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1 Trigiani, Adriana BIG STONE GAP: A NOVEL
Ballantine Books 2001 0345438329 / 9780345438324 Paperback Very Good 
In the town of Big Stone Gap, Virginia, not much happens. The highlight of 35-year-old Ave Maria Mulligan's week comes on Friday, with the arrival of the Bookmobile, the sight of which sends her into raptures. Her favorite bo ok concerns the ancient Chinese art of reading faces. Through her face-read ings, we come to understand the hostilities simmering within her family: he r father whose small eyes are the clear "sign of a deceptive nature." Her a unt who "has a small head and thin lips. (That's a terrible combination.)" Adriana Trigiani's first novel concerns the family scandals that befall Ave Maria in this seemingly uneventful town. Greed, lust, envy--all the ancien t emotional elements--manifest themselves even in this hamlet of "ordinary folk." Fans of Fannie Flagg or Rebecca Wells will enjoy this down-home tale , full of small, everyday details and colloquial revelations. The writing i s often awkward, but so too are the characters who inhabit this place: the Bookmobile lady who thinks of herself as the sexiest woman alive; the amate ur actors in the local Outdoor Drama who bristle with ambition when they he ar that Elizabeth Taylor is coming to visit. In Big Stone Gap, her visit is so anticipated, it's like she's an angel sent from heaven. 
Price: 550.00 JPY
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2 Trigiani, Adriana MILK GLASS MOON: A NOVEL
Ballantine Books 2003 0345445856 / 9780345445858 Paperback Very Good 
A crisp clean softcover, no markings throughout: Fans of Trigiani's delightful trilogy (Big Cherry Holler; Big Stone Gap) will be sorry to part with Ave Maria MacChesney in this final installment. Readers who have followed Ave through her marriage at 35 to the rock-steady Jack, the death of her four-year-old son and all the ups and downs of family life will now witness her struggle to let go as she acknowledges her growing daughter's need for independence. In Ave's dealings with Etta as Etta changes from a stargazing 12-year-old tomboy to a strong-willed 18-year-old, the author reveals great insight into the minefield of mother-daughter relationships. Trigiani's unerring portrayal of the singular personalities that make up the small southwest Virginia town-the lively Iva Lou, Ave's best friend; gossipy Fleeta, who works at the Mutual Pharmacy with Ave; the town's Rock of Gibraltar, Spec Broadwater-brings humor and poignancy to Ave's richly drawn life in Big Stone Gap. Equally compelling are the scenes in Italy, when the three MacChesneys and Iva Lou visit Ave's birthplace and spend time with her Italian family. The folksy dialogue and unabashed sentimentalism can be cloying, but Ave's astringent insights and critical self-appraisal sharpen the tale. And as always, it is the day-to-day details of life in the charming backwater town of Big Stone Gap (including a recipe for "Chocolate Coca-Cola Cake") that make the story shine. 
Price: 500.00 JPY
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