Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty

big little liesMadeline 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.

Review

Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty is set in a close knit, suburban community full of unique characters. There is a school in town where almost all the drama takes place. On the orientation day for the kindergarten kids, Madeline meets Jane, the newest mom in town who she then introduces to Celeste. On this day, we are also introduced to the other moms and their kids. There are cliques at the school and no, it is not the kids. It’s the moms who are in cliques. Obviously, if cliques exist so does a lot of drama.

Madeline stands out for various reasons. I really liked how loyal she was. She was very protective of her friends and especially Jane who was having trouble fitting into the new community. I also sympathized with all her struggles with her ex-husband and his new wife. It broke my heart when her daughter seemed to be picking her ex over her. On the other hand, Jane was sympathetic. She was the only single mom at the kindergarten. In addition, her son Ziggy was being accused of things that made the other moms pick on Jane. Her background story was even more heartbreaking .I really liked Jane and her kid. Even her parents were interesting to read about. On the other hand, Celeste was a mystery. She is the one character that I didn’t expect to like so much at the start. She seemed aloof. In addition, she was portrayed as being a bit too perfect. However, her story is the one that will most likely stick with me for a very long time.

True to the title, this book is full of deceptive characters. There are so many secrets in the town; everyone seems to be harboring one. Some of the secrets were shocking. Others, simply scandalous though admittedly, all of them made this a very gripping tale. I also liked the suspense in the book. Right from the start, it is mentioned that a murder has taken place. There is a lot of gossip around town and speculation about the night when the murder took place. I wanted to know who died. I also couldn’t guess how the murder took place and especially who the killer was. This made this book an intriguing read from start to finish.

Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty was quite an interesting read. It sort of reminded me of Desperate Housewives with all the drama that was taking place in the town. I didn’t expect the book to be heavy but it actually was. There were themes of bullying, sexual and domestic abuse. There was also murder. However, the drama and gossip also added humuor to the story. I liked the theme of friendship especially between the moms. I am usually not a fan of long books (this had 500 pages) but I enjoyed reading this one. The pacing was great, characters memorable and the story-line addictive. Now I can’t wait to start watching the TV show.

Big little lies movie poster