Big Stone Gap by Adriana Trigiani

Big Stone Gap

Title: Big Stone Gap
Author: Adriana Trigiani
Paperback: 304 pages
Publisher: Ballantine Books; Later Printing edition (April 3, 2001)
Genre: Women’s Fiction
Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Big Stone Gap is a small town story and it has all the correct ingredients too. A town settled in between mountains, a bookmobile that makes the rounds every week, a pharmacy, a post office, eccentric characters, gossip passed down from generations and yes, a 35 year old town spinster called Ave Maria Mulligan.

This book is not heavy on plot. It concentrates more on the small town atmosphere, the people and Maria’s life and those connected to her. Maria, as I said, is 35 years old and is also known as the town spinster. She owns a pharmacy in the town. Maria is a very confused woman, she lives her life with very little or no ambition, she has a best friend called Theodore who is the director of the local high school band and she is also eying a guy called Jack who already has his heart set on her.

eeks…I don’t think I am going anywhere with this, I cannot tell you much of the plot because as I said this is a character based novel and giving away anything more might spoil the book for you. I can actually summarize the plot in 5 sentences if I have to.

Let me tell you more about how I felt about this book. This is my first Adriana Trigiani book and I’m actually wondering why I haven’t read anything by her before. I got this book in a sale; otherwise I never would have picked it up.

The first thing I noticed about this book was the humor. Big Stone Gap was funny and I don’t find many books funny. It’s the kind of humor where Maria laughs at herself as well as others. She gets tangled in her mother’s past and finding love and purpose in her life. Along the way we get to know her insecurities and her fears along with a delightful cast of small town characters.

Read this book if you want to read a book that will make you feel all warm and comfortable, the way you feel when you tuck your favorite blanket around you.

Note: Big Stone gap is the first book in a series but it’s a stand alone book.

Have you read anything by Adriana Trigiani? Have you read Big Stone Gap? Which other book by her would you recommend?

10 thoughts on “Big Stone Gap by Adriana Trigiani

Add yours

  1. I’ve read all of Adriana Trigiani’s books, except for her cookbook. I love the Big Stone Gap series. My husband is from that part of the country and she gets the accent perfectly! I suggest continuing with the series, but I’ll tell you going in the 2nd book is probably the weakest of the bunch.


  2. I’ve been meaning to read a Trigiani books because I’ve heard such wonderful things about her. This looks like a good place to start. Great review!


  3. I have a copy of this sitting in my TBR collection. I seem to be going for the darker book these days, but I know there will be a time when I’m ready for something more heartfelt and comforting like Big Stone Gap. I am so glad to read that you enjoyed it, Violet. Thank you for your great review.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Create a website or blog at

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: