Book Review: ‘Big Girl’ by Danielle Steel
This book was fun to read. I fear I don’t have a mind of my own because I can relate to EVERYTHING I read! 😂🤣. Well, to everything I have read so far, at least. I’ve always loved Danielle Steel books and this was not any different.
The story (as the title suggests) is about a big girl who grew up being criticized by her family and as such, nurtured insecurities till she was well past 25 years. Her parents were disappointed in her very existence, (they had hoped for a son) and that is the root of her maltreatment – but she is never told this piece of information. What she knows is that she had been a tester cake, and her younger sister, Grace was the real deal. The “big girl” is Victoria Regina Dawson. (Her parents named her after Queen Victoria because they thought she looked just like her. In the book, Queen Victoria was thought to be ugly🤔) She is blond although her parents had dark hair and chubby even though her parents are skinny.
In the opinion of Victoria’s parents, she isn’t very beautiful, but she is very smart. Her father is a narcissist and her mother lives to fulfill his every desire. She never speaks against her husband, even when he says hurtful things to Victoria, because she agreed and owed her allegiance to her husband. Grace, the exact physical replica of her parents, is everything they ever wanted in a daughter – which makes Victoria feel more of an outsider. Eventually, she moves away in a bid to get out of their shadow and pursue her passion – teaching.
Throughout the book, Victoria’s parents made me sick and I still can’t believe she never actually had the courage to stand up for herself. I was so frustrated and annoyed while reading the kind of things they said to her.
I particularly connected with the book because of how she dealt with her weight. Her mood influenced what went into her mouth and how often that happened depended on what was going on around her. I only recently got out of that kind of lifestyle, so I could relate. I couldn’t relate to living with parents who showed me little to no love, though… Hating yourself and your body is one struggle – knowing that your parents do same will be even more of a struggle, and it killed me to read it. Danielle Steele is a writer who brings stories alive – forgive me if I’m making this one a big deal.
There’s a line in the blurb that says the book is about a woman’s journey to discovering herself. I don’t think Victoria did – well, life is a journey to discovering more of who you are, who you should be and how to make up for the difference. But as far as the book set out to, I don’t think Danielle Steel wrote how Victoria discovered the woman she was. I think she was more than her insecurities, her unending search for love, and her parents’ lack of emotional intelligence.
From the way I saw it, Victoria got satisfaction when she got a man who loved her (The man was also struggling with his insecurities, just FYI). In retrospect, Victoria always knew who she was – and the journey was simply living out that vision of who she wanted to be, and not what her parents or society expected or wanted her to be. To me, that was very real.
I’ll give this one 3 stars.