Lisa 's Reviews > Big Girl

Big Girl by Danielle Steel
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's review
May 31, 2011

liked it
bookshelves: 2011, 2011-text

Have such mixed feelings about this one.

Overall, I enjoyed it. It had a nice, happy ending, and I really liked it. I felt like there were some real flaws in the writing, though. From the other reviews, I'm getting that this is not Danielle Steel's best work, but I cna't say I'm chomping at the bit to find anything else.

For one thing, the the characters were kind of flat. Our heroine, Victoria, is noble and self-sacrificing and doesn't seem to have any flaws, nore does the boyfriend she eventually finds. Her father does have some redeeming moments, but for the most part, her parents are almost cardboard villians. The charater with the most complexity is probably Victoria's red-haired college boyfriend. T

More importantly, the plot, such as there is, takes a long time to kick into gear. The story starts with the birth of the heroine's father (who is the novel about again?) The details of the heroine's life are either repeated ad nauseum or plodded over. Her trip to to IKEA to furnish her rent-controlled apartment is given more detail than the steamy sex that she eventually finds with a good man. In both cases, Danielle, show, don't tell!!

The mundane details were so exhaustive that at one poin, I found myself thinking: it's like a picareque novel, only those are supposd to be about irresponsible people. One good thing I can say for the plot is that Victoria is NOT able to prevent her sister from making a potentially bad decision in some sort of eleventh-inning save, but we do know that she will be there for her sister if things go south.

I appreciate the body-positive message of this book, a lot. Victoria's up-and-down struggle with her weight is very realistiv to what people experience. In the end, she makes an uneasy peace with food and commits to working out in the interest of more objective measures of health, such as energy level. I only wish that certain foods hadn't been treated as literally morally bad. No, you can't live on pizza and ice cream, and yes, emotional eating can cause problems without solving any. But I don't think life is worth living if you can never indulge in your favorite things.

I was also irritated by Collin (the boyfriend's) statement that "real women look like you". Yes, many of them do--and I' closer to Victoria's size than to her size 4 sister. But size 4 women, and even size 0, are "real" women too.

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