Little, Brown, Jul 2004, 21.95, 228 pp.
Alison and Tom prepare to host a dinner party with some friends when she realizes that she is out of Dijon mustard needed to make a sauce for the chicken she is cooking. Tom goes to the grocery store to buy some, but instead of returning with non-spicy mustard, he calls an hour later to inform Alison that he is not coming back because he loves someone else. Tom demands that Alison not write a word of how he broke up their relationship in her weekly column she writes for the Philadelphia Times, a floundering Village Voice wannabe.
Tom, who met his college sweetheart for lunch periodically, went back to the beautiful Kate Pearce, with whom he has been sleeping with for several months. A broke Alison, with the encouragement of her pregnant friend Bonnie seeks THE BIG LOVE. She meets human males including her boss on sex quests, but though she partakes with some she keeps asking what about Henry, her peer at the paper? He does not seek her scalp for his jock strap, but instead provides support to the bewildered Alison.
THE BIG LOVE is an amusing and intelligent observation of how a thirty-two years old human female reacts to her live-in lover dumping her. Alison who narrates much of the chick lit tale is a lively protagonist wondering whether she wants Tom to return to her (could King and Alison's girlfriends be right that “They Always Come Back”?) or find her BIG LOVE as Tom obviously is not. With a strong support cast, Sarah Dunn provides a witty account of recovering and exploring life following a “Big Love” dumping.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner