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)

3.92  ·  Rating details ·  16,842 ratings  ·  824 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.
Paperback, 304 pages
Published February 1st 2007 by Pocket Books (first published January 1st 2001)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Big Cherry Holler, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
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)

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.92  · 
Rating details
 ·  16,842 ratings  ·  824 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Big Cherry Holler (Big Stone Gap, #2)
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
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 ...more
Apr 11, 2010 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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.
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
Bryn Clegg
Jan 22, 2017 rated it it was ok
DNF. I hate when we get a couple together in the first book, and they are struggling and bratty to each other in the next one. I got sick of the main character and her negativity, and I don't like cheating husbands.
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. ...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 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!
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 ...more
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..
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 ...more
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.
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.
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.
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.
May 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
The series gets even better!
Arlene Allen
Jul 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
This was a series I finally got back to, so there’s hope for others!

I enjoyed this warm, poignant book about marriage and what it takes a marriage to work after a loss. Written in Trigiani’s charming prose, this is a gentle read that will make you think.

Trigiani also excels at description and I was ready to catch the first plane out to Italy after reading Ave Maria’s summer exploits.

As for Ave herself, I liked her better in the first book. She’s very broken in Big Cherry Holler; combined with
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
Apr 26, 2009 rated it liked it

As a sequel to Big Stone Gap a gentle continuation of the ups and downs of the love between Ave Maria Mulligan and the man she has now been married to for eight years, Jack MacChesney. Ave has still not completely opened her heart to her husband but she needs to now or she is in danger of losing the best thing that ever happened to her. They have not been easy years for them or the local community. The death of their son seems to have come between them,
Big Cherry Holler by Adriana Trigiani is the second book in the Big Stone Gap series. The first half of the book was tedious to read but the second half picked up the pace. I was looking forward to reading this one because I really enjoyed the story and the characters in the first book. However, this one fell quite a big short for me. I lost some respect for Ave Maria and how she was handling the crisis in her marriage. Yes, the death of a child takes its toll, but a team (husband/wife) have to ...more
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.
What I really liked about reading this book is that it was completely different from the first one; I normally don't read book series because the second installment usually just feels like a long, middle chapter to me. In Big Cherry Holler, the whole tone was different from Big Stone Gap, which made it interesting.

I understand how some reviewers felt this book had a "blame the woman" mentality, but my answer to that is that the book was published in 2001, 17 years ago.
Sep 08, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: bookcrossing
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 ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Why is it titled Big Cherry Holler? 2 5 Jul 18, 2018 04:36PM  

Readers also enjoyed

  • The Honk and Holler Opening Soon
  • Welcome to the World, Baby Girl! (Elmwood Springs, #1)
  • Queen Bee (Lowcountry Tales, #12)
  • Tame the Wild Wind
  • Thunder on the Plains
  • Appointment in Zambia : A Trans-African Adventure
  • Heart of the West
  • Song of the Wolf
  • A Charmed Life
  • The Osama Bin Laden I Know: An Oral History of Al Qaeda's Leader
  • Pocketful Of Pinecones: Nature Study With The Gentle Art Of Learning:  A Story For Mother Culture
  • Clay's Quilt
  • Countdown to Mecca (Jack Hatfield, #3)
  • Scooby-Doo Comic Storybook #3: Camp Fear
  • Twisted at the Root
  • A Regency Christmas Proposal: A Regency Romance Christmas Anthology (REGENCY ANTHOLOGIES Book 4)
  • Can't Wait to Get to Heaven  (Elmwood Springs, #3)
  • The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek
See similar books…
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 eighteen books in fiction and nonfiction, published in 38 languages, making her one of the most sought after speakers in the ...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)
“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.” 50 likes
“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.” 44 likes
More quotes…