Book Review: Milk Glass Moon by Adriana Trigiani

Title: Milk Glass Moon
Series: Big Stone Gap #3
Author: Adriana Trigiani
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Published: 09/17/2002
Publisher: Random House
Genre(s): Women's Fiction


Milk Glass Moon, the third book in Adriana Trigiani's bestselling Big Stone Gap series, continues the life story of Ave Maria Mulligan MacChesney as she faces the challenges and changes of motherhood with her trademark humor and honesty. With twists as plentiful as those found on the holler roads of southwest Virginia, this story takes turns that will surprise and enthrall the reader.

Transporting us from Ave Maria's home in the Blue Ridge Mountains to the Italian Alps, from New York City to the Tuscan countryside, Milk Glass Moon is the story of a shifting mother-daughter relationship, of a daughter's first love and a mother's heartbreak, of an enduring marriage that contains its own ongoing challenges, and of a community faced with seismic change.

All of Trigiani's beloved characters are back: Jack Mac, Ave Maria's true love, who is willing to gamble security for the unknown; her best friend and confidant, bandleader Theodore Tip-ton, who begins a new life in New York City; librarian and sexpert Iva Lou Wade Makin, who faces a life-or-death crisis. Meanwhile, surprises emerge in the blossoming of crusty cashier Fleeta Mullins, the maturing of mountain girl turned savvy businesswoman Pearl Grimes, and the return of Pete Rutledge, the handsome stranger who turned Ave Maria's world upside down in Big Cherry Holler.

In this rollicking hayride of upheaval and change, Ave Maria is led to places she never dreamed she would go, and to people who enter her life and rock its foundation. As Ave Maria reaches into the past to find answers to the present, readers will stay with her every step of the way, rooting for the onetime town spinster who embraced love and made a family. Milk Glass Moon is about the power of love and its abiding truth, and captures Trigiani at her most lyrical and heartfelt.


Milk Glass Moon is currently the third of four novels in the Big Stone Gap series. I read this gem in one day and although eager to start the fourth book, Home to Big Stone Gap, I find I'm also preparing myself for the end of the series. I will miss everything about these "down home" people. They are warm, caring, colorful, opinionated, and real. I have come to love hearing them (complete with 'twang') in my head as I read about their lives. Adriana Trigiani has created and developed characters whose lives, although fairly ordinary, are exceptional in so many ways. Although there are crises and loss, the feelings that are evoked in Milk Glass Moon are positively heartfelt.

(Note: I read the hardcover edition whose cover is featured above.)