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It's been eight years since the town pharmacist and long-time spinster Ave Maria Mulligan married coal miner Jack MacChesney. With her newfound belief in love and its possibilities, Ave Maria makes a life for herself and her growing family, hoping that her fearless leap into commitment will make happiness stay. What she didn't count on was that fate, life, and the ghosts of the past would come to haunt her and, eventually, test the love she has for her husband. The mountain walls that have protected her all of her life cannot spare Ave Maria the life lessons she must learn.
Big Cherry Holler is the story of a marriage, revealing the deep secrets, the power struggle, the betrayal and the unmet expectations that exist between husband and wife. It is the story of a community that must reinvent itself as it comes to grips with the decline of the coal mining industry. It is the story of an extended family, the people of Big Stone Gap, who are there for one another especially when times are tough - including bookmobile librarian and sexpert Iva Lou Wade Makin, savvy businesswoman Pearl Grimes, crusty cashier Fleeta Mullins, and Rescue Squad captain Spec Broadwater, who faces the complications of his double life. Ave Maria's best friend Theodore Tipton, now band director at the University of Tennessee, continues to be her chief counselor and conscience as he reaches the pinnacle of marching band success.
When Ave Maria takes her daughter to Italy for the summer, she meets a handsome stranger who offers her a life beyond the Blue Ridge Mountains. Ave Maria is forced to confront what is truly important: to her, to her marriage, and to her family. Brimming with humor, wisdom, honesty, and the drama and local color of mountain life from Virginia to Italy, Big Cherry Holler is a deeply felt, brilliantly evoked story of two lovers who have lost their way and their struggle to find each other again.
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Debbie on 02-24-14
Growing Pains in Mountains of Virginia
This is the second of the Big Stone Gap stories. Ava Maria and Jack have been married about ten years and have the sweetest little girl, Etta. Their marriage is facing "growing pains" . . . they've lost their precious four year old son, Joe to leukemia three years earlier, and grief does horrible things to people. When the coal mines close, Jack loses his sense of identity and Ava Maria doesn't help things by having no clue as to how men tick. In my opinion, neither Jack nor Ava Maria help the situation much . . . both retreating to their own corners and flirting with disaster . . . as humans sometimes do . . . I could have done with a little more depth and wisdom at that point . . . but all and all, I love the characters in this series. The narration is perfect, and by the author. I'm listening to next book already, Milk Glass Moon.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful
By Jennifer Garcia on 02-11-13
Wow, this was so real and so true to married life. We could all learn a few lessons from this story. But honestly, all her books have messages and they're so true that they touch you deep down inside your soul. Adriana has a way of really getting deep inside someone and creating all of these feelings and emotions. Her journeys are more emotional and not full of action and predictable problems. I always find myself crying through the majority of every book.
In every one of her books, she paints pictures so vivid and realistic that the pictures stick with you. This story was about the loss of a child and it's affect on marriage. A marriage that necessarily wasn't strong to begin with. Add in a husband stealing woman and a handsome mysterious man in a foreign country and that could spell more disaster for their marriage.
I found myself wondering throughout the whole book how they'd make it and if they'd make it. I think it ended the way it should have and some of those lines ... "I didn't choose you. You chose me. But now I choose you!" Something like that, but it had a huge impact on the resolution. There was a lot of soul searching and it made me look into my life. I just couldn't help it. The story was so relatable because it could happen to any married couple.
Another great book by Adriana Trigiani.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful