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Big Cherry Holler (Big Stone Gap, #2)
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Big Cherry Holler (Big Stone Gap #2)

3.93 of 5 stars 3.93  ·  rating details  ·  12,334 ratings  ·  568 reviews
In the hilarious and heartwarming sequel to the bestselling "Big Stone Gap," Ave Maria and Jack MacChesney find their marriage strained by a summer spent apart. "Trigiani is a wonderful storyteller . . . readers will enjoy "Big Cherry Holler" immensely."--"USA Today."
Paperback, 352 pages
Published August 31st 2004 by Ballantine Books (first published January 1st 2001)
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For all the enjoyment I got out of the first book in the series, I was looking forward to this second installment. Wow, talk about taking the series in a very different direction. I would describe the first book as "light, quirky, fun, silly, and relate-able in a goofy way." I would describe this book as "sad, depressing, and filled with heartache."

My main problem with this book is the base assumption of the author. Namely:

1) All unhappy men will cheat if given the chance
2) All marital problems
A deeper book than its predecessor in some ways. Ave Maria and Jack have been married for eight years and have lost a child, and it's taken a toll on their marriage. What got me were several moments where Ave Maria comes to some painful realizations about herself and Jack. Trigiani can have you laughing out loud one moment and reaching for the tissues the next. Wonderful.
This book is sexist. They have troubles in their marriage, the woman blames everything on herself and tries everything she can to fix it, even when it appears her husband might be looking at other women. And yet, he still says everything she is doing isn't enough and she needs to do better. And her job advancement makes him mad, but he can start a company and it is fine and dandy. Worst of all, the author buys into all this crap instead of using the story to vindicate all the women who are carry ...more
Sequel to Big Stone Gap, the second in this series focuses more on the relationship between Jack and Ave Maria eight years into their marriage. There was a slight departure from the light-heartedness of the first novel, the fluffiness replaced with a seriousness that made this novel more affecting. The writing is much improved and the characters still quirky and charming. It was painful and slightly distressing at times, but there was something beautiful and tender in Ave’s grief, which is why I ...more
Cheryl, The Book Contessa
What a great follow up to Big Stone Gap. These are my favorite kind of books, where I am drawn right in to the characters lives--joys and struggles, mundane and exciting. I have new friends and neighbors and coworkers in this story. I have watched Pearl grow up. I wish Ava would confide in me. Theodore is one of my best friends too! I love Etta's entrance into tween years. There are characters I want to toss off a cliff; the author wrote the frustrating & "love to hate" characters so well. B ...more
Florence (Lefty) MacIntosh
The 1st half is a little tedious & depressing but it pulls up its socks, so persist. Not as light & funny as the 1st novel, Trigiani’s writing style has matured and so have the characters in Big Stone Gap, be prepared for a lot of soul searching. The main character Ave Maria is someone I'd like to meet in real life and have a heart to heart with! All marital problems are not the wife’s fault alone; Ave Maria’s character clearly champions this mindset. There is no getting around it, this ...more
Like the first one of the series, I found myself drawn into the story and the small town lives of the characters, but I still don't like Ave Maria very much! All of her internal issues and insecurities end up feeling selfish and somewhat contrived to me. Her poor husband! I also wasn't crazy about the resolution of their marriage problems so quickly at the end of the book... and is everything solved by a trip to Italy? I'll have to read the third book and find out I guess!
Wish I could have rated this book 3.5 stars! This is both the 2nd book I have read by the author Adriana Trigiani and the 2nd book in the Big Stone Gap series. Set once again in the community of Big Stone Gap just across the border of Tennessee into Virginia, the story picks up approximately 8 years later from the end of the first book titled Big Stone Gap. Ave Marie and Jack's daughter, Etta, is now 8 years old and they have lost a son, John, to leukemia 4 years before. The mine where Jack wor ...more
I enjoyed the second book in this Big Stone Gap series, but I could help but feeling a little like I had lost touch with the characters (although I started the second book within a week of finishing the first). I still very much enjoyed Triginai's writing style - I just felt there wasn't enough happiness/hope/joy to counter the fairly depressing state that is seeded in most of the book (or at least from what I have come to expect in these can-be-tear-jerking-stories. That's not to say that I've ...more
I enjoy Trigiani's books because she is a storyteller. She takes the everyday and weaves it into a tale. Her characters are real, every last one of them could be your next-door neighbor or behind you in the checkout line at the grocery store. Oh sure, their accent might be different or the color of their skin or sophistication with worldly matters might not be the same, but the basic charater is real enought to be sitting beside you at the movie theater. Ave Maria is not a perfect woman, nor doe ...more
Lynn Summers
I really enjoyed the first book in the series and expected this book to be the same. Unfortunately, the book is much deeper and deals with some heavy issues. That would have been ok except everything that becomes a challenge in Ave's marriage is blamed on her. By the end of the book I was undecided if I even wanted her to try and work things out with Jack. In my opinion, their relationship seemed very one-sided and sexist. This book did generate a lot of deep thoughts and is interesting to discu ...more
Book two in the series and eight years into her marriage, we take another look at Ave Maria's life in Big Stone Gap, a coal mining town in the mountains of Virginia.

I really enjoy Trigiani's easily readable writing style and insight into life. I found myself saying "wow, I can relate to that" as Ave Maria discovers the issues that brought her to a critical junction in her marriage. Love the family, sights, sounds, etc. in Italy. All the characters in Big Stone Gap are endearing and easy to pict
Although I loved Big Stone Gap, I didn't enjoy this one quite as much....although it was still very good. It still has the same witticisms and characterizations you expect from this writer (personally, I think Fleeta is a scene-stealer, as is Iva Lou!) but as some other reviewers have stated, I didn't quite care for the way Ave Maria handled her marital tension. Everything worked out to my satisfaction at the end, but some of her choices in this book were, to my monogamous mind, a bit questionab ...more
Nikki Lauren
I didn't love this sequel as much as I loved Big Stone Gap and as much as I usually love Ms Trigiani's storytelling. Slight spoiler alert... The problem for me was I wanted to jump into the book and throttle Ave for tiptoeing around Jack's "ego". Why do women feel they have to do that?? Anyone with common sense would see she made the right decision to help support the family in a time of need. They have a child that has to come before his "ego". She should have told him right away, but she shou ...more
If you made it through the first one, Big Stone Gap, then this one will surely be enjoyed. Now that the reader knows Ave Maria and Jack the Big Cherry Holler can concentrate on the story of Ave Marias' life. This one opens several years after Big Stone Gap ends. In fact, we learn that Jack and Ave Maria have a daughter, Etta. Further reading we learn about Joe. Jack and Ave Maria’s son. We learn of the heartache of losing a child and what that does to a marriage. The sense of loss, blame, and n ...more
My favorite thing about this book is that it takes a real look at feelings within the marriage. Nothing is sugar coated or not dealt with. The main character is far from perfect, and the author deals with that but not by making light of the situations. There are places where I think a lot of other authors would make the story about revenge. Adriana does not. Looking forward to book three in the series!
I jumped right into this second book about the Big Stone Gap characters so I the evolution to a slightly more serious story wasn't quite as jarring for me as it was for some fellow fans. There's no doubt that this book has a different tone than Big Stone Gap though. Big Stone Gap had me right on the verge of laughter the entire time but Big Cherry Holler takes the citizens of Big Stone Gap through a series of trials and heartaches that made me hurt for them. I loved this installment as much as I ...more
I can't express how much I love Adriana Trigiani. She is one of the few writers that I feel really understands my feelings, anxieties, and passions. She may not be the best writer in the world, but her stories make me laugh out loud and at times, cry like a baby.
I so get what Ave Maria was going through with her doubts and fears, and her "at-home" feelings in Italy. Grazie, Adriana.
This is one of those times that I really want to use half stars again. I enjoyed the first book, Big Stone Gap, quite a bit and gave it 4 stars. However, I enjoyed this book more and, to me it is almost (but not quite) in the 5 star category. So, in my heart, this is a 4.5 star book.

While Big Stone Gap was a book about a love story, it did wade at least knee-level into the waters of self-acceptance. Big Cherry Holler dives right into that pool. In many ways, it is the story of what comes after "
Kathy Coffman
This is book 2 in Adriana Trigiani's Big Stone Gap trilogy featuring Ave Maria Mulligan MacChesni, and all the interesting people of Big Stone Gap, VA. This trilogy is a wonderful story about an Italian woman born and raised in an Appalachian coal mining town. Who'd have thought that one could create such a sweet story based on completely different cultures and settings. Yet it works seamlessly and beautifully. What a wonderful testament to the ups and downs of marriage, family and life in gener ...more
Karen Witter
I liked this book better than Big Stone Gap, maybe because it spoke more to where I am in my own life. The continuing saga of Ave Maria pulled me in completely.

One really refreshing thing this story avoided was pat answers and oversimplification of the complications if life, love, and relationships.
I liked this one better than the first. The trials and tribulations this middle aged woman is going through touch down close to home for me in so many ways. I laughed out loud and cried as well. Not so much rambling as the first one either. Onto the next as I am hooked!
Perfect beach reading. In this follow-up to the first one, the heroine, Ave, has a midlife crisis and questions her relationships with her husband. There were plenty of things I could relate to and the characters were alive enough. It was a nice, light, read.
This is the second book of the Big Gap books. Eight years since the end of the first book, Ave Maria’s story continues. So much has happened in her marriage to Jack Mac – a daughter, Etta, the death of their son, Joe, and now the threat of another woman, Karen Bell. The month long vacation in Italy becomes a separation to “rethink” her marriage.
The wonderful secondary characters from the first book return to steal the reader’s heart. Theodore shares a secret and becomes a voice of reason, Iva Lo
I liked this better than the first book in the series. I didn't love the references to having an affair but I thought there were great lessons to be learned about a relationship.
You know how sometimes the right book comes along at the right time in life? Well, this one made me laugh out loud when I really needed to laugh. Thank you Adriana Trigiani.
I loved Big Cherry Holler, especially because I haven't read Big Stone Gap and I thought the story stood very well on its own. I don't find that to be true of most sequels.
I enjoyed the first book so well, I had to find out what the second book would be like. I also favor the book, also because I have ridden my motorcycle through every county within the state of VA and I especially adore the Big Stone Gap area.

I was wonderfully surprised with the love story aspect and how well the author was able to grasp the essence of the various characters with distinct individual personalities. The complex aspects of the marriage are front and center for many readers and I lov
I liked this one better than Big Stone Gap since I could relate more to the characters. Can't wait to read #3 (and the Return!).
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Why is it titled Big Cherry Holler? 1 3 Mar 02, 2015 06:19AM  
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Adriana Trigiani is beloved by millions of readers around the world for fifteen bestsellers, including the blockbuster epic The Shoemaker's Wife; the Big Stone Gap series; Lucia, Lucia; the Valentine series; the Viola series for young adults; and the bestselling memoir Don't Sing at the Table. Trigiani reaches new heights with All the Stars in the Heavens, an epic tale from the golden age of Holly ...more
More about Adriana Trigiani...

Other Books in the Series

Big Stone Gap (4 books)
  • Big Stone Gap (Big Stone Gap, #1)
  • Milk Glass Moon (Big Stone Gap, Book 3)
  • Home to Big Stone Gap (Big Stone Gap, #4)
The Shoemaker's Wife Big Stone Gap (Big Stone Gap, #1) Lucia, Lucia Very Valentine Brava, Valentine

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“All the things I thought I was - simple and plain and sometime funny - are very small words. They do not begin to describe me. They do not begin to express what is inside of me. I have value, and I have worth. I cannot be replaced like old shoes or taken for granted like tap water.” 41 likes
“Isn't this the truth of any good mother? That in all of our lives. We worry only about those we brought into this world, regardless of whether they loved us back or treated us fairly or understood our shortcomings.” 40 likes
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