Monday, March 30, 2020

Book Review: Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty

Title: Big Little Lies
Author: Liane Moriarty
Publisher: Berkley
Publication Date: July 29th 2014
Print Length: 458 pages
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
From the author of Nine Perfect Strangers, Truly Madly Guilty, and The Husband’s Secret comes the #1 New York Times bestselling novel about the dangerous little lies we tell ourselves just to survive.

A murder...A tragic accident...Or just parents behaving badly? What’s indisputable is that someone is dead.

Madeline is a force to be reckoned with. She’s funny, biting, and passionate; she remembers everything and forgives no one. Celeste is the kind of beautiful woman who makes the world stop and stare but she is paying a price for the illusion of perfection. New to town, single mom Jane is so young that another mother mistakes her for a nanny. She comes with a mysterious past and a sadness beyond her years. These three women are at different crossroads, but they will all wind up in the same shocking place.

Big Little Lies is a brilliant take on ex-husbands and second wives, mothers and daughters, schoolyard scandal, and the little lies that can turn lethal.

After reading (and loving) What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty, I had wanted to read more by her. When I finally got the opportunity, I chose Big Little Lies. Liane Moriarty did not disappoint!

Many things are happening for the parents of the children that attend Pirriwee Public school. Madeline is happy go lucky, but she isn't afraid to speak her mind. Celeste is gorgeous and seems to have the perfect life, but it's what goes on behind closed doors that make her want to run away from it all. Jane, a single mom, is younger than most of the parents and has just moved to the area. With her, she brings a very big secret. As their lives intersect, things come to a head leaving one person dead. The thing is, was it murder, self defense, suicide, or just an unfortunate accident?

The plot for Big Little Lies is easy to navigate and understand. It was easy to imagine myself as a bystander in the book whilst all the action was going on around me. Most of the characters in this book lead a privileged life, so it was nice to get a sneak peek into their lives and see that they have problems as well. The pacing was done beautifully. The chapters weren't very long, so I kept telling myself one more chapter which we all know turns into many more chapters! The prose was fantastic and flowed perfectly. I kept wanting to know more and would try to guess who the character was that died. I enjoyed the dialogue that would start off most chapters where a character was talking to someone regarding the death of a character in present day. I did predict which character would end up dead though, but I suppose that was a lucky guess. There was one big plot twist I didn't see coming, and I loved that plot twist! The book ends with no cliff hangers, and all of my questions were answered.

I enjoyed every character in Big Little Lies. Each and every character was well developed and interesting to learn about. Although the story follows Madeline, Celeste, and Jane, other characters are fleshed out through their narratives. I loved how Madeline wasn't afraid to tell it like it was. She just could not hold anything back, yet people still wanted to be her friend.  Her loyalty to her friends was admirable, and I would love a friend like her! Her husband, Ed, was very supportive to Madeline, and it was easy to see that he loved her. Her oldest daughter, Abigail, was an interesting one. I liked reading about her and seeing how she would turn out throughout everything. (The virginity thing sure was interesting, and I would have done exactly as Madeline!) Madeline's youngest daughter Chloe was cute. She reminded me so much of a younger Madeline. Nathan, Madeline's ex-husband, and his wife Bonnie were other characters that helped flesh out Madeline. I did like Bonnie's carefree personality though. I also loved reading about Celeste, and I felt bad for her many times with what she had to endure. Sure, to others, she had it all - looks, a huge house, a very rich and good looking husband who seemed to adore her, beautiful twin boys - but her pain was obvious throughout, and I could understand her hesitation to do the right thing. Getting to read about her thought process was interesting. Perry, Celeste's husband, came across as very charismatic. It was easy to see why everyone loved him so much. I wanted good things to happen for Jane and her little boy, Ziggy. Jane's love for Ziggy oozed from the pages. The love she had for Ziggy was so sweet. Ziggy seemed like such a cute little boy, and I just wanted to hug him and never let go especially after what happens very early on in the book.

Trigger warnings for Big Little Lies include death, drinking, drunkenness, profanity, domestic violence, violence, and sexual situations (although not graphic).

All in all, Big Little Lies is a delicious morsel of a book. It delves right into the lives of its characters who come to feel like close friends and family by the end of the book. I would definitely recommend Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty to everyone aged 16+ who are in dire need of a fantastic read with a great cast of characters and a plot that sucks you right in!

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