“Heartwarming . . . Everything that really matters is here: humor, romance, wisdom, and drama.”—The Dallas Morning News
Eight years have passed since Ave Maria Mulligan married Jack Mac, moved up into the hills, and dug in her roots even deeper. But Ave Maria soon discovers that the mountains cannot shelter her from the painful lessons of the heart. As her life reaches a crossroads, almost everybody in town has advice to offer—including the Bookmobile’s self-appointed sexpert Iva Lou Wade, savvy pharmacy owner Pearl Grimes (“a very mature twenty-four”), crusty chain-smoking cashier Fleeta, and of course, the always-wise band director Theodore Tipton, now unofficially “out” and about. But when Ave Maria takes her daughter to Italy for the summer, her passion for a seductive stranger will test her marriage—and push her to choose the man who is truly her destiny.
At once funny and deeply poignant, resonant with the power of love and forgiveness and the unexpected events that force us to stake a claim in our own lives, Big Cherry Holler is a wise, wonderful story to treasure.
Trigiani returns to the rural Virginia of her bestselling debut, Big Stone Gap, with a big-hearted novel that alternates dollops of comfort with moments of folksy charm and stark poignancy. Eight years have passed since self-styled town spinster Ave Mari and miner Jack MacChesney wed. During that time, they've had one daughter, Etta, and lost a son, Joe, to leukemia. Ave's handling of Joe's death strains the marriage. When Jack loses his job and starts a construction company, complete with an attractive supplier named Karen who sets her cap for him, things became shakier. Then Ave visits her family in Italy and faces her own temptation, in the form of hunky Pete Rutledge. Suddenly the serenity of the solid MacChesney marriage is threatened on all sides. Will love keep the pair together? And if love isn't enough, what is? Readers may find the answer to this, the novel's central question, to be anticlimactic. Still, Ave is a spunky and likable narrator; the novel is populated with many of the same characters readers found endearing the first time around; and the story of a mother grappling with grief over the loss of a child is genuinely moving. Big Stone Gaptook place in the '80s; now we're up to the '90s. Can "Ave in the Millennium" be far behind? Readers have faced worse fates.