Sunday, 2 August 2015

Book Review: Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty

I wasn't really planning on reading any more of Liane Moriarty's books so soon after reading What Alice Forgot and The Husbands Secret in quick succession. But then Big Little Lies was plonked on my desk and I thought why the heck not? Similarly set up to the previous books of Moriarty's I've read, Big Little Lies centres around a cast of mums who live in Sydney's northern beaches and it wasn't long before I was fully lost into the story and quickly turning the pages.

As the title suggests many of the character's lives have been affected by lies. The lies they tell to protect loved ones and to protect themselves. There's Celeste who has a seemingly perfect life, married to an outrageously wealthy husband with two gorgeous twin boys, Jane the young single mum who worries over how her son is going to turn out okay without a father in his life and Madeline whose teenage daughter is taking more interest in her Fathers new family than her own, despite the fact her Dad abandoned her as a baby and now that he has a family of his own wants to reconnect.

The thing about Liane Moriarty is that she is so good at taking normal every day people and weaving their stories into something bigger. Each of these woman is dealing with raising their families, balancing jobs, husbands, and kids while responding to the goings on at the local Primary School on the Kindy Orientation Day. When a young girl accuses another child of hurting her it starts off a chain of events between parents and children that will result in a murder.

While this sounds outrageously dramatic I can assure you Big Little Lies is actually a really funny book. Liane Moriarty has a great knack of creating characters that are very very real. From the 'Blonde Bob's named after their perfect haircuts, who run the School to young Jane who 'would be better off in the Eastern Suburbs, where she would be less judged' according to one parent, I had to laugh at how accurate and observant Moriarty is at catching these personalities.

At it's heart though, Big Little Lies has a more serious message. The ease with which we can label some people as good or bad and how others can play into that belief is a strong theme and an interesting one to associate with Kindy kids. I've always like that Liane Moriarty manages to go deeper with her books and really create a great analysis of why her characters turn out the way they do. Big Little Lies takes this idea all the way back to the playground and it's a fascinating and enjoyable read.

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