Review: Big Girl

 Meet Victoria Dawson, heroine of Big Girl by Danielle Steel. The firstborn child, she grows up feeling out of place in her family because of her fair hair and thicker build. While the rest of her family is dark haired and thin, Victoria is blond, blue-eyed and according to her father, has his grandmother’s ‘big’ build. Victoria puts up with her father’s thinly-veiled barbs while her mother constantly drops weight remarks. Meanwhile her parents dote on the younger sister Grace, as she is beautiful and thin. Victoria and Grace form a strong sisterly bond despite the family tension.

Victoria goes to college at Northwestern, then later becomes a private high school teacher in New York City. She is aware that she often overeats – especially when things go wrong – but she doesn’t know what to do about it. She tries therapy, hypnosis and one diet after another with little results other than gaining and losing the same weight over and over. Until finally she meets the man of her dreams and the weight starts coming off…

This was one of those classic “overweight girl tries to lose weight, is unsuccessful until she meets a man who makes her feel whole” kind of novels. It is at least mildly painful to read about Victoria’s constant dealings with ‘fat girl’ stereotypes and watch as her parents put her down constantly. Unfortunately (SPOILER ALERT!!!) she never stands up to them, although the love of her life does eventually. I was disappointed with the ending because it seems like she learned nothing other than that she is a great person only because she has a wonderful man to tell her so. (Seems like there is very little personal development for the character!)

The writing in this story is extremely redundant (the author repeats the same thing over and over) and the characters were seemingly one-dimensional. I would have rated this book 2 stars, however, I am a sucker for ‘dieting lit’ kind of chick lit novels and I did manage to get through the entire book.

Overall, Big Girl by Danielle Steel turned out to be a mostly ‘OK’ read. I would recommend waiting for it to come out in paperback or getting it at your local library, however, as the hardcover edition is pretty pricey.

3 Stars
Reviewed by Rian Montgomery

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4 comments to Review: Big Girl

  • Dierdre

    There are a lot of negative one-star reviews for this book on Amazon. You were generous with the three stars. I read this and was disgusted by the stereotypes. Every character was a cardboard cutout of a stereotypical romance novel character: the poor-me fat girl, the knight in shining armor, the superficial skinny beautiful girl, the cold-hearted perfectionist parents. Danielle Steel, you can do better than this!

  • Jennifer

    I just finished this book and would give it (at most) two stars. I too felt the same way about the characters as Derdre did. But it was a quick read and I managed to get through. This is a book out of the ordinary for Danielle Steel, almost like she didn’t write it herself! I try not to read reviews before I read books because then what I’ve read stays in my head throughout the book but I did read your review this time. You were very generous, if I had read Dierdre’s review first, I probably would have skipped, and in hindsight, wouldn’t have missed much.

    BTW, thanks for this site, I just found it a couple of weeks ago and love it!

  • Pretty uninspired book, really. As others have stated, it seemed like she phoned it in on this one. It contains every single cliche available and the plot? I also think you were very generous.

  • Jennifer W-B

    Loved it!! It was something different then the other chick lit out there. The point of view from Victoria was great, she really showed what its like to be a “big girl” within a skinny family or in today’s society.