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The Big Love

3.07  ·  Rating details ·  2,826 ratings  ·  350 reviews
Hilarious and heartbreaking, combining the emotional incisiveness of Jane Austen with the up-to-the-minute frankness of "Sex and the City," Dunn's latest work will be the passing must-read novel of the summer. ...more
Paperback, 228 pages
Published June 2nd 2005 by Back Bay Books (first published January 1st 2004)
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Average rating 3.07  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,826 ratings  ·  350 reviews

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Apr 08, 2012 rated it did not like it
The Big Love joins yogurt ads, spray tans, and sitcoms in the long line of terrible things that have resulted from our culture's expectations of, and regard for, women.

Things I hate about The Big Love (the short list):

1.) The main character of The Big Love went to a frickin' Ivy League university and her main obsessions are marriage and why, at age 32, she has only had sex with two people in her life. Are you kidding me?

OK, so, she's from a fundamentalist Christian background and argues that
Sep 03, 2017 rated it did not like it
No. Just nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

P.S. I would go to the market and buy cheese to eat alone every day if I could
May 16, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: former Christian school girls
This book was smarter than average chic lit (I would presume), although still chic lit, HOWEVER if you grew up an evangelical Christian and now find yourself a bit more...liberal, this character is amazing. The stuff she writes about the Christian dating scene and the resulting issues of sex are hysterical.
Bleh... couldn't even finish it on BOOK TAPE. It was really just bad. But plenty of jokes about fundamentalist Christianity, mixed in with the horribly stupid storyline about being in love with the world's most obnoxious guy, and a liberal dose of profanity.

Don't bother.
Oct 19, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: fiction, arcs
Boy am I glad to be done with this one! Thankfully The Big Love is a short read so I didn't lose too much of my time on it, and I have a lot of stuff going on that is killing my attention span so this was definitely good for that.

Anyway, this is the story of one Alison ... something, I've already forgotten her last name, and how unhappy she is about her boyfriend of 4 years breaking up with her very suddenly by going out to buy mustard for a dinner party and phoning her during the party to say h
Mar 01, 2014 rated it did not like it
Why do I do this to myself? Why I continue to read chick-lit hoping to re-create the excitement I felt when I read "Bridget Jones's Diary" at 22? Only to realize every time that the main reason for the excitement was that I was 22 and "Bridget Jones's Diary" was the first chick-lit I ever read, and in fact, the whole genre is crap. Yesterday's Harlequin romances in a new coat. "The Big Love" is a shining example for that. The title says it all, for God's sake. But no, I had to convince myself "i ...more
Oct 17, 2010 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: chicklit
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Oct 15, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2009
Alison is looking for the big love. She thought she has found it but when her boyfriend for several years leaves her during the dinner party, she has to start to consider things from different angles.
Eventually Alison starts to think that does the real love, the big love, even exists. And if it does, how can you find it?

The are many new, unfamiliar things Alison goes through while she is searching for the big love. She has an affair with her boss, she has sex after the first date, she feels hers
Aug 30, 2007 rated it really liked it
Shelves: chick-lit
i really loved this book. i think mainly because every girl can relate to the character in some way if not all. her thoughts are similar to ones that i have all the time and expresses feelings that you'd think only you had. makes you feel better knowing that you're not the only girl who thinks/feels certain ways.

i think we've all been through that stage where we always tell ourselves no matter what, we're never going to be with someone who did us wrong but it's always the opposite when we're act
Aug 12, 2007 rated it really liked it
The story line in this was kind of wobbly, but the main reason I connected with it is because the main character struggles with her Christian upbringing and even though she is no longer a believer, she still finds herself questioning things. A lot of things that were mentioned struck a chord with me and some of the scenarios had me laughing out loud and nodding my head. Anyone who has any kind of past with organized religion should find this very amusing.
May 30, 2008 rated it it was amazing
This book was great! It isn't often that I open a book and find it necessary to keep reading until I have read every last detail. I enjoyed Sarah's writing style imensley. There was never a point where the plot started to drag.

This is a great book that explores why women tend to stay in relationships longer than they know they should, while simultaneously exploring the impact having a strong religous background has on current day dating. It's laugh-out-loud hilarious!
Apr 08, 2015 rated it really liked it
Yes. YES. This is chick lit done properly, replete with the kind of intense introspection that would, logically, accompany the sort of romantic plots so present in the genre. This particular narrative isn't terribly different from the others, but the narrator's voice elevates it to something else. Some of the sentence structure was a little distracting, although I respect it as an aesthetic choice. ...more
Tiffanie Austin
May 25, 2017 rated it it was ok
There were things I liked about this book. Overall annoying and irritating and I just kept wanting to yell at this woman to check her privilege for like a second. Dunn has better books. This book had some good moments, and I think if things had been more developed, it would have been a lot better. The stream of consciousness thing was kinda ok but off putting for sure.
Mar 25, 2018 rated it it was ok
This book was alright. It had a few good and fun moments. I wasn't sure if I like the book's seemingly neurotic voice overall. ...more
The Big Love is in the best tradition of chick lit. Alison Hopkins is stunned when her live-in boyfriend, surely preparing to propose, goes out to pick up mustard, then calls to announce he is in love with someone else.

Alison tumbles through a number of reactions and tries to scrape her life together. She narrates the story in a chatty breathless style that feels a lot like a long telephone call. Like this:

"I suppose if I had been exposed to Dorothy Parker at an impressionable age she would hav
Emily Buehler
Jan 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Inevitably when I love a book, I come to Goodreads and it has all one-star ratings at the top of the screen. I've been wishing Goodreads would sort the books by how well I match up with the other reviewers, not by which random review has the most likes. (I think I need to write a blog post about that.) Anyway, this is a case in point: the narrator's internal monologue might drive some readers crazy, but I loved it.

One reviewer complains that a woman who went to an ivy league school is focused on
Mar 27, 2009 rated it did not like it
Ughhhh. I forced myself to finish it and even at that, probably skimmed more than 50% of it. I originally picked it up because the title made me think of the HBO show "Big Love." The story line seemed intriguing enough, the girl is throwing a dinner party, sends her live in bf out for mustard, he calls her and breaks up with her over the phone.

The main character is nuerotic and pyscho analyzes everything. As a result, the book is like having a conversation with someone who has a touch of ADD. T
Apr 15, 2009 rated it it was ok
I read this book several months ago. It did have a couple of humorous moments and I could empathize with Alison in the beginning but as the novel progressed it became harder to identify with her. I noticed that they are billing this book as appealing to fans of Price and Prejudice as well as The Girls' Guide to Hunting and Fishing. Well, I loved P&P and thought The Girls' Guide to Hunting and Fishing was very overrated. Honestly, this book has nothing in common with P&P. Don't expect too much an ...more
Mar 31, 2009 rated it it was ok
Shelves: chic-lit
Really not a great book at all. Hard to even recommend for light reading. I finished it simply because I was waiting at the house while the movers packed and had nothing else available. Got two stars instead of one, because there were a couple funny parts.
This book is laugh out loud funny at times.
Susan Ash hanson
Sep 24, 2016 rated it liked it
This book made my brain hurt....
Suzie Q
May 17, 2017 rated it liked it
This book is a pure chick lit, one and done indulgence for me.
It was a decent story of repressed girl (thanks to her hang ups and religious induced guilt) finds her inner strength through a bunch of crappy events in her life.
Alison, an Evangelical Christian 32 yr old woman working as a puff columnist at a minor Philadelphia newspaper throws a dinner party. Her live in boyfriend goes out to buy the mustard for the guests all seated, phones and says he's in love with his old college gf and isn't
Natalie Shawver
Feb 12, 2017 rated it did not like it
The Big Love was a Big Flop. A lackluster story that felt like a failed attempt at being witty, this "love" tale was anything but. Alison is in love with Tom, her boyfriend of several years. Tom cheats on Alison. Alison decides to sleep with her new boss. Alison loses her job (nothing to do with the new boss). Alison takes Tom back. Alison realizes Tom isn't her Big Love and instead "finds herself" by taking up all the cliche things single girls in their 30s apparently do. The plot essentially w ...more
Jonathan Karmel
Aug 06, 2017 rated it it was ok
Didn't like this as much as the Arrangement or Secrets to Happiness, which I read first. I like Dunn's sense of humor, and this book had some funny parts, but the main character's thoughts weren't that interesting, and the book didn't have much of a plot.

Main character is a 30-something single looking for love in Philadelphia. She grew up evangelical and is somewhat narcissistic. Seemed to me like she was looking for a "great catch" who would love her, although she did not appear to be offering
Meredith Derecho
Aug 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
Overall very much enjoyed the writing and got much more than I was expecting to out of this book. The subject matter + marketing are kind of trashy, whatever that means, but the flow was good and witty, and I thought the writing was super good in general.

I really enjoyed the introspection and thought the main character was quite realistic/relatable. The other characters didn't seem very well thought-out. But to me, this is really a book about Alison's thoughts and her life (love life, mostly).
Jan 04, 2020 rated it it was ok
Well. Most of it seemed to be a stream of consciousness from the main character, Allison. Who, by the way, I had the hardest time remembering her name....maybe because it was so rarely used, as the entire book was her rambling on and on and on. The premise might have been interesting, she was raised fundamental Christian with strict rules about sex and marriage. So she waited a long time to become involved with anyone, and the first guy was a friend who happened to be gay, but now she's involved ...more
This book was just "meh" - I did appreciate the reflection of how her strict Christian upbringing affected her love life, but outside of that there was nothing particularly ground breaking about this novel. The ending was also pretty unsatisfying - like the author was building towards something and then just said, "Yeah for loving yourself, whoo!" Granted, reading it in 2018 gives it a much different perspective than reading it in 2004 when it was published, but I just feel like women have moved ...more
Oct 05, 2019 rated it it was ok
I don’t recall how this needed up on my Kindle but there it was so I read it in four days because I’ve been reading a lot of intense novels and needed something light and easy — so that was that. But after it being light and easy, I also realize the protagonist is not likable enough, the plot is not original, and I’ve never seen such defensive writing before. The author uses her protagonist’s narrative to defend her writing style: “perhaps you’re wondering....” I’ve never seen the word “perhaps” ...more
Jul 30, 2017 rated it it was ok
I was anxious to read Sarah Dunn's first book because I enjoyed her second so much. About half way through, I read some of the reviews and was disheartened to see how many people disliked the story. I did start skimming a bit, but then it hooked me back in and I enjoyed the last half. I disagreed with those who didn't like the end. I thought it was better than I was expecting. It is clear that Sarah Dunn is a unique voice, and she is honing her skill as a writer. I look forward to her next effor ...more
Jun 27, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017-done
A fun, light read. I liked Sarah Dunn's style. The rambling narrator was endearing. Didn't expect the bit about the narrator growing up in an evangelical church, but I appreciated her issues and could relate! I'm convinced that Dunn had the experience because it was definitely an insider perspective. Lastly, won't give it away, but I was happy with the ending! ...more
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Sarah Dunn (born 1970) is an American author and television writer. She was educated in the University of Arizona.

Coming to prominence in 1994 with her book Official Slacker Handbook, Sarah Dunn went to Hollywood, where she wrote for such series as Murphy Brown, Veronica's Closet and Spin City.

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“I wanted a boyfriend who was a Christian but who wasn't uptight about it, who was good-looking and intelligent and had an interesting job and a sense of humor, who said "fuck" when the situation warranted it, who had attempted to but been unable to finish St. Augustine's City of God, who could argue politics with my mother and talk business with my father, who liked Indian food and had nice friends and knew how to dress and would like someday to live abroad.” 22 likes
“Just because I'd spent so many years coloring inside the lines, it wasn't fair for me to expect perfection. People make mistakes. Life isn't fair. People change.” 8 likes
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