Adriana Trigiani grew up in Big Stone Gap, Virginia, and now lives with her husband and daughter in New York City. In addition to being the bestselling author of BIG STONE GAP, BIG CHERRY HOLLER and MILK GLASS MOON, she is an award-winning playwright, television writer, and documentary filmmaker. She has written the screenplay for the film version of Big Stone Gap, which she will also direct.
The third book in Trigiani's series about the middle-aged but young-at-heart Ave Maria of Big Stone Gap in the Blue Ridge Mountains is simply made for the ear. The author colorfully and flawlessly captures the characters' southern and Italian accents, transporting listeners into Ave Maria's charmed world. She's a pharmacist in a small Virginia town but has relatives in Italy; and her daughter Etta has just entered her teen years, causing Ave Maria much heartache and uncertainty. She's torn between wanting Etta to mature and wishing Etta was much younger. She cheerfully discusses affairs from the daily chatter at the drugstore counter to more serious matters, such as the death of her son years earlier and her best friend Iva Lou's breast cancer. The dialogue is always snappy (e.g., after Ave Maria has seen a man she's attracted to, Iva Lou quips, "That's how they keep us hooked... those rats"). The words, as well as Trigiani's cadence and emotions, allow listeners to easily envision each character. They'll appreciate Ave Maria's enthusiasm when she visits New York and Italy and describes everything in lush detail. But when she's flying home and remarks, "southwest Virginia is an uncomplicated place for a complicated person," listeners will also understand exactly what is meant. This is a treasure of an audio. Simultaneous release with the Random House hardcover (Forecasts, June 24). (July) Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
The last in the "Big Stone Gap" trilogy (Big Stone Gap, Big Cherry Holler) brings us back to Ave Maria and Jack Mac during daughter Etta's teenage years. Despite upheaval and family tensions, this is a happy book, sprinkled with gentle, down-home humor and a rich sense of place the mountains of both Virginia and Italy. The advice from the Wise County Fair fortune-teller to "redream" or reinvent one's life is perfect for readers of all ages. Trigiani does a fine job of resolving 20-year story lines while still leaving readers wanting more. Fans of the previous novels will savor this title as well while anticipating the film version of Big Stone Gap. Recommended for popular fiction collections. [Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 3/1/02; chronology problems existed in the advance uncorrected proofs, which, one hopes, have been remedied. Ed. ] Rebecca Sturm Kelm, Northern Kentucky Univ. Lib., Highland Heights Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.