Big Stone Gap

Adriana Trigiani, Author Random House (NY) $23.95 (288p) ISBN 978-0-375-50403-7
A wholesome Cinderella story with a winning blend of '70s nostalgia and Appalachian local color, Trigiani's debut introduces a likable heroine who's smart but obtuse, needy but rejecting, and generous with affection but afraid of love. Ave Maria Mulligan is the daughter of the late pharmacist of Bit Stone Gap, Va., and an immigrant Italian seamstress. She inherited the pharmacy when her father died, but it's only her mother's recent death that made Ave realize that, at 35, she's the town spinster. Not that she lacks for attention. Handsome Theodore Tipton, the high school band and choral director, is her best friend, and sexy bombshell Iva Lou Wade, who drives the book mobile that Ave eagerly awaits, is around to offer romantic advice. Plainspoken, direct and humorous, Ave has an amusing foible: having discovered a book on the Chinese art of face reading, she describes everyone in terms of the personality traits their facial features ostensibly demonstrate. In her self-deprecating assessment, Ave has ""a mountain girl's body, strong legs, and a flat behind."" So when Theodore proposes, and then takes it back, and mountain-man Jack MacChesney then also offers matrimony--out of pity, Ave assumes, so she rejects him--she's near despair. Moreover, a letter left by her mother informs Ave that her real father is a man who lives in Italy. Ave's emotional turmoil takes place against a colorfully detailed tour of Big Stone Gap's history and attractions, including its summer drama festival and its designation as the home of Appalachian bluegrass. Even the actual 1978 visit of senatorial candidate John Warner and his wife, Elizabeth Taylor, plays a part in the story. In the tradition of romantic heroines, Ave is unable to recognize true love until it's almost too late, and meanwhile, there are some fairy tale touches, such as the arrival of her entire newly discovered Italian family. What saves the narrative from sentimentality and invests it with charm is Trigiani's witty voice, her tart-tongued but appealing heroine and her ability to recall the cultural details that immerse the reader in the atmosphere of her little mining town. Agent, Suzanne Gluck at ICM. 150,000 first printing; 9-city author tour; rights sold in the U.K, Germany, Italy, Sweden and Spain. (Apr.) FYI: Trigiani has been a playwright, the founder of a female comedy group, a writer for the Bill Cosby show and other TV series, and a documentary filmmaker.
Reviewed on: 04/03/2000
Release date: 04/01/2000
Show other formats
FORMATS
Analog Audio Cassette - 978-0-375-40947-9
Analog Audio Cassette - 978-0-375-41006-2
Paperback - 328 pages - 978-0-375-75557-6
Paperback - 304 pages
Compact Disc - 10 pages - 978-0-7927-9957-3
Analog Audio Cassette - 978-0-7927-2406-3
Hardcover - 978-1-56895-919-1
Mass Market Paperbound - 320 pages - 978-0-345-45920-6
Prebound-Other - 978-0-606-31116-8
Open Ebook - 978-0-345-46361-6
Prebound-Sewn - 978-1-4176-4774-3
Compact Disc - 978-0-7393-4035-6
Compact Disc - 978-0-449-01151-5
Downloadable Audio - 978-0-449-01152-2
Open Ebook - 1 pages - 978-1-299-07332-6
X
Stay ahead with
Tip Sheet!
Free newsletter: the hottest new books, features and more
X
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
X
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
X
Email Address

Password

Log In Lost Password

PW has integrated its print and digital subscriptions, offering exciting new benefits to subscribers, who are now entitled to both the print edition and the digital editions of PW (online or via our app). For instructions on how to set up your accout for digital access, click here. For more information, click here.

The part of the site you are trying to access is now available to subscribers only. Subscribers: to set up your digital subscription with the new system (if you have not done so already), click here. To subscribe, click here.

Email pw@pubservice.com with questions.

Not Registered? Click here.