Milk Glass Moon, the third book in Adriana Trigiani's bestselling Big Stone Gap series, continues the life story of Ave Maria Mulligan MacChesney as she faces the challenges and changes of motherhood with her trademark humor and honesty. With twists as plentiful as those found on the holler roads of southwest Virginia, this story takes turns that will surprise and enthrall the reader.
Transporting us from Ave Maria's home in the Blue Ridge Mountains to the Italian Alps, from New York City to the Tuscan countryside, Milk Glass Moon is the story of a shifting mother-daughter relationship, of a daughter's first love and a mother's heartbreak, of an enduring marriage that contains its own ongoing challenges, and of a community faced with seismic change.
All of Trigiani's beloved characters are back: Jack Mac, Ave Maria's true love, who is willing to gamble security for the unknown; her best friend and confidant, bandleader Theodore Tip-ton, who begins a new life in New York City; librarian and sexpert Iva Lou Wade Makin, who faces a life-or-death crisis. Meanwhile, surprises emerge in the blossoming of crusty cashier Fleeta Mullins, the maturing of mountain girl turned savvy businesswoman Pearl Grimes, and the return of Pete Rutledge, the handsome stranger who turned Ave Maria's world upside down in Big Cherry Holler.
In this rollicking hayride of upheaval and change, Ave Maria is led to places she never dreamed she would go, and to people who enter her life and rock its foundation. As Ave Maria reaches into the past to find answers to the present, readers will stay with her every step of the way, rooting for the onetime town spinster who embraced love and made a family. Milk Glass Moon is about the power of love and its abiding truth, and captures Trigiani at her most lyrical and heartfelt.
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. Trigiani skillfully brings her compelling trilogy to a satisfying conclusion.
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Takes me away to a land of calm
Love this book and author. I'm always whisked away to her world.