Big Stone Gap, by Adriana Trigiani

Big Stone GapFinished 9-9-11, rating 5/5, fiction, 269 pages, pub. 2000

Book 1 of the Big Stone Gap series.

She’s our starlet, so all the girls seek her approval and imitate her.  Tayloe gives them a standard, a marker by which to judge themselves.  Other skills and attributes can be appreciated and duly noted, but beauty is instantly obvious to all.  I have never met a girl (including myself) who did not long to be beautiful, who did not pray for her own potential to reveal itself.  When a girl is beautiful, she gets to pick-she never has to wait for someone to choose her.  There is so much power in doing the choosing.

Chapter 2 

Ave Maria has lived in Big Stone Gap, Virginia, her whole life.  She’s the town pharmacist and amateur director, but she never really feels like she belongs.  Her mother was from Italy and her father was distant and now that they are both dead she’s just passing time with regular visits to the bookmobile and nights out with her best friend, Theodore.  When a letter from the grave rocks the status quo, Ave Maria must decide where her future lies.

This book is full of southern charm and I loved it.  Ave Maria and her misfit friends all made Big Stone Gap so appealing.  The gossips and the haters made the small mining town so real.  Ave Maria had me rolling my eyes at her a few times, but for the most part I was just happy to be along for the ride.

There is nothing earth shattering here, but it was pure enjoyment.  I was unsure about the obvious-from-the-start love interest (and his name) but it all worked in the end and I look forward to continuing on with these quirky southerners in the next book.

This was from my personal library.  I picked it up (and way too many other books from my wish list) from Border’s for practically nothing.