I want to share with you all the book I just finished reading a few days ago. Liane Moriarty’s Big Little Lies might look like a romance but it actually is not. It’s an engaging mystery and comedy novel that will hook the reader from the first seconds and leave them craving for the answers.
When I first picked up the book, I expected a funny and a bit cheesy romance, and I was still ready to give it a go. Only a few pages further, though, I understood that there was much more to the book than I expected. But first things first.
The story begins with a tragic accident at the Pirriwee Public School‘s Trivia Night, which the readers find out no details about as the story suddenly goes back 6 months to the past, where they meet three mothers.
Madeline, Celeste, and Jane are the three women who became friends as they got involved in the ongoing Pirriwee Public School drama when their kids started the new school year there. The gossip, the real and fake relationships, competition and misunderstandings make them stay close and become good friends. The three women are very different but oh so similar in that none of their lives are as good as it might look like.
Madeline is a passionate, funny and a bit sarcastic “real” woman that you often can relate to, even though you’re 20 and she’s 40. And yes, she can’t believe it either. She does have a great husband and three kids and nobody seems to know about the feelings, doubts and regrets spinning around in Madeline’s head when she has to deal with her ex husband’s (who is her oldest daughter’s father) new family living in the same area.
Celeste is just stunning, probably one of the most beautiful women in the local mothers’ community, which makes everyone notice her, including men or fellow mothers. She lives a luxurious life because her handsome husband is rich enough to provide her and their kids with the life they all diserved. She is the woman that makes you raise your hands in the air and ask “why not me?” with a painful expression on your face because you have to struggle and she has it all. However, eventually the readers start noticing that something is really wrong with her life. And something really is.
Jane is the youngest mother in the group. She’s new to town and feels as an outsider starting with people and ending with the “rules” concerning the life of a Pirriwee Public School mother. Besides, she is a single mother which already makes her stand out and not in the best way possible.
Jane meets Madeline, and Madeline introduces her to her friend Celeste. All three mothers bond and deal with their own problems until one night, the schools Trivia Night, them, their husbands and other local mothers suddenly get one huge problem to share.
Big Little Lies is one of those books that keeps you guessing from the very beginning till the very end. Something happened, and the readers know about it. Something big and to someone everybody knows. The funny thing is, at first you’re just curious – intrigued a little, maybe? – but the further you read, the better you realize that whatever the tragedy is, it happened to someone you already got to know. The victim of the tragedy (that you know something very specific about – it’s death) is one of these people that you already started to like, relate to, understand and care for! And there are no evil people in this little community of Pirriwee Public School parents because at some point all of their life choices or behaviours you can understand in one way or another, or at least they have something likeable about them, so none of the people seem to be worth suddenly dying. Now doesn’t that make you want to read futher and find out what the heck happened to who?
Apart from really funny and relatable characters, engaging story and suspense throughout the whole book, what I really loved about Big Little Lies was the themes it introduced. You may laugh at the silly situations and witty dialogues but you’ll always feel the serious side of the story, too. Power, sense of community, sense of separation, broken families, being a single mother, being a mother, being a wife, abuse, beauty standards and many other issues are not only mentioned but affect the three protagonists and other characters in many different ways.
However, I was a bit disapointed at the very end, in that little part of the book telling the story after the actual Trivia Night. I was surprised by the reactions, or should I say the lack of reactions, of some particular characters to the whole accident and to the person it happened to. I was a bit confused as the characters seemed so real to me all the way until the post-accident stage of the story, where some of their reactions didn’t seem realistic at all.
All in all, I did enjoy the book. It is original, funny, has enough suspense for mystery lovers and introduces some very likeable modern day mothers to follow through the story.