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This is a review of the book 'Milk Glass Moon' by Adriana Trigiani. The book is third in the bestselling and much-loved Big Stone Gap series but I didn't read the first two, just jumped in with the third which may have been my mistake.
I'd read another book by this author, titled 'Lucia, Lucia' and really enjoyed it's Italian heritage which is why I picked up this book (not realising it was in a series) however, I don't think you have to read the other books as it's a fairly good read in isolation.
A little about the storyline
In Milk Glass Moon, we follow lead character Ave Maria and her daughter Etta, who lead a quite ordinary existence in a small Southern America countryside town called Big Stone Gap. Ave Maria has family roots with her father's side of the family in Italy and has the odd trip there where she is welcomed by her family. Meanwhile her daughter Etta is growing up and her journey to womanhood is well documented as her mother worries about her constantly. Fortunately Etta's got a sensible head on her shoulders and her mum worries too much over the small stuff that happens.
A quiet character
Husband and father Jack is a quietly underplayed character who has done something in the past with another woman that is alluded to in the book but not spelt out. In return, Ave Maria has her 'plan b' man Peter, whom she doesn't actually do anything with but she regularly fantasises about him!
Big Stone Gap
The community around the family in Big Stone Gap are both colourful and supportive. Everyone knows everyone else's business and the grapevine is the fastest gossip mechanism ever. From pregnancies to infidelities, to illness and death, no subject is sacred.
I have to say that not a lot happens in this book. It is slow paced and I ambled through it wondering if I was missing something due to the fact that I had not read the previous two books. It was a pleasant enough read with refreshing friendships and touching storylines but nothing blew me away in this book.
I wouldn't rush out to buy the other books in this series, so not a book I'll be recommending to friends to read. It needed something a bit more dramatic to happen in it.
This book did not set me on fire but it was a nice read with some beautiful descriptions of Italy in it. There was also a recipe for coca cola cake which I was tempted to try, a sponge cake (with coke in it) and icing made with coke too!