Title: Home to Big Stone Gap
Author: Adriana Trigiani
Published: 2006, Random House
Category: General Fiction
This is the 4th in Trigiani's Big Stone Gap series. The first book in the series, Big Stone Gap, is a favorite of mine--it's really charming and lovely. Quirky characters, great small-town setting in my home state of VA, and a really nice story. I've read all the sequels and I've enjoyed them, but they've never quite recaptured the magic of the first one. And I'm sorry to say I think this is the weakest yet.
Ave Maria and Jack have just arrived home from their daughter's wedding in Italy. Ave is of course having a tough time dealing with an empty nest. Jack's having health problems. Iva Lou has a big secret that comes out. Fleeta gets married.
It was nice to see all these characters again, but not that much really happens and the whole thing just felt sort of flat. A lot of it seemed to be a rehashing of plot that had gone on in earlier books. And I was a little bored. Ave Maria is an older lady now, with a grown child, and this may be part of the reason the book didn't do much for me. It's the same reason I don't really get "Mom lit"--I'm just not there yet! Give me a few years and maybe I'll be able to relate better. Though a good book should be able to engage even a reader who has no similar life experience.
The author bio on the flap says that Trigiani has already written the screenplay for the movie version of Big Stone Gap and will also direct it. That could be really good. I hope they actually film it in the Appalachian mountains. There's no where that's prettier. (Okay, maybe there is. I'm biased. But it is beautiful. And now I'm homesick a little bit.)