Big Girl

Danielle Steel, Author . Delacorte $28 (323p) ISBN 978-0-385-34318-3

Household name Steel (Going Home ) falls short of her best in her latest. Victoria Dawson has always felt like an outcast. When her little sister Grace is born, father Jim tells Victoria she was the “tester cake,” and they finally got it right with the beautiful Gracie. Victoria grows up in her sister’s shadow, and though she loves Gracie dearly, she’s anxious to leave home. The pain doesn’t stop there, though. Her father calls her first job at a prestigious private school in Manhattan “pathetic,” and Victoria begins a battle with her weight and her belief that she is unlovable (even though men pursue her). The premise of the story is sound, but it doesn’t ring true: the parents are two-dimensional, cruel monsters and Victoria seems to have everything: fantastic job, amazing apartment, perfect best friends. It’s hard to believe that her parents would still wield such power. Steel barely grazes the surface of an important topic, but it’s not reality that has positioned her at the top of bestseller lists. (Mar.)

Reviewed on: 01/04/2010
Release date: 02/01/2010
Paperback - 446 pages - 978-0-552-15900-5
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Hardcover - 323 pages - 978-0-593-06306-4
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