Friday, 30 June 2017

Review: Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty

I'm a bit late to the party with this book. I remember my friends raving about it when it first came out, and I kept meaning to read it but somehow never got around to it. Then I saw the TV series advertised on Sky and thought I'd watch that instead - and had to give up after one episode because I found it so boring! Yet my friends had loved the book! So when I had another chance to download it, this time I said 'Yes, please!' I'm so glad I did!

The story is about a group of women who live in an Australian beach town called Pirriwee (in the TV series it was set in America). They have young children who have started at the local school. Despite their apparent 'perfect' lives, they all have very real problems. Madeline is struggling with her relationship with her teenage daughter. To tell you Celeste's secret would be a bit of a spoiler, but you'll work it out for yourself. Jane's reason for constantly moving house comes out a bit later.

The story starts with a death on school Trivia Night. Was it murder? The police think so, and each chapter ends with a statement from one of the characters about what they think has happened and who they think is guilty. The reader doesn't find out anything until the end, not even the name of the victim, but to be honest I didn't care who was murdered or why! I was having far too much fun reading about the lives of these fascinating women!

The strength of the book is in the horribly realistic characters. I recognised myself, my friends, the mothers at my children's school... All the rivalries, misunderstandings, petty jealousies... The way a small, insignificant incident can be twisted and blown out of proportion. In some ways the mothers behaved more like children than their offspring! By turns hilariously funny and desperately sad, the dialogue is full of classic one-liners - but the real skill of the author is her ability to observe and recreate everyday life, and yet make it so relatable and entertaining. I am in awe.

In theory, I should have hated Big Little Lies. I prefer escapism in the books I read and tend to avoid anything with a domestic setting or serious issues. So it just goes to show, you should always try reading something out of your comfort zone!

One of my favourite books this year!

Thank you to Liane Moriarty, Penguin and Netgalley for my copy of this book, which I received in exchange for an honest review. 

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