, when someone she's known since childhood suddenly proposes to her, she says no, thinking that he's only asking her out of pity, or is playing some kind of trick on her (this I found eminently believable, because if someone up and proposed to me without any sign that they had any special feelings for me, I'd feel the same way!). The man in question gets mightily offended, but doesn't stop trying. Unfortunately, he also doesn't really do anything to demonstrate that he's loved her since they were children (we don't find this out until much later). So why should either we, as readers, much less Ave Maria, believe that he's madly in love with her. Apparently, all her friends knew he was in love her, but we're not told any single thing that he did to demonstrate it. What's more, they apparently knew that she was in love with him, even though we're not told what she may have said or done to give that away. And, none of them will tell her what they've so sneakily observed. Ave Maria does eventually feel all the love, and they get married quickly, and seem very happy. Which is great. Except I don't believe it.
jellyish on LibraryThing 6 days ago
The Big Stone gaps has such delightful, real characters. I loved this whole series!
debavp on LibraryThing 6 days ago
Excellent!! Just the right mix of humor and sadness. Great character development. Can't wait to read the next installment!