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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She saw some of them in the cafeteria at lunch that day, and steered a wide berth around them. She helped herself to a bag of potato chips, a hero sandwich, yogurt, and a package of chocolate chip cookies for later, and sat at a table by herself, until another girl sat down. She was taller than Victoria, and rail thin. She looked as though she could have played basketball against most of the guys, and asked Victoria permission to sit down.

“Mind if I sit here?”

“No, that’s fine,” Victoria said, opening the potato chips. The other girl had two sandwiches on her tray, but she looked like nothing she ate would show. Other than her long brown hair, she almost looked like a boy. She wasn’t wearing makeup either, and she was wearing jeans and Converse too.

“Freshman?” the other girl asked as she unwrapped her first sandwich, and Victoria nodded, feeling paralyzed by shyness. “I’m Connie. I’m captain of the girls’ basketball team, as you may have guessed. I’m six-two. I’m a junior. Welcome to high school. How’s it been so far?”

“Okay,” Victoria said, trying to look unimpressed. She didn’t want to tell her that she was scared out of her mind and felt like a freak. She wondered if Connie had too at fourteen. She looked extremely relaxed and comfortable with who she was now, but she was also sitting with a freshman, which made Victoria wonder if she had any friends. And if she did, where were they? She looked taller than almost every boy in the room.

“I reached my full height at twelve,” she said conversationally. “My brother is six-six and plays for UCLA on a basketball scholarship. Do you play any sports?”

“Some volleyball, not much.” She had always been more academic than athletic.

“We have some great teams here. Maybe you want to try out for basketball too. We have a lot of girls your height,” she added, and Victoria almost said, “But not my weight.” She was fiercely aware of how everyone looked, and looking at them on the way in, she felt twice their size. She felt less out of place with this girl, who at least did not look anorexic or dress as though she were going on a date. She seemed friendly and nice. “It takes a while to get the hang of high school,” Connie reassured her. “I felt really strange the first day I got here. All the boys I saw were half my size. And the girls were a lot prettier than I was. But there’s something for everyone here, jocks, fashionistas, beauty queens, there’s a gay/lesbian club, you’ll figure it all out after a while and make friends.” Victoria was suddenly glad that Connie had sat down with her. She felt like she at least had one new friend. Connie had finished both her sandwiches by then, and Victoria was embarrassed to realize that she was so nervous, all she had eaten were the chips and the cookies. She decided to eat the yogurt and save the rest. “Where do you live?” Connie asked with interest.


“I drive in from Orange County every day. I live with my dad. My mom died last year.”

“I’m sorry,” Victoria said, immediately sympathetic. Connie stood to her full height, and Victoria felt like a dwarf next to her. She handed Victoria a piece of paper with her phone number on it, and Victoria thanked her and slipped it into her pocket.

“Call me if I can help with anything. The first few days are always tough. It’ll get better after that. And don’t forget to try out for the team.” Victoria couldn’t see herself doing it, but she was grateful for the friendly reception from this girl, who had gone out of her way to make her feel at ease. Victoria no longer believed that it was an accident that she had sat down at her table. As they chatted, a good-looking boy walked by and smiled at Connie.

“Hey, Connie,” he said, whizzing by with his books in his hand, “signing up recruits for the team?”

“You bet.” She laughed at him. “He’s captain of the swimming team,” she said when he was gone. “You might like that too. Check it out.”

“I’d probably drown,” Victoria said, looking sheepish. “I’m not a great swimmer.”

“You don’t have to be at first. You learn. That’s what coaches are for. I swam for the team freshman year, but I don’t like to get up that early. Practice is at six A.M., sometimes five before a meet.”

“I think I’ll pass,” Victoria said with a grin, but she liked knowing she had options. This was a whole new world. And everyone looked like they liked it here, and had found their own niche. She just hoped that she’d find hers, whatever it was. Connie told her that there were sign-up sheets on the main bulletin board outside the cafeteria, for all the clubs. She pointed it out on their way out, and Victoria stopped to look. A chess club, a poker club, a film club, foreign language clubs, a Gothic club, a horror movie club, a literary club, a Latin club, a romance-novel book club, an archaeology club, a ski club, a tennis club, a travel club. There were dozens of clubs listed. The two that interested Victoria most were film and Latin. But she was too shy to put her name on either list. She had taken Latin in middle school the year before and liked it. And she thought the film club might be fun. And neither of them required taking her clothes off or wearing a uniform that would make her look gross. She wouldn’t have joined the swim club for that reason, although she was actually a decent swimmer, better than she had admitted to Connie, and she didn’t relish the idea of basketball shorts either. She thought the ski club might be fun too. She went skiing every year with her parents. Her father had been a champion skier in his youth, and her mother was pretty good too. And Gracie had been in ski school since she was three, and so had Victoria before her.

“See you around,” Connie said as she sauntered off on her giraffelike legs.

“Thank you!” Victoria called after her, and then hurried to her next class.

She was in good spirits when her mother picked her up outside at three.

“How was it?” her mother asked pleasantly, relieved to see that Victoria looked happy. It obviously hadn’t been as scary as she’d feared.

“Pretty good,” Victoria said, looking pleased. “I like my classes. It’s sooooo much better than middle school. I had biology and chem this morning, English lit and Spanish this afternoon. The Spanish teacher is a little weird, he won’t let you speak English in his class, but the others were all pretty nice. And I checked out the clubs, I might do ski and film, and maybe Latin.”

“Sounds like a reasonable first day,” Christine said as they drove toward her old school to pick Grace up after day care. As they parked in front of the school, Victoria suddenly felt as though she had matured a thousand years since June. She felt so grown up now being in high school, and it wasn’t bad at all. Gracie was in tears when Victoria ran inside to pick her up.

“What happened?” Victoria asked her as she scooped her up into her arms. She was so small at seven that Victoria could carry her easily.

“I had a horrible day. David threw a lizard at me, Lizzie took my peanut butter sandwich, and Janie hit me!” she said with a look of outrage. “I cried all day,” she added for good measure.

“So would I if all those things happened to me,” Victoria assured her as she walked her to the car.

“I want you to come back,” she said, pouting at her older sister. “It’s no fun here without you.”

“I wish I could,” Victoria said, but suddenly not so sure. High school had looked okay to her that day, better than she’d thought it would. It had definite possibilities, and she wanted to explore them now. Maybe there was hope that she’d fit in after all. “I miss you too.” It was sad to realize that they’d never be in the same school again. The age difference between them was too great.

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