Hello Everyone and Welcome Back to The Boss Book Club!
Today we will be looking at the bestseller Big Little Lies by Australian author Liane Moriarty. This book has recently been released by HBO as a series starring Reese Witherspoon, Nicole Kidman and Shailene Woodley. So, should you read the book, dive into the series, or avoid the whole thing altogether?
The book centers around the events of a school trivia night-where somebody in the seaside town of Monterey, California, is murdered. After this is set up in chapter one, the reader is taken through the events of the preceding six months leading to the incident, and it is up to the reader to work out who has died, why, and who killed them.
Each chapter alternates its viewpoint between three different women: socialite and extrovert Madeline; new resident and single mother Jane; and wealthy ex-lawyer Celeste. All three have children beginning their first year in the local kindergarten, and the story revolves around the first six months of the school year.
This novel focuses on themes of motherhood, family and female friendship, as well as some much darker themes that will go unmentioned here, as this review is spoiler free. I would say its demographic is firmly set in the women of childbearing age category. Particularly, if you have children at school age, you will perhaps relate to the setting of politics in the schoolyard. This book delves into the trials and tribulations of social etiquette, challenges and lighter moments that occur amongst parents of small children.
Liane Moriarty is very talented at hooking her audience. Certainly at the end of the first two chapters I was drawn into the intrigue of the “whodunnit” and was eager to turn the page for more. However Moriarty’s real talent is writing without clichés. Her characters are relatable, human and their life experiences seem drawn from reality, not written for dramatic impact. She is subtle in her writing, able to alternate between dark themes, but then surprise you with relatable humour with ease. I found I was really going for each of the women in this novel, and wanting them to overcome their respective challenges.
In terms of negatives, I was able to pick ahead of time the major plot twist. This is very unusual, I’ve never been able to pre-empt the twist before! However, the ending, including who it was that was killed, was a surprise to me, and Moriarty did a fantastic job at wrapping up her story. The final countdown towards the last few chapters went quickly and the prose was rapid, articulate and exciting. The ending felt complete and satisfying.
Overall, I would recommend this book as an engaging read from start to finish, particularly if you are a stay-at- home mum or dad that can relate to the school yard scene. It is intriguing, pulls you into the mystery, and will keep you guessing. The book explores some important themes around family and friendship. It is suitable for an adult audience only and would translate well to television.
Have you read the book or seen the TV series? What did you think? Please share your thoughts below!
Happy Reading and thanks for joining us at TBBC!