The Big Girls
By Susanna Moore
(Vintage, Paperback, 9781400076109, 240pp.)
Publication Date: May 6, 2008
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Helen is serving a life sentence at Sloatsburg women's prison for the murder of her children.
Dr. Louise Forrest, a recently divorced mother of an eight-year-old boy, is the new chief of psychiatry there.
Captain Ike Bradshaw is the corrections officer who wants her.
And Angie, an ambitious Hollywood starlet contacted by Helen, is intent on nothing but fame.
Drawing these four characters together in a story of shocking and disturbing revelations, The Big Girls is an electrifying novel about the anarchy of families, the sometimes destructive power of maternal instinct, and the cult of celebrity.
Susanna Moore is the author of the novels One Last Look, In the Cut, The Whiteness of Bones, Sleeping Beauties, and My Old Sweetheart, which won the Ernest Hemingway Foundation/PEN Award for First Fiction, and the Sue Kaufman Prize for First Fiction from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Her nonfiction travel book, I Myself Have Seen It, was published by the National Geographic Society in 2003. She lives in New York City.www.susannamoore.com
1. The Big Girls has four alternating narrators—Louise Forrest, Helen, Captain Ike Bradshaw, and Angie Mills. Why would Susanna Moore choose to tell the story from four distinctive and subjective points of view? How does this multi-vocal narration affect the reader's relationship to the novel? What is the advantage of letting the characters speak for themselves?
"Devastatingly accurate.... Engrossing and beautifully rendered.” —The New York Times Book Review“The most unflinching, graphically sexual, violent, literary female fiction writer alive. . . . Susanna Moore writes the way Frida Kahlo painted.” —Los Angeles Times Book Review“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.” —The Plain Dealer “Hypnotizing. . . . A remarkable feat.” —The Washington Post Book World