Big Girls Don't Cry: A Novel

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Overview

Born into a comfortable Washington, D.C., home, Naomi Jefferson leads a life that is only occasionally marred by racism. As a teenager in the 1960s, she is concerned mostly with issues around virginity. But all that changes when her older brother, Joshua–who seems destined for greatness–is killed in a tragic car accident on his way to a civil rights demonstration. Now the rift between black and white America becomes much too personal, and Naomi embarks on a journey to honor her brother’s legacy–and to find ...
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Overview

Born into a comfortable Washington, D.C., home, Naomi Jefferson leads a life that is only occasionally marred by racism. As a teenager in the 1960s, she is concerned mostly with issues around virginity. But all that changes when her older brother, Joshua–who seems destined for greatness–is killed in a tragic car accident on his way to a civil rights demonstration. Now the rift between black and white America becomes much too personal, and Naomi embarks on a journey to honor her brother’s legacy–and to find herself.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“[An] empathetic portrait of a modern woman wrestling with issues of love, work, and family obligations.”—Publishers Weekly

“Contains an infectious hope and optimism.”—Los Angeles Times

“Brims with warmth, energy, and a positive message about persistence and loyalty.”—San Francisco Chronicle

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
PW praised this "empathetic portrait" of a woman struggling to navigate the rift between black and white America and resolve issues of work and love. (July)
Library Journal
A coming-of-age story of a middle- class black woman growing up in the strife-torn early 1960s. From the author of Sisters and Lovers (LJ 4/15/95).
Kirkus Reviews
Briscoe returns (Sisters and Lovers, 1994) to tackle 30 years of African-American history through the wide eyes of an Everywoman protagonist.

In early 1960s Washington, D.C., Naomi Jefferson's most pressing issues are extracurricular activities (piano or ballet?), her older brother Joshua's superiority complex, and romance (will she ever be kissed?). Her family, meantime, is being affected by the Civil Rights movement: Joshua's becoming a radical while her parents—middle-class African-Americans who've become resigned to the racism they've been struggling against all their lives—prefer to fight within the system. By contrast, Naomi's new friend Jennifer (who's rich, spoiled, and won't associate with Naomi's best friend Debbie because she's "too dark") accepts the status quo. As children, Naomi and Debbie had always planned to open their own business someday, but they hadn't counted on the (stereotypical) pitfalls of growing up black in America: Debbie gets pregnant and Naomi meets all the wrong men, dabbles with drugs, drops out of college, then loses Joshua to the cause she's only just begun to understand. Thanks to her iron-willed parents and Joshua's best friend Dean, however, she does get back on track, earning an MBA degree and a highly prized position as a unit manager at Systems Solutions, Inc., a major D.C. consulting firm. But when she's passed up for a promotion she's more than earned, she decides to go one step further and fulfill her childhood dreams, professional and personal. Only the appearance of Joseph, the adolescent son no one knew Joshua had, threatens to throw a wrench into the works.

Briscoe's been touted as another McMillan or even a peer of Morrison's, but the stilted dialogue, heavy-handed moralizing, and plodding plot here keep her in a lesser league entirely.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780449005644
  • Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 5/28/1999
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 416
  • Product dimensions: 4.21 (w) x 6.88 (h) x 1.13 (d)

Meet the Author

Connie Briscoe
Connie Briscoe is the New York Times bestselling author of P. G. County, Sisters & Lovers, A Long Way from Home, and Can’t Get Enough. She is the former managing editor of the American Annals of the Deaf at Gallaudet University. She has been hearing-impaired for most of her adult life but several years ago underwent surgery to restore her hearing. She lives in Ellicott City, Maryland.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 10 )
Rating Distribution

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(9)

4 Star

(1)

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Sort by: Showing all of 14 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 23, 2008

    Just a good book

    I loved reading this book. It was good and very memorable. I would recommend this book to anyone.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 6, 2003

    How occurances can change your life,completly!

    I would recommend this book to any of my friends. It teaches you not to just keep yourself away from the world just because you loose someone. You wouldn't think that a book could teach you something so compelling in an ordinary book. Sometimes your true love can be right in front of you,but we don't always notice it, do we. this book could really learn a life lesson from this ordinary book.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 30, 2003

    Oops, She's Done it Again!

    Oops, she's done it again; written another excellent novel. This is probably her best novel to date. I am an African American woman who attended a Historically Black University and grew up in a very racist neighborhood and had to deal with losing close family members to the rage of the streets. I have often felt misplaced and angered at my country for the tears I have shed and at times I wanted to give up. It was through reading this book and Watch Me Fly by Mylie Evers that I found the courage to live, to aspire to achieve against great odds and to love with my whole being. Her tale of loss and pain and disappointment and heartache and love is captivating and true. I believe that everyone will feel encouraged by the novel and elated that you finally spent your time wisely.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 14, 2002

    AWESOME!

    I thought this book is great for any age, any sex it was a very good book about the times i would definately recommend this book for anyone to read

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 31, 2001

    A MUST Read!

    I hardly read fictional novels because some of them are so hard to follow. However, BIG GIRLS DON'T CRY, was just like listening to someone's real-life experiences. I wish that this book was available when I was growing up in the '60s. A little older than 'Naomi', I could have benefitted. I am saving this book for my granddaughter to read. My wish is that Ms. Briscoe would do a sequel on Naomi. And I disagree with critic Kirkus -- this is just as well-written as the other well-known authors. To me, it was more entertaining - I always wanted to know what was going to happen next.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 3, 2000

    Very Inspiring!!!

    I was truly touched by this novel. It was well written. I had a hard time putting it down, I couldn't wait to see what was going to happen next. The character development was great, and I felt like I knew Naomi personally. It just goes to show, you can do whatever you dream if you put your mind to it!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 29, 2000

    OUTSTANDING

    excellent read, I really enjoyed this book.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 16, 2000

    Still the Best Book

    I can't even count the number of times I've read this book because it manages to touch a person's soul in a way that I never would have expected. To be able to sucessfully hit on just about every human emotion- loss and grief, love and gain, personal redemption and closure- is a true credit to Mr. Briscoe's book. I am thankful for having a book that I feel I can always go back to and discover something new in its seamless execution. This book is truly a gem and I, along with many others, would definitely recommend that every young girl especially, own a copy.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 2, 2000

    A 'BIG GIRL' with a lot of heart!

    Where SISTER & LOVERS lacked in direction and structure, BIG GIRLS DON'T CRY made up for it with some to spare. This book had more of a solid story and the lead female, Naomi Jefferson, was strong, confident, and vunerable at the right times, and wasn't afraid to show it. A smart lady who climbed to the top on hard work and determination, she earned my vote as one true character. Excellent novel!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 23, 2000

    THE BEST BOOK I'VE EVER READ

    BIG GIRLS DONT CRY IS THE BEST BOOK I HAVE EVER READ ITS A BOOK THAT EVERY FEMALE SHOULD READ SOME POINT IN THERE LIFETIME.THE BOOK IS SO GOOD THAT I READ IT TWICE. I JUST CANT GET OVER HOW GOOD THIS BOOK IS IT IS OUTSTANDING AND RECOMMENDED FOR EVRYONE.SINCE THE SCALE IS ONLY FROM 1-5 I HAVE TO GIVE THIS BOOK A 10.THIS IS A WONDERFUL BOOK AND I THINK UYOU SHOULD READ IT.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 26, 2000

    I'm not crying anymore

    This book was OUTSTANDING. It really gave me a picture of how it was back then. Naomi really reached ou to me and she let me know that I am not the only one in this world going through the things I am going through. Thank you Connie for allowing me to see these things and for weiting such a wonderful book. :-)

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 17, 2000

    Purely Poetic

    I am a HUGE Connie Briscoe fan! She is so talented! Big Girl's Don't Cry is a beautiful coming of age story that is full of laughs and surprises. I couldn't believe the similarities in Naomi and myself. Every young lady needs to make this a must read because we ALL know or knew a Dean, Joshua and even the quintessential canine- Ralph. The parallels of racism in the 1960s and today are completely vivid and honest. Please read and enjoy this book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 2, 2000

    Excellent!

    This book is so awesome! I am a teenage girl, and Connie Briscoe captures my own personal struggle with keeping my virginity perfectly. The heroine, Naomi, is so realistic and her final triumph let's me know that there's hope yet for this world!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 25, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

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