Tuesday, July 21, 2015
Big Little Lies
This book. Big Little Lies was an amazing read. The story of three women- Madeline, Jane and Celeste- and the trials and tribulations of married life and social interaction in an Australian suburb. Madeline has the misfortune of having her ex- husband living in the same community with his new age wife, and their daughter is in the same kindergarten class as her daughter. Jane is a single mom and her son is also attending kindergarten at the same school- she meets Madeline by accident one morning and they hit it off- fast friends- in spite of their vastly different lifestyles. Jane has a secret in her past she can't let go, and when her son is accused of bullying, it sets off a chain of events that will have a profound impact on these three women- and many others besides.
Celeste has the perfect life, seemingly- wealthy, beautiful, with an enormous house and a loving husband. But their marriage is not as happy as it seems, and Celeste struggles with a secret of her own that she can't share. Together these three women have to face all manner of crises as life slowly unravels. The book starts with an incident at a trivia night gathering at the school. The story is told from the perspectives of the three women, but some chapters also have snippets of (often hilarious) comments from other mothers, and a few dads, at the school. There is a police investigation, and the book takes us through the events leading up to the fateful trivia night.
There's so much that happens to these three women, and others besides, that it would be spoilery to go into any more detail. Suffice to say that this book is wholly enjoyable, laugh out loud funny at times- and probably the book I've read this year. I absolutely love Madeline- at first she seems vain and shallow, but as you get to know her she turns out to be funny, loyal and tough. If I were going through the mommy wars (or daddy wars, for that matter) I would want her on my side. She is a true friend to Jane and Celeste, and has a fierce sense of justice along with a love of fashion. She is one of my favorite protagonists in a long time.
Jane and Celeste both have a tragic element to their stories, and a lot of ground is covered here- joy, betrayal, infidelity, friendship- and lies. The lies we tell ourselves, and others. The lies we use to make our lives look more glamorous, or to hide an ugly truth. The lies we sometimes don't know we're telling, maybe we've done it so often. And anyone who has kids in school or has been involved in school drama will doubtless find much familiar here.
The writing is excellent, the characters sparkle (and seem so familiar), and the dialogue is a joy. I was into the story from the first page, and couldn't wait to get to trivia night to see what happened. And there is a twist at the end where my jaw about hit the floor. Some trivia night! And a decision made by those present made me want to cheer! Such a great story- I want to go out and read every of Liane Moriarty's books. Loved it- and I'll miss Madeline and her exploits. Read this one.