Title: Big Little Lies
Author: Liane Moriarty
Source: from publisher for review
Review Summary: Liane Moriarty has outdone herself, creating three believable women who face some of the toughest challenges women commonly face then combining their moving story with a riveting mystery.
We begin Big Little Lies with the knowledge that someone has died at the parent trivia night under suspicious circumstances. Through flashbacks we get the perspectives of several characters, but the story focuses on three friends who are intimately involved in what happened that night. Madeline is concerned about her daughter choosing her ex-husband over her, still hating him for walking out on her when their daughter was born. Jane is a timid single mother, secretly worried her son might not be as sweet as he appears, given her past. And Celeste and her husband, with the perfect life and perfect marriage, might just be hiding the darkest secrets of all.
Liane Moriarty’s The Husband’s Secret was the first book categorized as women’s fiction which I ever read and it instantly hooked me on the genre. In Big Little Lies, Moriarty has once again mixed a story of domestic life with tension, suspense, and mystery. Her ability to combine a story about family life with the pacing of a thriller is like that of no other author I’ve ever read. It’s thought-provoking, making you question what might be hiding behind the facade of normalcy in your daily life. I think it also emphasizes the importance of family life, making you emotionally invested in the character’s daily struggles and showing you the worst case consequences when everything falls apart. Another quality I recognized from The Husband’s Secret was Moriarty’s ability to create a diverse cast of believable women. Despite the third-person narration, it was always possible to tell whose perspective we were following.
Personally, I think that with Big Little Lies, Moriarty has surpassed even her previous work. The women in this story are dealing with some of the toughest issues women commonly face. By contrast, in The Husband’s Secret, there is one incredibly tough situation and several normal situations. The fact that in this book, the normal collides with the impossibly difficult made the story much more emotional. Each woman in the story has relatable concerns and strengths and insecurities. Even though I hope that all of you share my lack of experience with their difficult circumstances, I also hope you’ll share my joy and sorrow watching the three of them overcome situations anyone could find themselves in throughout this challenging, beautiful book.