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Big Cherry Holler

(Big Stone Gap #2)

3.92  ·  Rating details ·  18,322 ratings  ·  928 reviews
It has been eight years since pharmacist and longtime spinster Ave Maria Mulligan married. What she hasn't counted on is that fate and the ghosts of the past will come to haunt her, and test the love she has for her husband. ...more
Paperback, 304 pages
Published February 1st 2007 by Pocket Books (first published January 1st 2001)
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Krystle It's where Ave Maria and Jack spent a lot of their time when they were dating. It's the place they felt closest to each other. …moreIt's where Ave Maria and Jack spent a lot of their time when they were dating. It's the place they felt closest to each other. (less)

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Average rating 3.92  · 
Rating details
 ·  18,322 ratings  ·  928 reviews

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Sep 07, 2010 rated it it was ok
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
♥ Sandi ❣
This series is read by the author and her emphasis is obviously made in the places that she deemed important. She has mastered the "down-home" dialog that is needed for this series. This is #2 in the series and takes place 8 years after the first book (or audio) ended.

You don't expect someone from the back hills of Virginia - where Big Stone Gap is supposedly located - to be a descendant of an Italian family. However Ava Maria has her extended family living in Italy. This book of the series tak
Jan 13, 2009 rated it did not like it
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
Apr 11, 2010 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
La Crosse County Library
Review originally published October 2003

An unlikely combination of cultures, family backgrounds, and environments is the premise for the warm-hearted series called Big Stone Gap by Adriana Trigiani.
The second book in the series, Big Cherry Holler, continues the story of Ave, now married and a mother. With her newfound belief in love, a new extended family, a home to run, and a part-time job, she is trying to make happiness stay.

What she hasn’t counted on is that fate and ghosts from her pa
Nov 30, 2009 rated it really liked it
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
Jul 05, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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. ...more
Mar 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: women-s-fiction
I loved this one. I could relate to the MC in more ways than I'd like to admit. I think the author spoke my language through the MC. I also enjoyed the humor; it had such charm. BUT....the one thing I loved the most was her descriptive strokes. She has a way with words that elevated characters, setting, and relationships. I loved that and really, sometimes that is all it takes to get 5 stars from my stingy fingers.

This book is chick lit and the second installment to a series. I haven't read the
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. Beaut ...more
Apr 09, 2013 rated it it was ok
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! ...more
Dec 23, 2014 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
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 book is ...more
Mahoghani 23
Everyday life interrupts marriage and eventually the couple becomes redundant and in a cycle. Take Ava Marie & Jack McChesney; After 8 years of marriage, there's a strain between them that causes them to sway in different directions. Ava Marie is worried about another woman attempting to take Jack from her but soon realizes that there are things about herself that has placed a rift in her marriage with the biggest issue of not allowing Jack to be the head of household and understanding that he's ...more
The first book in this series was really so sweet but I should've known that, of course, things won't be smooth sailing for these two. Fast forward 8 years, Ave Maria has a 7 yo daughter with Jack and has lost a son to leukemia a few years ago. Even as Ave & Jack still love each other, their marriage or partnership isn't doing too well. And this second instalment is of them finding their way back to each other.

Argh, yes, it has that detestable whiff that I'd like to avoid in fiction so I struggl
Jan 13, 2022 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: adult, fiction, audiobooks
The second installment in the story of Ave Maria (née Mulligan) picks up eight years after the first, and is filled not with the same ups and downs of Ave's life as Big Stone Gap's town spinster, but with the new hiccups and upheavals of her life as a Cracker Neck Holler wife and mother. What remains the same, however, is the gentle depiction of Trigiani's heroine learning big, tough truths about herself and how it affects those around her. And once again, the narration by the author brings fant ...more
Feb 11, 2020 rated it really liked it
Read this book
Kate Olson
Jan 25, 2021 marked it as did-not-finish
Nothing like the tone of the first book in the series - DNF.
Aug 25, 2018 rated it liked it
This was so different from the first book... All the marriage drama had my avoiding it a bit..
Sep 22, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
May 09, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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!
Karen Witter
Jan 30, 2015 rated it really liked it
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.
Jan 20, 2015 rated it liked it
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.
Jan 08, 2017 rated it liked it
This book is fine. Not great, not bad, but fine. It's like eating Skittles when what you really wanted was a steak. Skittles are tasty, but not satisfying. The writing is about a 6th grade reading level -- not a challenge. ...more
This is the second book in the series. Marginal *****SPOILER***** for the first book (view spoiler)******END SPOILER******

It was ok
Big Stone Gap was one of my top reads of the past years - absolutely unforgettable, emotional and truthful. Big Cherry Holler could never live up to it, but it was still great. For a long time after I read Big Stone Gap I told myself I'd never read the rest of the series. BSG was perfect, and I knew enough about the BCH plot to know that that perfect BSG ending wouldn't hold up, eight years later where BCH picks up Ave Maria and Jack's story.

Then I caved.

And it was wonderful. I'll definitely con
Mar 13, 2018 rated it liked it
Not as good as Big Stone Gap, but I love author’s descriptions of Wise County, Virginia, where my Mom grew up, the small town, and the characters of coal mining. Brings back memories of visiting the area, and my Mom’s stories. Coming from that environment truly gave her an insight into all of mankind!
Oddly enough this story features a drug store...just like the one my Great Aunt Chastain and Uncle Guy owned.
Jun 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book is more serious than the first book. However, as a lover of biography, the tone made it a more pleasurable read for me. I became more attached to the characters in their ups and downs and the chapters that take place in Italy are so deliciously descriptive, be warned, you will want to travel abroad if you do not already.
Lisa Montanaro
Sep 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
A satisfying sequel to the first book in the series. But definitely darker. Not dark, but deals with how to keep a marriage going after the loss of a child. Adding comic relief is the quirky cast of characters from Big Stone Gap, who are just as interesting the second time around.
Aug 19, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction, local-lit
This one was so wholly different than the first one; still, I definitely enjoyed it, it was just such a different tone than Big Stone Gap.
Mar 08, 2020 rated it really liked it
Lots of truth in this book. It makes me ponder my marriage and what it means to choose my spouse, even after we’ve been married for a quarter century.
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Why is it titled Big Cherry Holler? 3 6 Aug 19, 2020 03:17PM  
Goodreads Librari...: Missing cover image 2 19 Jun 12, 2020 11:02AM  
Play Book Tag: [+Poll Ballot Tally] Big Cherry Holler / Adriana Trigiani. 3 stars 1 7 Apr 25, 2020 06:10PM  

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Beloved by millions of readers around the world for her "dazzling" novels (USA Today), Adriana Trigiani is "a master of palpable and visual detail" (Washington Post) and "a comedy writer with a heart of gold" (New York Times). She is the New York Times bestselling author of twenty books of fiction and nonfiction, including her latest, The Good Left Undone- an instant New York Times best seller, Bo ...more

Other books in the series

Big Stone Gap (4 books)
  • Big Stone Gap (Big Stone Gap, #1)
  • Milk Glass Moon (Big Stone Gap, #3)
  • Home to Big Stone Gap (Big Stone Gap, #4)

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