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**Very minor spoilers for Big Stone Gap**
Ave Maria has been married for eight years now. She and her husband have a beautiful daughter, but they’ve also had some very difficult times. Now Ave feels that they’re growing apart. Everyday life has gotten in the way of love, and it’s time for both of them to make some decisions about what they want out of life.
I like Ave a lot, I really do. So this melancholy book was hard for me to read. She is so unhappy. She has ample reason to be; she really has been through some things that no one should have to go through. But I wanted some moments of grace for her. She has some mostly carefree moments, but those felt wrong and my stomach was in knots, afraid she would make the wrong decision.
The quirky characters that I loved in Big Stone Gap do, of course, make an appearance in this book. But they aren’t being all that quirky. They’re mostly sticking their noses into Ave’s business and giving her advice that just seems to confuse her.
Ave ends up in Italy for a while, and I did love the descriptions of the countryside there. I want to see that field of bluebells.
Ave is in a very different place emotionally than she was in Big Stone Gap. I still liked checking in on her, but other readers should be ready for this more introspective, somber book.
Read an excerpt.
My review of the first in the series, Big Stone Gap.
I have an affiliate relationship with Malaprop’s, my local independent bookstore located in downtown Asheville, NC; and Better World Books. I will receive a small commission at no cost to you if you purchase books through links on my site.