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Home to Big Stone Gap: A Novel (Big Stone Gap #4)

3.89  ·  Rating Details ·  8,293 Ratings  ·  591 Reviews
Millions of readers around the world have fallen in love with the novels of the New York Times bestselling author Adriana Trigiani. In Home to Big Stone Gap, she tells her most powerful story yet, full of humor and heart, wisdom and hope.

Nestled in the lush Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia, the town of Big Stone Gap has been home for Ave Maria Mulligan Machesney and her fa
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Published October 31st 2006 by Random House Audio (first published 2006)
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Yaaresse It should be "Home to..." per the author's website, Wikipedia, and my library's card catalog. There are only four books in the Big Gap series,…moreIt should be "Home to..." per the author's website, Wikipedia, and my library's card catalog. There are only four books in the Big Gap series, although the author has other books not part of the series. When I think I see two names for the same book, I do a search on the ISBN number on

The thing that makes Goodreads terrific is also the biggest weakness: people can add entries. They get excited about that and either don't check to see if the book is already in the system or they don't double check the book information. Either way, it leads to duplicates and mistakes that get replicated. When I see something like this, I click over the the Librarian's forum and ask them to take a look at the problem. They're very good over there about fixing something once it's pointed out to them. (less)
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Community Reviews

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Jan 05, 2015 LadyCalico rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I finished the last book of the series and now I am very depressed, like on the day after Christmas when all that's left is the clean-up. I don't know if I'd have liked this book as much if I read it first without becoming acquainted with the characters and all their lovely human flaws in the previous stories. I always like books in which the characters are flawed and the message is acceptance. I think we just bumble through this imperfect life trying to do the best we can and then learn to see ...more
Rebekka Steg
I was very very disappointed with the fourth (and final?) book in Adriana Trigiani's series. Compared to the previous novels, which all really touched me, this one seemed dull and tedious. I found myself not caring about Ave Maria or any of the other characters, which was surprising considering how much I had enjoyed the previous books. The issues are repetitive, and a large part of the book is spend repeating info from the previous novels. This might be good for the reader who hasn't read the f ...more
May 02, 2012 Maryann rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Apr 06, 2016 Bonnie rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Main character: Ave Maria. Does that sound stupid to anyone other than me? She is a pharmacist that does not seem to have the brains to be one. There is a side story in which she is going to direct the town’s holiday theatre production. A male friend from her HS days who has made it big in Hollywood comes home and works on the play. Sure!!!

I have not read the previous books in the series but this book goes back and brings the reader up to date. I am glad that I did not waste my time on the previ
May 07, 2010 Susan rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sep 21, 2011 Booksdingle rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: borrowed-library
I loved this series - in fact its the only full series I have ever read as I am notorious for getting bored - I am the person who had only read the first 2 and a half books in the Harry Potter series and the 1st in Twilight so that proably proves that I am not a sticker! What I love about these books is that they are just really good stories - you feel like you are pulling up a chair with an old friend - there is nothing flash or massively thrilling about them - they are just really good tales o ...more
Aug 09, 2010 Krista rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It was ironic that I finished this on my 15th anniversary, because the major things I gained from the entire series was this overwhelming appreciation for long-term, unconditional marital love.

--A love that allows you to appreciate and respect the very core of the person you are married to: their soul, their heritage, their family, their perfections and imperfections.
--A love that sees a couple through death, through difficulty, through the most profound changes in self and in each other.
Florence (Lefty) MacIntosh
Wanted to rate it 1 , what happened to the author’s sense of humour? By book 4 this story is just worn out. The main character Ave Maria has aged into an weary bore, her husband & daughter now so one-dimensional you could care less. Granted there are still a few gems. When Freeta (the jaded old lady who works the diner) is asked if she’s planning to wear a veil at her upcoming wedding she responds pithily “Hell no, a veil at my age I’d look like a beekeeper” But lines like that are just an e ...more
Jun 07, 2012 Beth rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Fourth and final book of the Big Stone Gap series. This was my least favorite. I felt there was no strong plot in this one; just Ava and Jack trying to make the best of their lives in their empty nest. The strongest message I got was that if your marriage gets into a rut, you and your spouse need to find out what each of you want to accomplish, get out and find new things to do together. Spice and shake it up or else! As for the rest, I zoned out through several chapters, especially on the theat ...more
Danielle Chappell
This is the last book in the series and honestly, I thought I wouldn't finish it. It feels a little slow and I kept wondering why she continued the story of Ave Maria Mulligan for a fourth and final book. The first book in the series was excellent and then I felt like the story became weaker as the novels progressed.
Diane Will
Aug 15, 2012 Diane Will rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Having read The Big Stone Gap trilogy a few years ago and thoroghly enjoyed them I had forgotten I had this follow up one on the shelf. I was looking for a holiday read and this one filled it. It was lovely to be taken back to the old familiar characters, although it did take a wee while to remember some of them.

A gentle read that takes us forward in time to 1998. Jack and Ave are older and miss their daughter Etta who married and stayed in Italy. Life and time is taking its toll on them both an
I think this was my least favorite book of the bunch. There was nothing wrong with it, but it just didn't resonate the same way the others did. In this one Ave Maria goes through a period of estrangement with her best pal Iva Lou and I had a hard time really understanding it. I enjoyed their trip to Scotland and it actually made me want to travel there based solely on their descriptions. This book also had a smattering of recipes included in the text when various foods were mentioned. I can't re ...more
Jan 26, 2016 LeAnn rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Save yourself some time and think about Eeyore from Winnie the Pooh. You will get the same idea without even reading Home to Big Stone Gap.
Jan 13, 2011 Kathryn rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A lovely ending to the series! Thought it might have had a sad ending - so glad it didn't!
This is the 4th book in this series and it speaks to me as have the others. I don't know if this is because I feel a kinship with Ave Maria - pharmacists, mothers who lost a child to cancer, and women of the south. Whatever the reason, this book was lovely to read. Ave Maria is dealing with her daughter's marriage as Etta has settled in Italy with her new husband. She must deal with a crisis with her husband's health, a revelation about a dear friend, and a company that threatens the mountains t ...more
Meinir Lloyd
I'm an avid fan of the first trilogy, I've only just read 'Home to Big Stone Gap' and was really looking forward to revisit the wonderful characters in the first three books, but I'm gutted to find a very trite and lightweight book in comparison to the first three. I wonder to myself whether Adriana Trigiana was forced into writing this book against her better judgement? I'm big on 'continuity' and it grated on me the ham fisted mistakes that happened. The first was Worley Olinger seemed to be n ...more
Oct 08, 2015 Linda rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I can't say this is a good book, but I read it all the way through to the end (skipping the recipes and descriptions of scenery.) It does seem like Adriana Trigiani has run out of steam with the Big Stone Gap series. I thought that with the third book, but was sufficiently invested in the characters to finish this one. First, there's too much padding. If you must include recipes, why not stick them in an appendix? I'm sure the mountains of Scotland and Virginia are beautiful, but I got very tire ...more
Oct 23, 2011 Ruth rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
My sister and I are very similar. Knowing that she has enjoyed all of Trigiani's books I figured that I would also. Evidently, I wasn't as thrilled as she was.

The story takes place in a small town in the Blue Ridge Mountains of VA. Ava Maria and her husband Jack both grew up in the area and have remained there all their lives. They have one child, who has recently married before finishing college and now lives in Italy. Ava Maria misses her dearly and does what she has perfected to a science - s
Dec 09, 2010 Louise rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What can I say? Another F-A-N-T-A-S-T-I-C book from Adriana Trigiani who never, ever fails to pen a novel that you’ll never forget!

For those who read “Big Stone Gap”, you will enjoy this book immeasurably and for those who haven’t, it can be read as a stand-alone, however it would be best to read the first part so you’ll have an idea who is who and what the changes in this novel really mean.

Ave Maria Mulligan MacChesney and her beloved husband, Jack live in the lush Blue Ridge Mountains of Virgi
Nov 11, 2007 Alley rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this one out of nosiness more than anything else. I've read the previous 3 Big Stone Gap novels for the same reason. They are good reads and follow the life of Ave Maria Mulligan MacChesney. When we met her in the first book she was the town spinster & pharmacist and now she's in her 50's, married and her own daughter has just been married. I've enjoyed finding out what was going on with Ave Maria the same way I would enjoy catching up with an old girlfriend from years past. Plus, I l ...more
Jan 28, 2013 Caroline rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It took me much longer than necessary to finish this book, and I only did so because I was becoming delinquent in returning it to the library. That being said, the reason is that I loved this series so much, I could not bear for it to end! As much as I near hated Jack Mac in parts of the previous books, and frequently became frustrated with Ave Maria, I absolutely fell in love with them, their relationship and all of the other wonderful characters in each of the four novels. Big Stone Gap was de ...more
Mar 30, 2011 Sarah rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: novel, virginia
Home to Big Stone Gap is really very similar to other Trigiani books. There are surprises to the story, but not in the way the characters react to them. This installment finds Ave Maria worrying about everything middle age has to offer, but as usual, her friends and family help her find ways to enjoy the life she's living. While I love Trigiani's books, I'm always disappointed at how little the plot is really controlled. Rather than cutting quickly from one important scene to another, the story ...more
Aug 29, 2013 Lukie rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: listened-to
Too contrived for me. One example: Would a wife of 30 (+-) years really not know about her husband's beloved childhood dog?! It was convenient to the story but unconvincing. I didn't read the prequels to this book and maybe you have to, to buy into certain things about the character of Ave Maria in particular. She was accused of being judgmental but I saw no evidence of that. For me, the quarrel with the friend didn't ring true. Additionally, I laughed at the lack of skepticism at the end about ...more
Dec 16, 2010 Joni rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: chick-lit, grief, 2010
I believe this is the last of a series of four, and I'm kind of happy to be done with them. While I enjoyed them enough to keep reading, they are not the most well-written books around. There too much reminding the reader what had happened before, which really got redundant in this last book.

And I truly couldn't believe that the author spent a page telling us what the Sound of Music plot is. Really? Is there anyone who would read this book who wouldn't know the plot of the Sound of Music???
Jennifer Brown
I read the first book in this series on recommendation from someone I work with. I thought it was only a trilogy and enjoyed the way it ended. Upon finding this book, I figured I had to read it since I read the other three. I didn't enjoy this book so much as the others. I felt like it was a woe-is-me and just got bored with it. There's death, problems, wisdom and happiness. I mean, wasn't she supposed to "grow up" in the other books? If I find out the author adds another to this series, this gi ...more
While I didn't love this as much as the Shoemaker's Wife, I think Trigiani is a good story teller. This time she focuses on a community in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia. Through the voice of Ava Maria MacCHestney we explore relationships, past and present, as Ava directs the community musical and entertains long time friends. The conflict is minimal, but the relationships well constructed. This was a good vacation read.
Nov 18, 2015 Stacy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really like the way this series developed, with the exception of Big Cherry Holler, which almost ruined the whole series for me. I like that their relationship improves and develops over time and that they learn to understand each other better.
Oct 14, 2011 Kimberly rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
My favorite part of this book was the cover. Ave Maria and I need some space apart for a few years.
Zuleima Salazar
Nov 18, 2016 Zuleima Salazar rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
So yet again, I started another book that I did not know was a series. Adriana did not disappoint at all though in making me like the characters. There were times when I ended up kind of disliking Ave Maria, but she really wasn't that bad. I think I'll end up reading the other books as well, so I can get a better understanding of their stories, even though this last book really did a great job. I was also pretty sad that it ended, which surprised me a bit. I think the reason for that, was that I ...more
Dec 03, 2016 Joe rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: general-fiction
Part 4 and the final installment of The Big Stone Gap. I really became attached to all these wonderful characters after 4 books and will miss them but there was a nice closure at the end of "Home to.." Life goes on, good and bad. Children grow up, get married, move away yet there is always "home". From the mountains of western Virginia to travels to northern Italy and in part 4, a life time wish fulfilled of traveling to Scotland, you get to armchair travel as well. Family drama and love abound ...more
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Lack of continuity 1 12 Mar 07, 2014 04:19AM  
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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)
  • Big Cherry Holler (Big Stone Gap, #2)
  • Milk Glass Moon (Big Stone Gap, #3)

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“Take nothing and no one for granted. Time used to be my friend, and now it’s a skittish acquaintance at best.

Let life unfold, say what you mean. You can’t always think about what you’ve lost, or what you don’t have, or what you didn’t get. Because when you do that, you’re missing out on the now. You can’t know if you’ll be here tomorrow or a year from now.”
“the lane. I turn to Jack. “What do you think?” 0 likes
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