Title: Big Little Lies
Author: Liane Moriarty
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Publisher: Pan Macmillan Australia
Publication Date: 29th July 2014
Rating: 5/5 stars
‘I guess it all started with the mothers.’
‘It was all just a terrible misunderstanding.’
‘I’ll tell you exactly why it happened.’
Pirriwee Public’s annual school Trivia Night has ended in a shocking riot. A parent is dead. Was it murder, a tragic accident…or something else entirely?
Big Little Lies is a funny, heartbreaking, challenging story of ex-husbands and second wives, new friendships, old betrayals and schoolyard politics.
No. 1 New York Times bestselling author Liane Moriarty turns her unique gaze on the dangerous little lies we tell ourselves every day and what really goes on behind closed suburban doors.
‘Let me be clear. This is not a circus. This is a murder investigation.’
On the surface, this book was about a group of kindergarten school mothers and their interactions. It focuses primarily around three characters – Madeline, a feisty mother of three whose ex-husband has a five-year-old in the same class and whose teenage daughter is causing her strife, Celeste, a stunning woman married to an incredibly wealthy man whose marriage appears perfect but is in fact plagued by domestic abuse, and Jane, a young, single mother who has moved to Pirriwee for a sea change but is still haunted by her past.
The book revolves around a murder – we know that it has happened but until the last two chapters who have no idea which character has been killed nor which character has done the killing. Instead, the story is constructed in such a way that introduces us to the characters and their lives in the lead-up to the Trivia Night. There were so many points where I believed that I had solved the mystery, only to be completely shocked by the ending! Moriarty writes in such a way as to bemuse the reader – to invite us so completely into the world of Pirriwee Public but keep us on our toes. We don’t want to get too attached in case our favourite character turns out to be the murder victim!
I know that any review I write cannot do justice to just how much I enjoyed this book! It was easy reading, yet absolutely impossible to put down! Moriarty has written a perfectly entertaining novel – a mix of genres makes it difficult to define but the characters are what keep us grounded – so very real and relatable. While its target audience of middle-age mothers will probably enjoy it most, both myself and my mother enjoyed it immensely, showing that great books transcend ages and life experience. Both of us would recommend it to our friends, particularly for summer beach reading!