Liane Moriarty has popped up on this blog before, more than once, and I enjoyed both of those books immensely. So, not long after Christmas, her newest book came onto my radar. Especially since its cover was a giant lollipop, which was all smashed. How could I not love that??
So here’s to the first review of a book I read in 2015 – three months into the year, unfortunately!
(I got an American version of this book. In the UK it was published as Little Lies, with a different (not as cool) cover. Although it does match The Husband’s Secret and What Alice Forgot better. Whatever. The lollipop is pretty.)
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.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It was a really interesting take on a murder mystery, in that we didn’t actually know who was murdered until close to the end (although you could figure it out, really). The one thing I didn’t guess was the killer. But yay, twice the amount of guessing, when you know neither the killer nor the victim!
(Big) Little Lies starts off the night of the murder, then flashes back to various schoolyard incidents in the weeks leading up to the night of the death. Was it a murder? We don’t really know.
There were three main characters in the book, three women with children in the same class in school. Their three voices were distinct and entertaining, and although some of their storylines were a little clichéd or predictable, there was still a great deal of enjoyment to be gotten from their stories.
I always forget that Moriarty is Australian, and thus the idea of the new school year starting after summer also being the new calendar year threw me for a while, but that’s mostly because I’m slow to pick up on this kind of thing.
Nonetheless, an enjoyable and escapist read.