Big Stone Gap: A Novel

Front Cover
Random House, 2000 - Fiction - 272 pages
35 Reviews

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 of doing errands and negotiating small details-until she discovers a skeleton in her family's formerly tidy closet that completely unravels her quiet, conventional life. Suddenly, she finds herself juggling two marriage proposals, conducting a no-holds-barred family feud, planning a life-changing journey to the Old Country, and helping her best friend, the high-school band director, design a halftime show to dazzle Elizabeth Taylor, the violet-eyed Hollywood movie star who's coming through town on a campaign stump with her husband, senatorial candidate John Warner.

Filled with big-time eccentrics and small-town shenanigans, Big Stone Gap is a jewel box of original characters, including sexpot Bookmobile librarian Iva Lou Wade; Fleeta Mullins, the chain-smoking pharmacy cashier with a penchant for professional wrestling; the dashing visionary Theodore Tipton; Elmo Gaspar, the snake-handling preacher; Jack MacChesney, a coal-mining bachelor looking for true love; and Pearl Grimes, a shy mountain girl on the verge of a miraculous transformation.

Comic and compassionate, Big Stone Gap is is the story of a woman who thinks life has passed her by, only to learn that the best is yet to come.

From inside the book

What people are saying - Write a review

User ratings

5 stars
10
4 stars
15
3 stars
8
2 stars
1
1 star
1

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - BookConcierge - LibraryThing

I see shades of the early Barbara Kingsolver books here. Ave Maria is 35, a pharmacist in a small Virginia mountain town, the "town spinster." The book follows her life for a year. Her mother's been ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Olivermagnus - LibraryThing

I was searching for a book set in Virginia for a reading challenge and came across Big Stone Gap by Adriana Trigiani, set in the late 1970’s. The main character, Ave Maria Mulligan is a 35 year old ... Read full review

Contents

Section 1
3
Section 2
26
Section 3
47
Copyright

11 other sections not shown

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

References to this book

All Book Search results »

About the author (2000)

Adriana Trigiani grew up in Big Stone Gap, Virginia, in the 1970s. She has honed her storytelling abilities over a decade of writing and producing some of television's top-rated shows, including the groundbreaking Cosby Show. Trigiani is also an award-winning playwright and documentary filmmaker. She lives in New York City with her husband.

Bibliographic information