As a narrator, Trigiani slips into the roles of the characters she created as naturally and comfortably as she would a well-worn pair of slippers. As the creator of protagonist Ave Maria, Trigiani has a deep understanding of the character and is able to express all her emotional nuances: her trepidation at all the sweeping changes in her life (her daughter has gotten married and moved overseas to Italy; her husband's health takes a frightening turn for the worse; she discovers that her best friend has been keeping a life-shattering secret from her); her deep love for her family, friends and town; and most of all, her ability to embrace all the lessons life has to offer, good and bad. Trigiani's narration makes all of the colorful characters feel real. They all have a Virginia ""country"" accent, but she deepens her voice here, adds an emphasized ""twang"" there to create distinctive voices for each character. Fans of this warm, homey series will find added dimension by listening to their favorite characters brought so perfectly to life. Simultaneous release with the Random House hardcover (Reviews, Sept. 4).