Review: Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty

big little liesMan, I flew through this book. Partially because I only had it on a 7-day loan from the library, but also partially because it was really good.

And maybe because I could relate a little bit – being in the world of school-age children, and being a working mom. I can see how cliquey it is. There’s definitely a group at the school who know each other, and hang out, and yeah, most of them are stay-at-home’s. I don’t have a problem with that. I don’t have time for the drama, so I steer clear. If there’s scandal going on, I don’t know about it. I have enough on my plate to deal with, without the burden of knowing that someone’s nanny is screwing their husband. Know what I’m sayin’?

Big Little Lies shows how small omissions, avoiding the truth and inventing reality can grow into a huge issue. Many of the characters are living with lies. One of the largest in the novel is the sham of a marriage between Celeste and her husband Perry. Behind closed doors, the marriage is physically abusive; to outsiders looking in, they have the perfect life. Jane is both the recipient and the holder of a lie – Renata and the “Blond Bobs” at the school ostracize her and her son Ziggy because of an alleged incident between Ziggy and Renata’s daughter, Amabella. The rift takes on a life of its own because of continued misunderstandings and preconceived ideas of the type of mom Jane is. And Jane is hiding a secret about Ziggy’s father that turns the story on its ear.

Throughout the novel, in each chapter, we see excerpts from some kind of police questioning surrounding Trivia Night at the school, where someone died. We don’t find out who until the end of the novel, so there is great suspense built up as we wonder who it’s going to be. The excerpts also make you really hate some of the women, as they are pushing their own agendas and casting suspicion on their enemies.

Overall this is an impressive page turner. Not exactly intellectual stuff, mind you, but it’s a shade above your average beach read. Heck, I stayed up til almost 1 a.m. because I was desperate to know what happened in the end. I’d say that’s the mark of a writing job well done.

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