Title: Big Little Lies
Author: Lianne Moriarty
Year Published: 2014
Genre: Black-Comedy, Mystery
Obtained: Public Library
Synopsis: This story follows three women as their children enter kindergarten at Pirriwee Public School, and the chaos that ensues between their friendship and the other parents at the school.
I absolutely LOVED this book! It was fresh and funny, but at the same time had such a dark overtone to it. It literally made me laugh and cry in each sitting as I read it. I am not a parent, so I can’t really relate to what these women have to deal with as their children attend kindergarten, but I’ve lived a suburban life long enough to know how mothers treat each other.
The novel is unique in the way it is written. The plot itself is very linear in structure, but thrown into each chapter are interviews with various secondary and little-known characters that sort of explain the end result of each chapter. The story culminates in a murder at a Trivia Night, which is a school fundraising event attended by the who’s-who of the parents, but it isn’t until the very end of the book that you know who is killed, who killed this character, and why. The interviews inserted into each chapter are conducted by detectives looking to solve the case, and as you get closer to the end, it’s easy to start making guesses as to who murdered whom. But, trust me, your mind will be BLOWN!
The three main characters, Madeline, Jane, and Celeste, represent three different family types within our society. Madeline has a teenaged daughter with her first husband and son and daughter with her second. What’s so ironic about her storyline is that her first husband, who left her for another woman, has a daughter with his own second wife, who is in the same kindergarten class with Madeline’s youngest daughter. (Confused yet??) This makes for some seriously entertaining banter between these characters, which I absolutely loved. It also brings in a lot of emotional insecurities, which really hit me even more.
Jane is a young single mother new to town who is hiding a seriously devastating secret. Little by little that secret slowly starts to leak out, and her admittance of it becomes a turning point for Jane. She is able to confront what has happened to her and finally start to heal. Jane’s relationship with her son is adorable, and I definitely felt for them both as they steered their way through adjusting to a new town, new school and different people.
Celeste is one of the most intriguing characters in the novel and she’s hiding her own secrets. She has twin boys in kindergarten, and she has the picture-perfect family life that everyone envies. SHe’s beautiful, has a loving husband and two adorable twin boys, but looks can definitely be deceiving, especially in Celeste’s case.
I loved the dynamic between these three women and the unlikely friendship that bonds them. They have really wonderful moments together, and a lot of them seriously made me laugh, just as the sadness they experience in their lives made me cry. This book is an emotional roller coaster, and that’s what made me love it so much!
Overall Rating: 5 out of 5 stars.
Storyline: 5 stars (Like I said before, emotional roller coaster!!)
Characters: 4 stars (These characters are flawed, which makes me love them even more!)
Setting: 4 stars (It’s set in a small beach town in Australia. Not much that makes it too special.)
Reading Pace: 5 stars (I finished it in two days!)
Memorable Quote: “It had never crossed her mind that sending your child to school would be like going back to school yourself.”
The River at Night by Erica Ferencik
My grandmother actually recommended this book to me. She’s an avid reader and fellow library-stalker, so her opinion means a lot to me. We’ll see how it is! Review coming soon!