Milk Glass Moon, by Adriana Trigiani (2002)

Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Interest Level: Adult
Milk Glass MoonThis is the third title in Trigiani’s Big Stone Gap series, gentle fiction set in the West Virginia mountain town of Big Stone Gap, also the title of the series’ first title. Ave Maria Mulligan MacChesney (daughter of an “Eye-talian” mother gre and an Irish stepfather) and her husband Jack MacChesney have settled into a comfortable stage in their relationship, and Ave Maria’s focus is now on their teen daughter Etta, while navigating the challenges of life in a small town, from cancer scares and nasty pranks to first loves and painful loss. I wouldn’t recommend starting the series with this one – nothing much really happens, but for those of us who know the characters, it’s a welcome visit with beloved friends. Trigiani does a masterful job of drawing out Ave Maria’s flaws and contradictions – I found myself in turn impressed and frustrated as she made mistakes and took risks. Perhaps too often she allowed Ave Maria’s Italian temper free rein – what an indulgence, and how envious I am (struggling as always to control mine). The novel spans about six years, as Etta grows from 12 to 18, from childhood to womanhood, and ends with a clear opening for a sequel. A trilogy it’s not!
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