Friday, April 17, 2015

Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty

 Big Little Lies follows three women, each at a crossroads: Madeline is a force to be reckoned with. She’s funny and biting, passionate, she remembers everything and forgives no one. She’s just turned forty—forty?! Her ex-husband and his yogi new wife have moved into her beloved beachside community, and their daughter is in the same kindergarten class as Madeline’s youngest ( how is this possible?). And to top it all off, Madeline’s teenage daughter seems to be choosing Madeline’s ex-husband over her. (How. Is. This. Possible?).

Celeste is the kind of beautiful woman who makes the world stop and stare. While she may seem a bit flustered at times, who wouldn’t be, with those rambunctious twin boys? Now that the boys are starting school, Celeste and her husband look set to become the king and queen of the school parent body. But royalty often comes at a price, and Celeste is grappling with how much more she is willing to pay.

New to town, single mom Jane is so young that another mother mistakes her for the nanny. Jane is sad beyond her years and harbors secret doubts about her son. But why? 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.

My take: 5 looks
The more I read by Liane Moriarty, the more I want to read by her. Her story construction is right up my alley, and I am always taken aback by the twists and turns that her books hold. It is edge-of-you-seat reading. And when there is a murder to be solved, this is the best formula!

The three lead women in this story are at varying states of the spectrum: Madeline is an open book, speaking her mind, not pretending to like those she doesn't, and quick with her emotions. Celeste is a beautiful woman who seams to have it all, but harbors secrets that no one knows ... or do they? Finally, Jane is all about secrets. We don't know why she has settled in this community, and there seems to be more to her than meets the eye, with the promise of a juicy story.

On the outside of the circle are fun characters which serve to round out the tale. Bonnie is an earth-mother who seems a little too good to be true; Renata is the one you love to hate; and Harper is a born sycophant.

But even the men play a part here. Ed, Nathan, and Perry all have stories of their own and play a nice counter to their strong women and strong-willed children.

In Big Little Lies, you take quite a rollercoaster ride through the pitfalls of being a competitive parent of a child in K-6. Written with wit, each chapter ends with various asides of various characters as a murder investigation takes it course. It is one of my faves of the year!

Highly recommended.

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