Sunday, September 13, 2015

Big Stone Gap

“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 of the Bookmobile.”  

For the second time this month, I'm posting about a book where I looooved a book by the author so I sought out another.  Also, two days in a row where I post where I was disappointed by the second book after I loved the first.

I read Lucia, Lucia by Adriana Trigiani while we were on a camping trip and I devoured it.  I loved it and I was so glad that I had picked up another one of her books at a used book sale.  I tried starting Big Stone Gap the next day but it was a tad slow so I moved on to something else.  Well, I really wanted to finish it to move it out of the house and so I trudged through it.

“Or maybe when she realized that he was never going to come and rescue her, she did what all strong women do. She found a way to save herself.”  

I've heard many positive this about this author but I just don't know.  It was slow.  It didn't always hold my interest.  It just seemed blah.  It had the ingredients to be a loved book of mine.  Characters that the author invested in.  Small town atmosphere with a family story.  However, it never grabbed me and that made sad, especially since it is the start of a series and we all know I love a good series!

Description: 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. . .

“The terrible things that happen to us in life never make any sense when we're in the middle of them, floundering, no end in sight. There is no rope to hang on to, it seems. Mothers can soothe children during those times, through their reassurance. No one worries about you like your mother, and when she is gone, the world seems unsafe, things that happen unwieldy. You cannot turn to her anymore, and it changes your life forever. There is no one on earth who knew you from the day you were born; who knew why you cried, or when you'd had enough food; who knew exactly what to say when you were hurting; and who encouraged you to grow a good heart. When that layer goes, whatever is left of your childgood goes with her. Memories are very different and cannot soothe you the same way her touch did.”  

I think part of my problem with the book was that there are good legit problems Ave Maria faces but I don't think they were handled properly or details were left out that would have helped.  They just appeared and it just didn't sit right with me.

I loved her friend Iva and maybe if the book had been based on HER, I'd have been hooked.

I will say the writing in the book is good.  She has a way with words and quite a few spots were beautfully written. 

“a dozen...chocolate chip cookies...a pot of coffee, and a good book are all I will need for the rainy weekend rolling in.”  

Have you read Big Stone Gap? Any other books by Trigani that you'd recommend? I'm not ready to totally write her off since I loved Lucia, Lucia!

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