- STAFF PICKS
- GIFTS + GIFT CARDS
- SELL BOOKS
- FIND A STORE
Usually ships in 5 to 7 business days
available for shipping or prepaid pickup only
The Big Loveby Sarah Dunn
Synopses & Reviews
Alison Hopkins is firmly, undoubtedly, and undeniably in love. She and Tom live together, they send wedding gifts as a unit, and, most important, they're happy together — until the evening Tom goes out in the middle of a dinner party to buy some mustard and doesn't come back. He calls Alison to say that he has fallen back in love with his ex-girlfriend Kate, the kind of woman about whom men say rhapsodically, "She's like a drug." How can Alison compete with that? She had always feared that Tom's looks would land her in trouble — having a handsome boyfriend is like owning a white couch, an invitation to disaster.
But if Tom isn't Alison's Big Love, who is?
Alison is tempted to take her humiliation and whip it into 700 words for the weekly column she writes about relationships for the local paper. Instead, she decides to treat her newfound freedom as a gift — a shimmering portal to a whole new life, a whole new her. She risks a fling with her boss and makes the delightful discovery that "movie sex" — like that scene in Fatal Attraction, with the water running and the dishes in the sink — isn't a cinematic fiction.
But that is just the beginning of Alison's quest for The Big Love. Applying her restless intelligence to all the questions of the heart in the modern age — Is love, in fact, enough? Does an undefined-yet-presumably-meaningless amorous encounter always turn out to be a mistake? What on earth do you tell your mother? — Alison plumbs the depths and takes sight on the heights that love can lead to. With a sharp eye, a skeptical wit, and an insatiable appetite for bridging the gulf between men and women, Sarah Dunn offers up a delectable first novel that is hilarious and heartbreaking, touching and true.
"The annals of love have recorded many a humiliating breakup over the years, but Alison Hopkins gets hit with a humdinger in this surprising, touching and hilariously deadpan debut novel. When she sends her live-in boyfriend Tom to the supermarket right before a dinner party, she figures the worst that can happen is that he'll get the wrong mustard. Instead he calls from a pay phone to tell her he's not coming back at all, because he's fallen in love with his college sweetheart, Kate Pearce — with whom he's been sleeping for five months. If Alison were a Sex and the City siren, she'd distract herself with martinis, Manolos and misappropriated men, but she's a broke columnist for the floundering weekly The Philadelphia Times. Plus, though now lapsed, she was raised evangelist Christian. So it's a new pair of hiking boots, pie-contest judging and furtive dalliances with a coworker for reluctant good-girl Alison as she tries to gauge the ins and outs of the single world that non-fundamentalists mastered in their early 20s. Alison's struggles to fit into the mainstream world are fresh and full of wisdom, and Dunn's humor is marvelously dry: 'Bonnie had a sudden flash of what he might come up with on his own...so she drew a picture on a cocktail napkin of a wide band of channel-set diamonds, and she wrote down the words "platinum" and "size six" and "BIG" and "SOON."' This is a delightful exploration of the empowerment that comes from escaping a Big Love turned Bad Love. 5-city author tour. Agent, Nicholas Ellison. (July 2)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"It's a testament to this book's sparkle that Ms. Dunn is able to express all this in warm, good-natured fashion without raising hackles." Janet Maslin, The New York Times
"[G]ive The Big Love...a chance. The writing is fresh, the characters are just quirky enough without ever verging on cloying, and the ending...is hardly the happily-ever-after, misty-eyed Cinderella fable we've come to expect from those disposable Bridget Jones knockoffs." Donna Freydkin, USA Today
"Thanks to Dunn's snappy dialogue and quirky characters, The Big Love is a cut above the legions of books about single women in search of a few good men." Elisabeth Egan, Chicago Sun-Times
"Dunn's superb writing style...gives the book a cozy, conversational feel that serves the story well....Alison may be allowed a little too much space to psychoanalyze herself and her upbringing, but that misstep can be forgiven." Hannah Sampson, Miami Herald
"The Big Love zips along with nary a bump, many of the observations absolute gems. You read the book smiling. Dunn got the voice down first time out of the gate, and that's a big thing, a rare feat, in a literary grove sprouting more and more weeds." Karen Heller, Philadelphia Inquirer
"Written with charm and warmth, this entertaining first novel by a TV writer will attract fans of Helen Fielding, Jane Green, or Jennifer Weiner. Recommended." Library Journal
"The Big Love is a perfect sugary confection, with a surprising center of wistful wisdom....It's like a highlights reel from Sex and the City. It's that funny." Time
"Sweetly neurotic and utterly believable, Alison charms with her emotional clumsiness and blushing sexual honesty." The Washington Post
"Sarah Dunn's keen observations of the unpredictability of life are delightful. This is a wonderfully funny debut novel." Olivia Goldsmith, author of The First Wives Club
"Dunn's tale of love lost and sought is sweet and funny: the book to take to the beach this summer." Elisabeth Robinson, author of The True and Outstanding Adventures of the Hunt Sisters
"A fresh, funny, and sometimes moving tale of love and life at mid-thirty among young professionals in urban Philadelphia, with a narrator who is as intelligent and ingratiating as Jane Eyre." A. R. Gurney, author of Love Letters
Hilarious and heartbreaking, combining the emotional incisiveness of Jane Austen with the up-to-the-minute frankness of Sex and the City, The Big Love will be the passing must-read novel of the summer. Dunn is an experienced comedy writer who wrote the Emmy-winning final episode of Spin City. Dunn received extraordinary publicity for her nonfiction book, The Official Slacker's Handbook, which was published by Warner Books in 1994.
A fresh and hilarious debut novel about commitment, competition, and the occasional joys of unencumbered sex, for readers of Pride and Prejudice to The Girls' Guide to Hunting and Fishing.
Alison Hopkins isn't just looking for Mr. Right . . . or even Mr. Big. She's holding out for the Big Love.
When 32-year-old Alison's first real boyfriend unceremoniously dumps her - he steps out to buy mustard for a dinner party and never returns - it's time for Alison to reassess her lifelong search for romantic fulfillment. Does true love even exist? Is every romantic involvement with a coworker inevitably doomed? Does sex without commitment always lead to disaster? Is a girl's evangelical Christian upbringing an impediment to her finding true happiness?
Funnier than any "chick-lit," as poised and accomplished as any literary debut this year, The Big Love is a big-hearted, hilariously entertaining novel that readers all across America are falling for.
About the Author
Sarah Dunn lives in New York City. This is her first novel.
What Our Readers Are Saying
Other books you might like