Sunday, 21 July 2019

Review - Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty

There's probably many great books I've come across at one time or another in stores but I never picked them up based on their titles or covers. I recall seeing Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty at several Walmart stores when it was first published in 2014. However, the cover didn't appeal to me, so I never gave the title another thought. It wasn't until after I'd watched the HBO limited-series adaptation that I became interested in reading the novel.

Big Little Lies begins with a murder that occurred at the Pirriwee Public School's trivia night. Then the story quickly flashes back six months before the event. The plot mostly focuses on three different women - Madeline, Celeste, and Jane.

Madeline is a mother of three, with the oldest being from her first marriage. Chloe is the youngest who's about to start Kindergarten. Most mothers would be excited (and a bit scared) about their child starting school, but Madeline is more worried about having to deal with her ex-husband and his young wife, Bonnie, as their daughter, Skye, is about also going to be attending Kindergarten with Chole.

Celeste is an at-home mother of twin boys, Max and Josh, who will also be attending Kindergarten at Pirriwee. From everyone else's viewpoint, Celeste has the prefect life with the perfect husband, Perry, and their wonderful sons. However, what's unknown to the world is Perry is an abusive control freak who takes his anger out on Celeste.

Jane is the youngest of the three main characters. She's a single mother of one son, Ziggy, who wanted to start a new life by moving near the beach. Ziggy is also attending Kindergarten at Pirriwee. Jane has been keeping a dark secret about her son - Ziggy is a product of rape!

On the morning of the Kindergarten orientation, Jane befriends Madeline and Celeste, which is a good thing as she needs all the friends she can get after what happens next - Ziggy is accused of bulling another student, Amabella, who happens to the daughter of Renata Klein, a rich socialite who overreacts to just about everything.

The orientation incident begins a domino effect for these three women which comes to a collusion course during trivia night!

Final Thoughts

Typically, when I read a book after seeing the movie or television series, I'm really disappointed at what parts the adaptation left out from the novel. However, that isn't the case with Big Little Lies. The book was perfectly adapted by HBO. The only major differences is the setting. The book is set in Sydney, Australia and the television series is set in Monterey, California. Yes, there are a few tiny differences but basically it's the same story in both versions.

This is the first time I've read anything by Liane Moriarty and I was impressed by her writing style. The plot is intriguing, the characters have plenty of depth to them, and the dialogue is witty and realistic. 

Overall, Big Little Lies is well-written, fast-paced mystery with a little humor tossed into the mix.

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