Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty
Penguin (ebook), 2015
I got a copy for free from the publisher via NetGalley.
What It’s About
A murder . . . a tragic accident . . . or just parents behaving badly?
What’s indisputable is that someone is dead.
But who did what?
Big Little Lies follows three women, each at a crossroads:
Madeline is a force to be reckoned with. She’s funny and biting, passionate, she remembers everything and forgives no one. Her ex-husband and his yogi new wife have moved into her beloved beachside community, and their daughter is in the same kindergarten class as Madeline’s youngest (how is this possible?). And to top it all off, Madeline’s teenage daughter seems to be choosing Madeline’s ex-husband over her. (How. Is. This. Possible?).
Celeste is the kind of beautiful woman who makes the world stop and stare. While she may seem a bit flustered at times, who wouldn’t be, with those rambunctious twin boys? Now that the boys are starting school, Celeste and her husband look set to become the king and queen of the school parent body. But royalty often comes at a price, and Celeste is grappling with how much more she is willing to pay.
New to town, single mom Jane is so young that another mother mistakes her for the nanny. Jane is sad beyond her years and harbours secret doubts about her son. But why? While Madeline and Celeste soon take Jane under their wing, none of them realizes how the arrival of Jane and her inscrutable little boy will affect them all.
‘That doesn’t sound like a school trivia night’, said Mrs Patty Ponder to Marie Antoinette. ‘That sounds like a riot’.
What I Thought
This was my first time reading Moriarty.
I loved Big Little Lies. It took ages to read, simply because I’ve had a lot of stuff going on recently. Today, I was determined to finish it. I didn’t want to finish it because I wanted it out of the way, I just hate taking more than a week to read a book unless it’s a thousand pages or more and it took me three weeks to finish Big Little Lies.
Anyway, I digress. I loved this book. Moriarty uses an unusual structure. The book opens with someone having being killed (but we don’t know who) and time shifts to a few weeks before the event, gradually revealing various things that led up to the tragedy. This is intercepted by the odd snapshot of current events with the police interviewing various people. This structure works really well. I had no idea who’d died or what the hell was going on. I did think one of the women had died. She didn’t but her husband did, so technically I was half-right. I like a book that baffles me and keeps me guessing until the final few chapters. Big Little Lies has a lot of well-written, complex characters. They’re an interesting bunch, although some of the mothers go OTT about and would have been strangled if I’d been one of the other characters.
Big Little Lies is a great thriller, packed with suspense. I can’t wait to read more Moriarty.