Thursday, November 4, 2021

Book Review: Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty

Title: Big Little Lies
Author: Liane Moriarty
Publication Date: July 29, 2014
Publisher: Amy Einhorn Books
Pages: 458
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Sometimes it’s the little lies that turn out to be the most lethal...

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 harbors 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.

Big Little Lies is a brilliant take on ex-husbands and second wives, mothers and daughters, schoolyard scandal, and the dangerous little lies we tell ourselves just to survive.

This was my second Liane Moriarty book but my first Moriarty mystery book. Big Little Lies starts off with a murder. The reader doesn’t know who died or who killed them, all they know is that someone died at an elementary school’s parents’ trivia night.

The story has three points of view – Madeline, Celeste, and Jane. Madeline is a spitfire with a strong personality and she’s the first one to try to right an injustice no matter how big or small. Celeste has the kind of beauty and wealth that makes people stop and stare on the street and makes women who know her jealous. To the outside world, she and her life were perfect, but no one ever knows what happens behind closed doors. Jane is the newest and youngest mom on the block. Just 24, she and her son Ziggy moved to a new town. Madeline, Celeste, and Jane all had kids in the same kindergarten class. On the tip of the iceberg, this book is about elementary school parents and the cliques they separate themselves into. Under the surface, however, this book tackles issues such as bullying, eating disorders, sexual assault, and others.

My favorite character in this book was Celeste. She was the only character I found myself completely enjoying no matter what happened to her. Each of these characters felt extremely real to me. I had to constantly remind myself that they weren’t real people to keep from crying. This story continuously kept my guessing. I’m usually good at guessing how stories will end but there was so much of this book that I didn’t see coming. My favorite part of this book was the climax. I literally found it impossible to put the book down once I reached it. The only thing I disliked about this book was my attempt at watching the HBO series based on it. I didn’t even make it five minutes into the show before I had to turn it off.

This book was a five-star read for me and I would definitely recommend it to others. There are some disturbing topics in this book talking about sexual assault, domestic abuse, and bullying so I wouldn’t recommend it to someone who cannot handle these topics, but if you can handle these topics and you love drama, intrigue, and mystery, this is the book for you!