Monday, May 2, 2011

Star Audio Book Review - Big Girl by Danielle Steel; Read by Kathleen McInerney

          Victoria Dawson looks nothing like her parents. She is blonde, with blue eyes, plump and even has a bulbous nose. She looks like Queen Victoria, at least that’s what her father, Jim, has always told her. She envisions a beautiful, regal woman in elegant dresses and decadent up-dos, but one day, when she’s six years old, she stumbles upon a picture of the queen and she realizes that her father’s comparison is more a cruel joke than a compliment. When Victoria turns seven, Jim and wife, Christine, have another baby girl, much to Jim’s dismay, who desperately wants a boy, but the winning consolation of it all is that newborn Gracie, looks exquisite – the perfect resemblance of both her mother and father. 

          Victoria grows up to be smart, successful and independent in her own right, fulfilling her dream of graduating college, living in NYC and becoming a teacher. Of course, all of these goals do not meet her parents expectations or wishes for her and there relationship continues to be strained. Gracie grows more beautiful with every day. She models, has many friends and boyfriends and above all, is the apple of both her parents’ eyes. In fact one day, Jim tells Victoria that she was the “Tester Cake” and Gracie the prized pie.

          As you might imagine, Victoria pulls farther away from her family with every year, insult and family reunion gone wrong; but when Gracie announces she’s getting married to her college sweetheart, Victoria has no choice but to return to the family that has shunned her all her life. This time armed with a successful, handsome, and smart boyfriend, Victoria is not alone in her misery. In fact, she’s not miserable at all and it might surprise a few people.

          Big Girl explores many issues in its saga of the life of Victoria Dawson, most notably weight, family and parenting, sibling rivalry, love, forgiveness, trust and growth. I was amazed at how much time Danielle Steel covered in this book with out feeling like she left out anything. She has a way of highlighting important dialogue and integral events to flesh out her characters and evoke just the right emotion from her readers. Partnering with Brilliance Audio and Kathleen McInerney, who read Big Girl, I felt like I was right there with Victoria through all of her moves, transitions and struggles. Kathleen McInerney has quickly become one of my favorite narrators, first listening to her on Emily Giffin’s Love the One You’re With, she has impressed me with her enunciation and soothing sound. It brought a level of calmness to some of the more infuriating scenes, but still evoked the necessary strength and compassion of Victoria’s story.

All in all, a quick and straightforward listen. Although it was a tad predictable at times, it left listeners with a happy ending and don’t we all need happily ever after sometimes?
      3 STARS

1 comment:

  1. I actually checked this one out from the library and didn't get through it. I think it was the characters for me that didn't work.