I don't know my reasoning for starting MILK GLASS MOON, setting it aside for so long, then picking it up again at this time. I only know I am so very glad that I picked it up again and finished it. It is now my favorite of the series...at least until I read HOME TO BIG STONE GAP.
The book is in wonderful segments of home, New York City, home, Italy, home, Italy. It flows quickly in years skipped, but events are highlighted.
Ave is still alternately aggravating and endearing in her worries over her relationship with her husband, Jack, and her daughter, Etta. I see a lot of myself in the character in her concerns and the way she handles (and mishandles) situations. Etta is growing up and going through the teenage years in her own way. She acts out in the beginning of the book and loses her chance of going to New York with Ave to visit Ave's lifelong best friend, Theodore. Ave is definitely blessed in her friends as well as her family. Theodore helps her work through her issues with Etta and Ave's past love, Pete, who is also in New York. Is Ave still attracted to Pete? Yes, but won't act on it. She knows she is deeply in love and in like with Jack and always will be.
The next segments have all of the characters older and wiser. Ave's best girlfriend, Iva Lou (my favorite character of the series), is diagnosed with breast cancer. Everyone concerned goes through growing pains with this news. Years go by again and there is a trip to Italy to Ave's father's home for a long visit. Etta also sees her crush, Stefano, but is older and wiser in how she is with him. Stefano appears several times throughout the book and is part of Etta's maturing into a fine young woman. And the consternation of Ave. She is reluctant to have her little girl grow up any quicker than she should, but Etta has always been her own person, rather strongwilled, but very intelligent and full of common sense.
This is such a warm and wonderful book and a great addition to the series. It is staying on my keeper shelf.
I know a part of my enamour for the series is that Big Stone Gap exists and this area is where my husband grew up. I had the chance to see many of the locations this summer when we went back to his home area for his nephew's graduation from University of Virginia at Wise. I smiled each time I read a familiar place name.
Five enthusiastic Appalachian beans!