The cover of The Big Love features a bed and the title in pink neon letters. It is an indication of the kind of opportunity that awaits any heroine in a flirty, effervescent novel of this genre. But the image also evokes, however back-handedly, the book's sense of a higher power. Alison already has one kind of big love in her life when she strikes out in search of something more earthly.
It's a testament to this book's sparkle that Ms. Dunn is able to express all this in warm, good-natured fashion without raising hackles.
The New York Times
Before you roll your eyes at yet another hackneyed hunk of chick-lit featuring the requisite eccentrically spunky heroine who gets ditched but ultimately finds true love in the unlikeliest place, give The Big Love, Sarah Dunn's debut novel, a chance. The writing is fresh, the characters are just quirky enough without ever verging on cloying, and the ending — not to give it away — is hardly the happily-ever-after, misty-eyed Cinderella fable we've come to expect from those disposable Bridget Jones knockoffs. USA Today
The annals of love have recorded many a humiliating breakup over the years, but Alison Hopkins gets hit with a humdinger in this surprising, touching and hilariously deadpan debut novel. When she sends her live-in boyfriend Tom to the supermarket right before a dinner party, she figures the worst that can happen is that he'll get the wrong mustard. Instead he calls from a pay phone to tell her he's not coming back at all, because he's fallen in love with his college sweetheart, Kate Pearce-with whom he's been sleeping for five months. If Alison were a Sex and the City siren, she'd distract herself with martinis, Manolos and misappropriated men, but she's a broke columnist for the floundering weekly The Philadelphia Times. Plus, though now lapsed, she was raised evangelist Christian. So it's a new pair of hiking boots, pie-contest judging and furtive dalliances with a coworker for reluctant good-girl Alison as she tries to gauge the ins and outs of the single world that non-fundamentalists mastered in their early 20s. Alison's struggles to fit into the mainstream world are fresh and full of wisdom, and Dunn's humor is marvelously dry: "Bonnie had a sudden flash of what he might come up with on his own so she drew a picture on a cocktail napkin of a wide band of channel-set diamonds, and she wrote down the words `platinum' and `size six' and `BIG' and `SOON.' " This is a delightful exploration of the empowerment that comes from escaping a Big Love turned Bad Love. 5-city author tour. Agent, Nicholas Ellison. (July 2) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
When Alison Hopkin's boyfriend, Tom, whom she thought was "the one," decides to leave her right in the middle of a dinner party, Alison is understandably upset. She is also shocked, in denial, hurt, and ultimately furious. To make matters worse, things aren't going so well on the professional front either. Alison's editor at a Philadelphia alternative newspaper has bypassed her for promotion and instead hires Henry. Alison soon finds herself pretty darn attracted to Henry, but after all, isn't she supposed to be in love with Tom? We sympathize and agonize along with Alison as she struggles to identify the man of her dreams, find professional happiness and success, and finally become an adult. Written with charm and warmth, this entertaining first novel by a TV writer will attract fans of Helen Fielding, Jane Green, or Jennifer Weiner. Recommended for any public library with young and hip romantic fiction readers. [See Prepub Alert, LJ 3/15/04.]-Margaret Hanes, Sterling Heights P.L., MI Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.