Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Big Cherry Holler (Big Stone Gap, #2)” as Want to Read:
Big Cherry Holler (Big Stone Gap, #2)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Big Cherry Holler (Big Stone Gap #2)

3.93  ·  Rating Details  ·  13,411 Ratings  ·  634 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)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.
This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Sep 14, 2010 Laura rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
Apr 11, 2010 Marisa rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 29, 2009 Michelle rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jul 07, 2011 Joanne rated it it was amazing
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.
Nov 30, 2009 Raya rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Apr 09, 2013 Liz rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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!
I'm not sure what to say about this novel. I really wanted to love it because I liked Jack Mac and Ave Maria and their crazy coterie in the first book, but they were not as appealing in this one. The whole marriage problem seemed confused. Is it Ave's fault for not bending over backward for her husband? Is it Jack Mac's fault for loving her but not getting her? What? They both have attractions/affairs? with other people that seemed unbelievable in context of the characters. I felt like the book ...more
An interesting plot that juxtaposes scenes in rural Virginia with those in Italy - an unlikely pairing that appears, however, to mimic the author's background. Through Ave Maria's introspection and interaction with a colorful cast of characters we follow her anguish. She calls herself a spinster because she didn't marry until she was 37. Jack Mac is from her rural hometown but very different from her. While they have a relatively comfortable life, they have some losses about which they haven't c ...more
Dec 27, 2014 Nikki rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
Mar 28, 2015 Jen rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Dec 28, 2010 Krista rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Kathy Cooley
I have to admit that I really didn't like this book as much as the first one. Maybe it's because I really fell in love with the characters and wanted them to ride off happily into the I guess in that respect the author was actually more true to life that I am. Where the first book had a lightness to it, this book takes a sharp turn into tragedy, and it kind of parks itself there. I do like how the author made Ave Maria's most profound tragedy more of a tertiary story to illustrate he ...more
Jan 12, 2009 Denise rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Feb 19, 2016 Debbie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Did He or Didn't He?

A book that leaves the reader wondering is always good, assuming you make it to the end. This book makes you wait for other answers also....hang in and you will get most of them.

Picking up a few years after Ave and Jack's marriage, one learns immediately that much has happened. Slowly, the author fills in the gaps, but you do have to wait to get answers. An interesting technique as it keep you reading. What are these hidden gems? Cannot tell you or the book would not hold int
Feb 14, 2014 Susan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: pleasure-reading
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
May 16, 2013 Christine rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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!
Jun 26, 2014 Chanda rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Apr 08, 2010 Celia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Nov 13, 2015 Kasey rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook
I liked this book, but I didn't like this book if that makes sense. I am giving it a three star review. I wish I could rate it higher, but the end of the book upset me a lot so I am going with an average rating.

I felt uncomfortable while reading this one. I loved the characters and to see them hurting so much really turned me off from the book. However, what really upset me the most was how everyone seemed to blame Ave Maria for all of the problems in her and Jack's marriage when I couldn't see
Nov 08, 2015 Julie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I would rate 3.5. Good sequel. There are 2 more in the series and I am not sure if I will read or not.
Aug 07, 2014 Melinda rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Sep 02, 2014 Kathy Coffman rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Nov 10, 2015 Margi rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed the sequel to Big Stone Gap. I must admit it was years between reading the two, but this book kept me engaged the whole way through.I am going to read her next one in the series sooner than later as I like Adriana's writing style and story telling and I can't wait to read more about Ava's life in Big Stone Gap.
Karen Witter
Jan 30, 2015 Karen Witter rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Jun 03, 2013 Monica rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Why is it titled Big Cherry Holler? 1 3 Mar 02, 2015 06:19AM  
  • The Honk and Holler Opening Soon
  • Julie and Romeo
  • Miss Julia Speaks Her Mind (Miss Julia, #1)
  • Clay's Quilt
  • Standing in the Rainbow (Elmwood Springs, #2)
  • In This Mountain (Mitford Years, #7)
  • The Tall Pine Polka
  • The Land of Mango Sunsets
  • Between, Georgia
  • Jennifer Johnson Is Sick of Being Single
  • Lover's Knot
  • Life Goes On (Harmony, #4)
  • Last Light Over Carolina
  • Crazy Ladies
Adriana Trigiani is beloved by millions of readers around the world for sixteen bestsellers, including the instant New York Times bestseller, All the Stars in the Heavens, 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. She is the award-winning filmmaker o ...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)

Share This Book

“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.” 41 likes
More quotes…