This book would be a perfect Christmas gift
If you are looking for a book to give to a friend, a sister, a mom, or a grandmother, then “Big Stone Gap” by Adriana Trigiani would be the perfect gift. The long-awaited movie came out in October, which brought this best-seller written in 2000 back into the spotlight.
Our book club unanimously chose it as a favorite a couple of years ago – which is remarkable for our diverse group. I have enjoyed all of Trigiani’s novels, but this one includes characters, humor, themes and locations that place it on my top 10 list for gift giving.
“Big Stone Gap” is a real village in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia filled with eccentric, fictional characters. Hilarious events like the visit of actress Elizabeth Taylor (who really did visit Big Stone Gap in October 1978 and choked on a chicken bone), are woven into the story along with tales of the sad consequences of human error.
In 1978, Ave Maria Mulligan is 35 and the town “spinster.” She is the pharmacist, a member of the Rescue Squad and the director of the town’s annual outdoor drama. Suddenly, her orderly life is turned upside down as she tries to decide which suitor is her true love while dealing with shocking revelations about her past.
Ave is a flawed heroine who responds to each new challenge so unpredictably you don’t know whether to applaud or throw tomatoes.
I don’t want to include any more detail here, because the revelations in each chapter keep you turning the pages. It’s a charming Appalachian Cinderella story with all the characters necessary for a good fairy tale. There are more books in the series, which means you can even bundle them up and give all four to those marathon readers on your Christmas gift list.