Danielle Steel: Big Girl

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Danielle Steel Big Girl
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    Big Girl
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Big Girl: краткое содержание, описание и аннотация

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A chubby little girl with blond hair, blue eyes, and ordinary looks, Victoria Dawson has always felt out of place in her family, especially in body conscious Los Angeles. Her parents are disappointed by their daughter's looks. Later in life, the one thing Victoria knows is that she has to get as far away from home as possible and, after college in Chicago (which her parents disapprove of), she moves to New York City. Landing her dream job as a high school teacher, Victoria finds joy and excitement working with her students by day-and by night continues to wage war on her weight among the sleek and buff at Manhattan's fitness clubs. Victoria keeps a lifeline open to her family through her close relationship with her sister Gracie. For though they can't be more different the two sisters love each other unconditionally. By contrast her parents, though across the country, still have an emotional hold on Victoria and instinctively seem to know just what to say to bring her down. Victoria knows she has been a disappointment to them all her life. No matter what she does, she can never win their approval. When Grace announces her engagement to a man who is an exact replica of their handsome, materialistic, narcissistic father Victoria cannot help but feel even more ostracized, and like a failure once again. Ahead is a challenge and a risk: to accept herself as she is, celebrate it, and win the victories she has fought so hard for and deserves. Big girl or not, she is a gem!

Danielle Steel: другие книги автора

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Victoria wasn’t sure why, but her parents didn’t seem as excited about the baby as she was. Her mother complained a lot about how big she was, and her father teased Victoria and said he hoped it wouldn’t look like her. He never failed to remind her that she looked like his grandmother. There were few pictures of her, but those that Victoria had finally seen showed a large woman wearing an apron, with seemingly no waist, enormous hips, and a bulbous nose. She wasn’t sure which was worse, looking like her paternal great-grandmother, or like the ugly queen whose photograph she had seen posing with her dog. And after seeing the photographs of her great-grandmother, she had become obsessed with the size of her own nose. It was small and round, and she thought it looked like an onion planted in the middle of her face. She hoped for its sake that the new baby hadn’t inherited the same nose. But since the baby was an “accident,” there seemed to be far more serious things to worry about than its nose. Her parents had never explained the accident to her, but she hadn’t forgotten the conversation she’d overheard. It made Victoria all the more determined to dedicate herself to the new baby, and do whatever was needed to help with it. She hoped the damage from the accident it had experienced wasn’t too great. Maybe it was just a broken arm, or a bump on the head.

Christine’s C-section was planned this time, and Victoria’s parents had explained to her that her mother would be in the hospital for a week, and she wouldn’t be able to see her mother or the baby until they came home from the hospital. They said those were the rules, and she wondered if it was to give them time to fix whatever damage the baby had sustained in the mysterious event that no one seemed to want to discuss or explain.

The day the baby was born, her father came home at six o’clock when Victoria’s grandmother was preparing dinner for her. They looked at him expectantly, and his disappointment was evident when he told them it was a girl. And then he smiled and said the baby was beautiful and looked just like him and Christine this time. He seemed enormously relieved, even though it hadn’t been a boy. And he said they were calling her Grace, because she was so pretty. Grandmother Dawson smiled too then, proud of her ability to guess the baby’s sex. She had been sure it was a girl. Jim said she had dark hair, big brown eyes like both of them, the same white skin as her mother, and perfectly formed tiny pink lips. He said she was so pretty they could have used her for an ad for babies. Her beauty made up for her not being a boy. He made no mention of any injury to the baby, from the accident that Victoria had been worried about for the past eight months, and she was relieved too. She hoped the baby was okay, and she sounded very cute.

They called her mother at the hospital the next day, and she sounded very tired. It made Victoria even more determined to do everything she could to help when they got home.

Grace was even prettier than they’d said when Victoria saw her for the first time. She was absolutely exquisite and perfectly formed. She looked like a baby in a picture book, or an ad, as her father had said. Grandmother Dawson clucked over her immediately, and took the bundle from Christine’s arms as Jim helped her into a chair, and Victoria tried to get an even better look. She was aching to hold the baby, kiss her cheeks, coo over her, and touch her tiny toes. She wasn’t jealous of her for an instant, only happy and proud.

“She’s gorgeous, isn’t she?” Jim said proudly to his mother, who instantly agreed. There was no mention made of his paternal grandmother this time, and no need to. Baby Grace looked like a porcelain doll, and they all agreed that she was the prettiest baby they had ever seen. She looked nothing like her older sister who had big blue eyes and wheat-colored hair. It was hard to imagine that the two were even sisters, or that Victoria actually belonged in this family, with all of them so dark while she was so fair. And her pudgy body looked nothing like them either. No one compared this baby to Queen Victoria, or mentioned her round nose. She had the nose of a pixie or a cameo, just like Christine’s. It was clear from the moment she was born that Grace was one of them, while Victoria appeared to have been dropped on their doorstep by someone else. Grace was perfect, and all Victoria felt was love as she looked at her with adoration in her grandmother’s arms. She couldn’t wait for them to set her down so she could pick her up herself. This long-awaited baby sister was hers. She had begun to love her long before she was born. And now she was here at last.

Jim couldn’t resist teasing his older daughter, as he always did. He was that kind of guy, and loved making jokes at the expense of someone else. His friends thought he was very funny, and he had no qualms about who he made the butt of his jokes. He turned to Victoria with a wry grin, as she gazed lovingly at the baby.

“I guess you were our little tester cake,” he said, ruffling her hair affectionately. “This time we got the recipe just right,” he commented happily, as Grandmother Dawson explained that a tester cake was what you made to check the combination of ingredients and the heat of the oven. It never came out right the first time, she said, so you threw the tester cake away and tried again. It made Victoria suddenly terrified that because Grace had come out so perfectly, maybe they would throw her away. But no one said anything about it, as her mother, grandmother, and new baby sister went upstairs. Victoria followed them with a look of awe. She stood at a discreet distance and watched everything they did. She wanted to learn how to do it all herself. She was sure her mother would let her, once her grandmother went home. She had asked before Grace came, and her mother said she would.

They changed the baby into a tiny pink nightgown, wrapped her in a blanket, and Christine gave her the bottle of formula they’d given her at the hospital. And then she burped her and laid her down in the bassinet. It was the first chance Victoria had gotten to take a good long look at the new arrival. She really was the most beautiful baby Victoria had ever seen, but even if she hadn’t been, even if she had had their great-grandmother’s nose, or looked like Queen Victoria too, she would have loved her anyway. She already did. Her beauty didn’t matter to Victoria at all, only to her family.

While her mother and grandmother were talking, Victoria cautiously stuck her finger into the bassinet right into the baby’s hand, and the baby looked up at her, and curled her tiny fingers around Victoria’s finger. It was the most exciting moment of Victoria’s life so far, and she instantly felt the bond between the two of them, and knew it would only get stronger and last forever. She made a silent vow to take care of her all her life and never let anyone hurt her or make her cry. She wanted baby Grace’s life to be perfect, and was willing to do whatever she had to to ensure that. Grace closed her eyes then and went to sleep, as Victoria stood and watched her. She was so glad there had been no damage from the accident, and Grace was here at last.

She thought of what her father had said then about her being the tester cake, and wondered if it was true. Maybe they had only had her to make sure they got it right with Grace. And if that was true, they certainly had. She was the sweetest thing Victoria had ever seen, and her parents and grandmother said so too. For one tiny instant, Victoria wished that someone else had been the tester cake, and they had felt about her the way they obviously did about Grace. She wished that she was a victory and not a failure of the recipe or the oven temperature. And whatever their intentions had been in having her first, she just hoped they never decided to throw her away. All she wanted now was to share the rest of her life with Grace, and be the best big sister in the world. And she was glad for the baby that she hadn’t gotten their great-grandmother’s nose too.

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