Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty
My first thought when I began reading this book - oh gosh! 486 pages? How will I finish it in time for my other novels? I have a huge pile of books that are sitting quite snugly next to me on my bedside table. I have a habit of ordering as many books as I can online on Amazon. Since its coming from America and I want to save on shipping, I do mass ordering of books - sometimes forgetting that I already own the same book! Recently I had ordered Before I go to Sleep by S J Watson only to reaise that I had the earlier edition of the same book collecting dust in my study cupboard!! Plus I am more into psychological thrillers these days because of my recent reading of The Girl on the Train. So I was pondering as to whether I will find Big Little Lies interesting (I had ordered this book much earler) ...But I managed to finish this novel in a week!
Big Little Lies is a 2014 novel written by Liane Moriarty. Her main inspiration for the story came from a radio interview she heard where a woman recounted her parents' abusive relationship. Even as an adult, she would hide under her bed to escape from her parents' screaming matches - a scene she incorporated into the novel. This novel is considered as one of the top 10 books that every book club should discuss. Well we haven't discussed it yet in our Book Club. But I think we'll lay off Liane Moriarty for a while having already discussed two of her books recently.
Big Little Lies is essentially about the friendship between 3 women who are at crossroads of their lives. Madeline, Jane and Celeste all have their kids entering kindergarten at Perriwee Public School. Jane's son Ziggy is accused of bullying another classmate which he vehemently denies. While discussing the lives of these 3 women and how the parents handle Ziggy's supposed bullying, the novel leads us to the Trivia Night where there is a murder.
This is a women's murder mystery. Till the end, I didn't know who is going to be murdered and who does it. Suspenseful and at times hilarious, I liked the way this book is written - it is a mix of the narration of the weeks leading up to Trivia Night ending with snippets of interviews given by the people involved after that dreadful night.There are many twists along the way which kept me hooked. It addresses many serious issues like bullying in schools, domestic violence, single motherhood, beauty obsessed society.
On the downside, I did feel there was too much attention given to detail - the reader doesn't need to know that Celeste lived in a massive tall sprawling house with soaring cathedral ceilings etc. A mansion would have sufficed, don't you think? I dislike draggy overly descriptive books - Yawn. Books that go straight to the point interests me like The Girl on The Train. I gave up Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan after the first few chapters!! Too much details!! Too much. ( I am using much instead of many on purpose - they are uncountable !)
Overall, I would recommend this book if you don't have anything else good to read. It is not a dark book and definitely not scary. It did raise a few questions in my head when reading certain parts like
'Sometimes, doing the wrong thing was also right'
'The mother sets the definitive tone in every family'
'There are so many levels of evil in this world'
Big Little Lies has been made into a TV series starring Nicole Kidman, Reese Witherspoon and Shailene Woodley. Watch the series if you don't feel like reading 486 pages. But do be prepared to be disappointed - in my experience, the movie or the Tv series is never as good as the novel. I watched the movies Me Before You and The Girl on the Train and they both failed to capture and deliver the essence and drama of the novels. Can't blame the producer - he/she has to squeeze an entire novel into so few hours. Anyway, get this novel at Amazon for around US$10 or at your local bookstore. Happy reading!
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