The Big Girls

Susanna Moore

This latest work by Susanna Moore is drenched in sexuality. Unfortunately, it’s not what can be termed the “good” kind. The Big Girls examines the lives of four characters—a prison psychologist, a female inmate, a corrections officer and a Hollywood starlet—whose paths cross in a bizarre love/power quadrangle. The setting is in and around a women’s prison in New York, where the institution’s chief psychologist is, naturally, the most dysfunctional person in the place. Though the story sounds intriguing enough to be worth the effort, it winds up going nowhere. The characters are embarrassingly shallow, and pointless sex scenes scattered throughout the novel at odd places make one wish these people would keep their legs—and their mouths—shut.