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The Big Girls: A Novel

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The Big Girls: A Novel Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

At the heart of this electrifying novel is a crime of unfathomable horror and its effect on several profoundly different lives, each altered by a surprising connection to the others.

We hear four brilliantly realized voices: Helen, an inmate at Sloatsburg women's prison serving a life sentence for the murder of her children; trapped within the maze of her own tortured mind, she is the subject of damning national attention. Dr. Louise Forrest, the recently divorced mother of an eight-year-old boy — the new chief of psychiatry at Sloatsburg. Angie, an ambitious Hollywood starlet, intent on nothing but fame. And Ike Bradshaw, a sardonic corrections officer, formerly a New York City narcotics detective.

As the alternating narratives unfold, we begin to wonder why Dr. Forrest has chosen Sloatsburg over the Park Avenue practice for which she was trained. And the origin of Helen's psychosis is revealed — both its shocking depths and its disturbingly convincing rationale — as well as why she is desperate to make herself known to the young actress Angie.

The Big Girls is a powerful and audacious novel about the anarchy of families, the sometimes destructive power of the maternal instinct, the vitality and evil of communities, and the cult of celebrity — written in spare, evocative prose and with a bold understanding of the darkest, most hidden aspects of human nature.

Review:

"Women are the wild cards in the ongoing card game of the human race. We bother men. We drive them nuts. We giggle at the wrong time. We don't pay attention. We pay too much attention. We hold a grudge. Or we forgive too easily. We're supposed to be the ones who make men behave badly. Thus, if a man bashes a woman, it's more than likely a crime of passion. But if a woman kills someone, she must be... Washington Post Book Review (read the entire Washington Post review)

Review:

"[A] compelling jailhouse drama....Moore never shies away from the dark crimes at the center of the narrative, but she brings electrifying prose and a richly compassionate viewpoint to her meditation on both the dark and the generous impulses at work in all of us." Booklist (Starred Review)

Review:

"The novel is keenly observed....But Ms. Moore's willful focus on the brutality that goes on [in prison] and the brutality that has shaped so many of these women's lives begins to feel both sensationalistic and numbing as the book progresses." Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times

Review:

"Moore gradually probes Helen's psychosis to its horrifying origins, while also delivering a nuanced and devastating account of the fights, rapes, and alliances built from necessity that constitute prison life." The New Yorker

Review:

"Compelling, although nothing quite jells into clarity." Kirkus Reviews

Review:

"The story glides along in short, kaleidoscopic scenes, building momentum through the accretion of exquisite and surprising detail....[There is] a devastating climax." Boston Globe

Review:

"[R]ead[s] more like a collection of pilfered diary entries than a work of conventional fiction. The Big Girls carries a voyeuristic charge, the confessions so intimate you feel embarrassed for looking, but the whip-smart narration makes it impossible to turn away." Cleveland Plain Dealer

Review:

"Moore has a beautiful way of not gripping her characters too tightly, despite the fact that her novels are carefully constructed. In The Big Girls, this quality manifests itself in the way she weaves the voices without clunky authorial intervention." Los Angeles Times

Review:

"[A] maddeningly inconsistent, seriously flawed work....Such a self-consciously tough-minded novel, crammed with addiction, beatings, murder, incest, rape and the memories of so many tragic accidents, cannot depend upon such contrivances. It simply falls apart." San Diego Union-Tribune

Review:

"Mesmerizing....Moore spins an impressive, well-realized collection of voices and experiences, allowing each to be considered and almost clinically analyzed." San Francisco Chronicle

Review:

"[A] superb novel....The author rises above sensation by being nervy and ruthless, never picking the easy way when she could be planting thorns, puzzles and harsh wisdom in the reader's path." The New York Observer

Synopsis:

From the acclaimed author of In the Cut, an electrifying new novel that has at its heart a crime of unfathomable horror and its effects on three profoundly different women whose lives are inextricably joined.

About the Author

Susanna Moore is the author of the novels One Last Look, In the Cut, Sleeping Beauties, The Whiteness of Bones, and My Old Sweetheart, and a book of nonfiction, I Myself Have Seen It. She lives in New York City.

Product Details

ISBN:
9781400041909
Author:
Moore, Susanna
Publisher:
Knopf
Subject:
Literary
Subject:
Physician and patient
Subject:
Filicide
Subject:
Psychological fiction
Copyright:
Publication Date:
May 2007
Binding:
Hardback
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
240
Dimensions:
8.62x6.02x1.01 in. .86 lbs.

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Related Subjects


Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z

The Big Girls: A Novel Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$0.95 In Stock
Product details 240 pages Knopf Publishing Group - English 9781400041909 Reviews:
"Review" by , "[A] compelling jailhouse drama....Moore never shies away from the dark crimes at the center of the narrative, but she brings electrifying prose and a richly compassionate viewpoint to her meditation on both the dark and the generous impulses at work in all of us."
"Review" by , "The novel is keenly observed....But Ms. Moore's willful focus on the brutality that goes on [in prison] and the brutality that has shaped so many of these women's lives begins to feel both sensationalistic and numbing as the book progresses."
"Review" by , "Moore gradually probes Helen's psychosis to its horrifying origins, while also delivering a nuanced and devastating account of the fights, rapes, and alliances built from necessity that constitute prison life."
"Review" by , "Compelling, although nothing quite jells into clarity."
"Review" by , "The story glides along in short, kaleidoscopic scenes, building momentum through the accretion of exquisite and surprising detail....[There is] a devastating climax."
"Review" by , "[R]ead[s] more like a collection of pilfered diary entries than a work of conventional fiction. The Big Girls carries a voyeuristic charge, the confessions so intimate you feel embarrassed for looking, but the whip-smart narration makes it impossible to turn away."
"Review" by , "Moore has a beautiful way of not gripping her characters too tightly, despite the fact that her novels are carefully constructed. In The Big Girls, this quality manifests itself in the way she weaves the voices without clunky authorial intervention."
"Review" by , "[A] maddeningly inconsistent, seriously flawed work....Such a self-consciously tough-minded novel, crammed with addiction, beatings, murder, incest, rape and the memories of so many tragic accidents, cannot depend upon such contrivances. It simply falls apart."
"Review" by , "Mesmerizing....Moore spins an impressive, well-realized collection of voices and experiences, allowing each to be considered and almost clinically analyzed."
"Review" by , "[A] superb novel....The author rises above sensation by being nervy and ruthless, never picking the easy way when she could be planting thorns, puzzles and harsh wisdom in the reader's path."
"Synopsis" by , From the acclaimed author of In the Cut, an electrifying new novel that has at its heart a crime of unfathomable horror and its effects on three profoundly different women whose lives are inextricably joined.
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