Wednesday, September 3, 2014

#BookReview: Big Little Lies - Liane Moriarty

How good is Big Little Lies? Reese Witherspoon and Nicole Kidman have already optioned the rights to it  and it just came out weeks ago. It really is that good. Set in an idyllic beach town in Australia, it’s a story about bullying, lying and assumptions and centers around three unlikely friends.

Outgoing and loud-mouthed Madeline has never met an argument she didn’t like. She’s also one of those mothers that knows everyone and everyone knows her. An old hand at playground etiquette and school rules, and the possessor of a tongue sharper than a razor, she’s definitely one of those women you want on your side.

The beautiful Celeste appears to live a charmed life. Her marriage to an extremely wealthy man has allowed her to quit her legal practice and focus her time on their twin boys. From the outside looking in, she appears to have everything.

Newcomers to town, Jane and her son Ziggy have a bit of a problem adjusting to life in the small town. Unlike most of the other mothers at their school, Jane is single and not just previously married and now divorced, she’s never been married single. That alone is enough to make some mothers shun her. But that, coupled with another child’s accusation of being bitten by Ziggy, is enough to make Jane the center of the powerful playground mom, Renata’s, rage and place Ziggy on the “do not play with” list of other kids.

Never one to care what anyone thinks, Madeline, and her old friend, Celeste, take Jane under their wings and form an unspoken coalition against Renata and the Blonde Bombs, also known as the queens of the PTA. United by the fact that they all have children in the same kindergarten class, the women could not be any more different. Each is hiding a secret that she believes will change the way her friends and others view her.

Big Little Lies ties a lot together within its pages. Bullying is a hot topic these days, but Moriarty does a good job of reminding readers that it doesn’t just happen on a child’s level. There are plenty of bullies in the adult world and they’re on full display in Big Little Lies. It’s interesting to watch how bullying affects both kids and adults and to see how they eventually cope with it.

There were a lot of unexpected twists and turns. I think I said “well damn” a loud a few times, which is always a sign that a book has blown me away. Big Little Lies starts as a perfectly harmless book about life in suburbia and turns into an absolute page turner. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Published: July 2014

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