Book Review: Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty

Big Little LiesBig Little Lies by Liane Moriarty
Publisher: G. P. Putnam’s Sons
Release Date: July 29, 2014
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Publisher’s Description:

Sometimes it’s the little lies that turn out to be the most lethal. . . .

A murder… . . . a tragic accident… . . . or just parents behaving badly?

What’s indisputable is that someone is dead.

But who did what?

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. 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.

Madeline, Celeste and Jane are all moms of children starting kindergarten at Pirriwee Public School. Madeline is a flamboyant, flighty mom with no filter. Celeste is wealthy beyond comprehension but that wealth has come at a price. Jane is a young single mom. All of the other mothers have known each other for years making her an outsider when she moves to town right before school starts. Her son is accused of being a bully on the first day of school, making her even more of a pariah.

Big Little Lies is a mystery novel with several mysteries. First, who is the class bully? Secondly. who was killed? A thirdly, who did it? I liked the way the author did this because as I was reading and connecting with the characters, I had the added anxiety (in a good way) of wondering if any of the characters I had grown to love would be the one who was murdered. Because of this, I could not put this book down. I had a few almost sleepless nights up with this book. It’s the kind of book where I look up and the clock and wonder how it’s possible that’s it’s been over two hours since the last time I looked at it.

Interspersed throughout the book are snippets of the police interviews with the other mothers of children who go to the school. These mothers are minor characters and stereotypes of every kind of annoying PTA mom you can think of. That’s what makes the interviews so funny. They inject some hilarious dark humor into the book that keeps it from being too heavy. I find it amazing Moriarty could use humor so effectively in this otherwise serious book.

I have loved the other books I’ve read by Liane Moriarty (see list below) and with Big Little Lies, she has earned a permanent spot on my favorite authors list.

Other books by Liane Moriarty I’ve reviewed:
What Alice Forgot
The Husband’s Secret

  • Sheila DeChantal

    I really enjoyed this one!

  • HeatherAnne Norbury

    I haven’t read this one, but I read The Husband’s Secret. I enjoyed it but I wasn’t sure if I wanted to read another by her. I think I will try this one based on your review. Thanks!