Happy Friday friends! I’m so excited to share with you another ‘debrief’ for the Busy Girls Book Club, this time I’ll be chatting all things Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty. This was such a juicy read and was so highly recommended to me, I would suggest grabbing your copy pronto and settling in for a weekend of fab fiction – let’s get into it!
BIG LITTLE LIES BY LIANE MORIARTY
Please note, this is a review on the book and there may be some plot spoilers so if you plan to read Big Little Lies be sure to revisit this post afterwards and share your thoughts with me!
This book has created A LOT of hype across the globe – especially since the book was optioned as an HBO mini-series featuring a talented female line up including Reese Witherspoon, Nicole Kidman and Shaileen Woodley (to name a few). I am yet to watch the HBO series which was released earlier this year via Foxtel here in Australia and I am DYING to see it!
Anyhow, this book didn’t disappoint and although it took me a little while to get through it (I kept getting too busy to invest time to read it) I was enthralled every time I got stuck in.
The book is set in an Australian coastal town (although the mini television series has been adapted to suit an American format) and explores the lives of the families and their children who attend the Pirriwee Public School which is very much a school for the middle-to-upper class. We are introduced to the three main characters in which the story focuses; Jane, a single mother with a bit of a tumultuous past; Madeline, a feisty mother of three, and Celeste, the wealthy, prim and proper wife and mother to twins with a seemingly perfect husband.
The book is written in a way that the main “event”, or the pinnacle point of drama (being a themed school trivia night), is referenced regularly throughout the chapters. We know from the clever little dialogues at the end of each chapter a death occurs at the trivia night which is now being investigated and the opinions of other mothers and fathers who attend the trivia night are wittingly documented throughout. I’ve read some reviews on the way the trivia night is drawn out and referenced in this way and some people found it quite annoying as they wanted to skip ahead to the main event, but I didn’t find it annoying at all.
So much happens in the lead up to the trivia night and there is so much character development, which I love, that helped make the trivia night all the more interesting.
Moriarty really builds the characters up in a way that I found myself visualizing them, their homes and their surrounds in my head, and I love that! I’m not a mother, but I really like the way Moriarty managed to set the scene for the school and the school community. I can imagine the school drop off/pick up zone with all of the glamorous mothers gathering and gossiping on the daily. It’s such a common idea that mothers’ groups can be bitchy and Moriarty really creates the drama within the characters’ relationships.
*** Spoiler – do not read on from here if you don’t want the plot to be spoiled ***
When it finally came to the trivia night I found myself furiously flicking through the pages as I read to find out who was murdered. For so long throughout the book I felt the author eluded to the fact Celeste was going to be the murder victim since her relationship with Perry had increasingly become so violent. Plus, after Perry found out about Celeste’s plans to leave him and take the children, I thought for sure this would tip him over the edge to kill her.
The big bombshell for the story was the revelation that Jane’s one-night-stand with “Saxon Banks” (resulting in the conception of her son Ziggy) was in fact with Celeste’s husband, Perry. I was a little shocked when this dropped – I was not expecting Perry to be the father at all and I liked the way Moriarty tied it all together with the revelation Perry had been using his cousin’s name as an alias when meeting (and seducing) other women. The only thing I was a little upset by was how little time there was for Celeste and Perry to discuss this revelation before he was shoved off the balcony to his death. I felt like there wasn’t enough dialogue and this particular scene felt a little rushed especially since the entire book really lead us to this point.
I also thought the involvement of Bonnie, Madeline’s ex husband’s wife (sounds very ‘Days of Our Lives’, I know), was a little strange. It almost felt like the plot line of Bonnie’s violent past was an after thought so as to leave Jane, Madeline and Celeste out of direct linkage to the murder.
The last couple of chapters in the book really sucked me in, however. I really wanted to know how everything would pan out, although I think it also felt a little rushed towards the end. I’m so glad the relationship between Jane and Tom (the amazing barista from Blue Blues) eventuated as I really think she needed to have a win for her character.
I think the message underneath the entire book is very much about not judging people by their exterior, particularly in reference to Celeste and Perry’s relationship. Celeste represents a lot of women in Australia (and across the world) who are suffering silently and ashamedly with domestic violence and this story, although it is incredibly addictive, is a great highlighter of such an important issue.
I loved this book and wouldn’t hesitate to read others by Liane Moriarty as I have heard they are all equally fabulous! Have you read Big Little Lies? Did you enjoy it? Do you agree with some of the points I’ve made? Don’t be afraid to share your ideas below!
*Disclaimer: Notes on any of the books reviewed in the Busy Girls Book Club are my opinion only unless otherwise noted.
She Means Business by Carrie Green of the Female Entrepreneur Association. If you’re keen to chat all things business and females kicking butt in business grab a copy of this book and read along! I’ll be debriefing it on the blog soon!
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