Saturday, January 4, 2014
Home To Big Stone Gap
How can you not read a book when a friend tells you they are listening to an audio recording of it and the narrator has an accent like you do. Therefore, they feel that you are reading the book to them. At the same time, I came across a give-away book and asked "is this the book you're reading"? Seems like something or someone was telling me I needed to read it.
Set in the rural section of the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia, Adriana Trigiani follows the life of Ave Maria as she readjusts her life to her daughter moving to Italy and getting married, as well as the health scare with her husband. In her mid fifties, her life is changing in ways she had not anticipated. Even long time friends seem to have secrets and are evolving differently than what she imagined.
This book appealed to me on many levels. First, it was set in an area of the country I know well. I know what these really small towns are like and how friendship and families go back decades. How everyone knows everything about everybody, or at least they think they do. There is nothing like living in an area where people know who is traveling down the road just by the car that goes by.
Secondly, Ave Maria is in her fifties and is encountering changes she had not anticipated. That's where I am in my life, in my fifties and making changes I had not thought I would be making. Her confusion and resistance to these twists hit home.
From the large gatherings centered around food (recipes included in the book) to discovering hidden secrets about her best friend and her husband's 'to-do' list, Ave Maria copes with a world which is moving down a different path than what she felt she was walking.
Home to Big Stone Gap is book number four in the series, which I didn't know when I was reading the book. It stands alone enough you can skip the first three and still have a very good read. Now I want to go back and read the first three books.