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Book Review: Big Little Lies

 

Must Read:  Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty

Back cover: “Madeline remembers everything and forgives no one.  Her ex-husband and his yogi wife have moved into her beachside community, and their daughter is in the same kindergarten class as Madeline’s youngest.  Now that Celeste’s twin boys are starting school, she and her husband look set to become the king and queen of the parent body.  But royalty comes at a price, and Celeste is grappling with how much she is willing to pay.  Young, single mom Jane is sad beyond her years and harbors secret doubts about her son.  While Madeline and Celeste soon take Jane under their wing, none of them realizes how  the arrival of Jane and her inscrutable little boy will affect them all.”

Big Little Lies is Liane Moriarty’s comedic murder mystery.  For all my mommy friends out there, this is a must read!  The story is told in pieces by several different characters, all of which are parents of incoming kindergartners at the elementary school.  I don’t know much about Liane Moriarty (this is the first of her books I’ve read), but I know she has the elementary parent scene down pat!

The characters include Jane, the young, single Mum (yes, mum.  The story is set is Australia) who is new to the area; Celeste, an attractive wealthy mom who seemingly has it all; and Madeline, once divorced and now married again, Madeline is clearly your been-there-done-that friend who helps navigate.  Early on in the story, Madeline outlines the who’s who at the school including the PTA’s “blonde bobs” (because you must have a blonde bob if you want to join PTA).  The dynamics in the school are classic and written with a clear understanding of what it’s like for moms navigating the system.

The book is surprisingly funny and feels like you’re hanging out with your best girlfriends.  Where in most books, I can like a character or two, I found on this one, I was madly in love with the characters and their families.  It is a murder mystery though (or perhaps it wasn’t murder.  You be the judge), but it doesn’t start with the murder.  It comes later in the story.  It’s a clever way to write it and one that kept me guessing as to whom it was that was going to get the axe.  The story is written so suspensefully (in a good way) that up until the moment of the murder (murder?), you could see at least half a dozen characters that could be offed.

It’s an interesting story with realistic characters and told surprisingly well.  I’ll be reading a few more of Liane Moriarty’s books in the future and if they’re all as well done as this one, I can see her becoming a favorite author.  I not only highly recommend this one, but I’ll put it down as a must read!

What have you read lately?

Christine

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