I was recently given three titles in the Big Stone Gap series, this being the first I have just finished reading it. It was so unmemorable that I did not realise that I had actually read it for the first time just over two years ago! I had felt that some of the scenes seemed familiar and had just assumed the same themes had been used elsewhere.
The story was rather slow at first and I wondered if I was going to enjoy the series? Nothing much happens in the little southern town of Big Stone Gap, Virginia and although an easy read I actually found the first half rather boring. The highlight of the spinster heroine Ave Maria Mulligan's week is when the travelling library arrives in town! At thirty five and still single the town pharmacist Ave Maria is the exception in a town where there is not much to do besides marry young and have a family. She is considered somewhat strange by the townsfolk of Big Stone Gap.
It did improve somewhat as it went on and we learn of the family scandals that arise in Ave Maria's life. The most interesting parts for me being the Italian connections.
I am left with just enough enthusiasm to read the next two novels in the series. I do think though that it is probably just as well that I have read the first in the series for a second time to reaquaint myself with the characters. Maybe I will enjoy the sequels more, that is if I read them soon before I forget the story again! Will Ave Maria's newfound belief in love last with the happy ever after ending of this novel?
I do appear to be in the minority with my opinions though, so maybe I just happened to read this at the wrong time twice to fully appreciate it.