Big Little Lies

Big Little Lies

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...

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Title:Big Little Lies
Author:Liane Moriarty
Rating:
Edition Language:English

Big Little Lies Reviews

  • Nancy McFarlane

    Liane Moriarty has done it again – written a book that kept me up way too late because I couldn’t put it down. She has a knack for creating characters who are so believable they could easily be someone you know. Big Little Lies is a story of parents acting badly. It is also a smart and witty story about the real lives of children, teens, friends, husbands, wives, second wives, and exes. You are teased from the beginning with something awful that happens at the annual Pirriwee Public School fund

    Liane Moriarty has done it again – written a book that kept me up way too late because I couldn’t put it down. She has a knack for creating characters who are so believable they could easily be someone you know. Big Little Lies is a story of parents acting badly. It is also a smart and witty story about the real lives of children, teens, friends, husbands, wives, second wives, and exes. You are teased from the beginning with something awful that happens at the annual Pirriwee Public School fund raising. You know the what but not the who or the how. Along the way you discover some of the dangerous little lies that people tell just to be able to face the day. I couldn’t wait to get to the end to find out what happened that night but at the same time I was sorry that I wouldn’t be reading any more about the inhabitants of Perriwee.

  • Aestas Book Blog

    It was a total genre change for me -- this is women's fiction and mystery, not romance -- but I was just in the kind of mood where I was craving something totally

    than what I usually read.... so I tried this one! And I was BEYOND impressed with it.

    Like holy WOW impressed.

    The writing was 

     — starkly honest, detailed, introspective, observant, multi-sided… the s

    It was a total genre change for me -- this is women's fiction and mystery, not romance -- but I was just in the kind of mood where I was craving something totally

    than what I usually read.... so I tried this one! And I was BEYOND impressed with it.

    Like holy WOW impressed.

    The writing was 

     — starkly honest, detailed, introspective, observant, multi-sided… the story kept me guessing right up until the end. There were these 

     that totally shocked me (I mean like jaw-drop

    shocked) and I just had these

    run through me at some of the reveals.

    This author really just "gets" people and interactions on a very deep level in a way I’ve seldom seen before. Gah. It was

    . I mean really. Holy woman power!!! I loved the writing, I loved story, and can honestly say that it had one of the single most

    endings ever. EVER.

    So... what's it about?

    It has a large cast of characters, but focuses mostly on three women's lives. They all have children entering Kindergarten in the same year. They're lives are vastly different but closely connected in ways that even they don't realize at first. And there's a murder. Someone dies at a trivia night. But you don't know who. And you don't know who killed them. No clue! Part of the whole mystery is figuring this out, and it's done in such a cool way -- a fascinating mix between the story of the weeks counting down to 

    mixed in with snippets of interviews being given 

    that night of people describing what happened.

    I'm not going to say a word more 

    I will assure you that the ending 

    on every level!

    This whole book really highlights how the

    can be seen in so many ways, from so many different perspectives, and from each of those sides, it can appear vastly different. You never

    know what someone else is thinking or going through, what they're capable of, what secrets they're keeping...

    Gah. Fascinating!!!

    Just so you know, this is not a dark read at all. It's very serious at times, very light at others. But it's also not dark and it's not scary. A few people were asking me so I thought I'd clarify that.

    Actually I saw someone describe it as a "juicy drama" and I think that's the 

    description!

    It's just the kind of story that raises a million questions in your mind. It makes you THINK, keeps you wondering, theorizing, questioning everything. It's detailed and engaging. Can you tell I loved it?

    There are some very serious themes -- domestic violence, single parenthood, motherhood in general, bullying, murder, secrets, and more. It's almost scarily accurate in many of it's depictions.

    Hehe this was my status update from 91%:

    This author is just so skilled. The plot was cleverly woven and it just delivered all the right details at all the right times. In fact, I think I actually have all of a certain chapter highlighted. ALL of it.

    It was an incredible reading experience. I totally get why they’re making it into a movie (with Reese Witherspoon & Nicole Kidman) because I could literally picture it in my mind as I was reading.

    I have a ton of quotes highlighted in my book, but in case you're wondering why I don't have them included in this review, it's because in retrospect, I realized that given this type of story, they might not make sense out of context. So I'm just going to let you read the book for yourself and read them that way!

    I've also read another book by this author, The Husband's Secret, and even though I thought that one was really good, I actually loved this one more because I was much happier with this ending. This one left me with such a strongly good feeling while The Husband's Secret left me feeling a little... unsettled (like the price paid was too great)... but this one was just WOW.

    I highly recommend it!

    _______________________________________

  • Raeleen Lemay

    I was SO not expecting to love this as much as I did. dang.

    *review (still) to come*

  • Diane S ☔

    This one was 480 pgs. that read like less than 300. I was thoroughly captivated, found this to be brilliant in plot, structure and tone. Gulped it right down.

    On the surface this was about a group of parents whose children were starting kindergarten. We have the typical cliques, the do-goobers and many, many who think their children are oh so special.Over parenting to a T. Working moms against stay at home moms, fulfillment vs. involvement. Humorously told, there are so many times this book had

    This one was 480 pgs. that read like less than 300. I was thoroughly captivated, found this to be brilliant in plot, structure and tone. Gulped it right down.

    On the surface this was about a group of parents whose children were starting kindergarten. We have the typical cliques, the do-goobers and many, many who think their children are oh so special.Over parenting to a T. Working moms against stay at home moms, fulfillment vs. involvement. Humorously told, there are so many times this book had me laughing, some of these moms were so over the top, absolutely absurd.

    Under the surface was another layers, the author tackles many issues, among them bullying, spousal abuse and others. These women and their marriages all have issues, problems with their marriages, dealing with traumas from the past. Considering everything that was tackled in this book it should not have worked but it did, and that is to the author's credit.

    Everything leads up to trivia night at the school and that will bring revelations, disasters and many will find themselves changed. Loved every minute of this one.

  • Ann

    Probably the funniest book about murder and domestic abuse I'll ever read.

  • Marina Finlayson

    You know how sometimes you get to the end of a book and you wish you could wipe it from your mind, just so you could have the pleasure of reading it for the first time again?

    This is one of those books.

    I can't think of another author off the top of my head who does relationships so well and with such humour as Liane Moriarty. Her characters love and laugh, rub each other up the wrong way, extend the hand of friendship, spread gossip, resolve to do better, cry and keep secrets -- just like real pe

    You know how sometimes you get to the end of a book and you wish you could wipe it from your mind, just so you could have the pleasure of reading it for the first time again?

    This is one of those books.

    I can't think of another author off the top of my head who does relationships so well and with such humour as Liane Moriarty. Her characters love and laugh, rub each other up the wrong way, extend the hand of friendship, spread gossip, resolve to do better, cry and keep secrets -- just like real people.

    In

    , the little lies we tell ourselves and others -- sometimes to disguise the big ones -- blow up into murder and mayhem at the P&C Trivia Night at the local public school. Though we know someone has died from the beginning of the novel, we don't find out who it is till the end, as we go back through the histories of the participants to uncover the nagging jealousies and seething problems that led to the fatal moment.

    So we spend the book in a state of breathless anticipation and worry. Who died? Was it bubbly Madeline, struggling to connect with the teenage daughter of her first marriage? Or beautiful Celeste, whose perfect life hides an ugly secret? Or was it single mum Jane, trying to start afresh, who finds that playground bullying isn't just for the kids any more?

    Moriarty will keep you up late flipping pages as you follow the story of these three and the colourful characters who surround them, desperate to find out who died -- and why. The answer is enormously satisfying.

  • Justin

    I think Stephen King summed up Big Little Lies perfectly when he said it is "a hell of a book, funny and scary." I found it to be like the first two seasons of Desperate Housewives before the show started to slowly fall apart (and I've seen every episode so I feel like I'm right... right about the comparison to the book and the fact that the show was never all that great after the first two seasons, but the bigger question is why did I watch all of the show in the first place, and I'll never rea

    I think Stephen King summed up Big Little Lies perfectly when he said it is "a hell of a book, funny and scary." I found it to be like the first two seasons of Desperate Housewives before the show started to slowly fall apart (and I've seen every episode so I feel like I'm right... right about the comparison to the book and the fact that the show was never all that great after the first two seasons, but the bigger question is why did I watch all of the show in the first place, and I'll never really know the answer to that question, but I'm OK with it and can live with myself).

    The moms in Big Little Lies are written so well. I loved all the different stereotypes represented in each of them and how the different dynamics played out between them and their families. I'll admit, I was a little confused early on and could have used a family tree to help me see who belonged where (and that only got messier along the way), but Moriarty kept me updated in subtle ways to make sure I was tracking with her as the story unfolded.

    Hang on, taking a quick coffee break.

    Alright, much better. There are a couple of other takeaways from the book I want to share.

    First off, the whole suburban-everything-is-awesome facade in which the book is firmly nestled, and in which I find myself now. I really loved how the book started out in a fun, whimsical way by introducing me to the various characters and making me feel like everyone has everything together and life is just so swell all the time. Then, as the book rolls along, more and more is revealed from the past, mysteries are solved, and you learn that these women's lives just aren't what you thought they were. And, man, isn't that life? All of us walking around all carefree making sure everyone thinks we are just fine and dandy thank you very much, and maybe there aren't things as dark as some stuff in this book happening, but we are all stressed out with kids and jobs and life and whatever. Anyway, I just liked that slow descent into the darker layers of the major characters in the story. That's all I'm saying.

    So no spoilers, but I thought it was important for me as someone who isn't a woman to read about how events can shape the lives and thought of someone who is a woman. That's a lot of unnecessary words. What I'm trying to say is you never know how much your actions can impact another person. In this case, the words and actions of men had a deep emotional impact on women. Some of it was tough to read, and to know that stuff is happening that we often don't even know about is scary. It's bad enough that so much evil and darkness exists out there, but what about all the stuff that hasn't been brought into the light yet? Life is hard.

    And, last but not least, the minor characters chiming in at the end of many chapters to kick in a little foreshadowing was an excellent plot device. That trivia night was something I was anticipating from the very beginning. The timeline worked down to that single night, and there was lots of statements from police questioning sprinkled in early so the mystery slowly rolls down to that night and a little beyond. It made the book so easy and quick to read, but it wasn't some mindless page turner to just get through for mild enjoyment. It was written really well, and the payoff in the end was worth it.

    I may have to get some more Liane Moriarty in my life. I never thought I would say that out loud, but here we are. Looking forward to the HBO series!

  • Debbie

    If I said I loved this one, it would be a Big Fat Lie. But I definitely LIKED it, despite the rough beginning.

    Here is my love story with Moriarty books, and it doesn’t stay all lovey-dovey, I’ll tell you that. But that sounds dramatic—I need to say that I don’t hate her books now, it’s just that the honeymoon is way over. I became an avid fan after reading

    , which is about a woman who hits her head and forgets her identity. I thought it was completely brilliant, and it made me t

    If I said I loved this one, it would be a Big Fat Lie. But I definitely LIKED it, despite the rough beginning.

    Here is my love story with Moriarty books, and it doesn’t stay all lovey-dovey, I’ll tell you that. But that sounds dramatic—I need to say that I don’t hate her books now, it’s just that the honeymoon is way over. I became an avid fan after reading

    , which is about a woman who hits her head and forgets her identity. I thought it was completely brilliant, and it made me think.

    High from that experience, I then went on to

    . Since I couldn’t forget What Alice Forgot, and I thought Moriarty could do no wrong, I glistened and glowed about that book, too, even though the spark had started to go out a little, if I had been honest with myself. I was still euphoric from the first book and didn’t want to admit that the second one wasn’t as good. Whereas What Alice Forgot made me ponder ideas (about memory and identity, for example), there was no such hook in The Husband’s Secret. It was a good book and I enjoyed reading it, but it was definitely lighter. I anxiously awaited Big Little Lies.

    After I’d read the first few chapters of Big Little Lies, I had to admit I just wasn’t wowed. First off, two of the main characters seemed really superficial. I asked myself, do I have to hang out with these rich, beautiful, and self-absorbed airheads who are taking this kindergarten thing way too seriously? I was beginning to understand why Moriarty’s books are often categorized as chick lit.

    Plus, there was a stylistic gimmick (a sort of Greek chorus) that I hated because it made the book confusing. The story is about three moms whose kids are entering the same kindergarten class. We learn right away that there has been a scandalous death. The way we learn about the death is through gossipy conversations, like little asides, splashed throughout the story. It’s these little asides that I had trouble with. Each comment has a name preceding it, and there are too many names to keep track of. It drove me nuts! But wait, was I supposed to actually keep track of them, or ignore which gossiper said what and just concentrate on the gossip itself? It wasn’t clear what I was supposed to do, and that sucked. It was just too much work, which made it impossible to have a smooth reading experience. Moriarty, you shouldn’t make the reader work that hard. It should be a seamless experience. I was pissed that there were all these unknown and undeveloped characters whispering important secrets. It’s hard to sit still and enjoy the gossip if you’re busy trying to figure out who’s who.

    I eventually recognized some of the people, but still, some of the gossipers weren’t real players in the drama, so why give them names? It was a stylistic technique that didn’t work for me. On paper, it’s a cool way to dole out clues, but maybe it has to look different. Maybe the author should have made some or all of the whisperers anonymous? I don’t know. It just drove me crazy.

    I don’t know why I’m poo-poo’ing this book so much, because I did end up liking it. As the book progressed, what I thought were shallow characters became way more complicated and interesting—and I did get invested in all of them.

    And really, a lot of important issues are addressed: domestic violence, bullying, rape, and teenagers posting scary shit on the web. The way the characters handle these issues is realistic and satisfying without being predictable, sappy, or preachy.

    And there’s lots of suspense—I always looked forward to opening the book; it soon moved into the “juicy read” category. The story is rich and it’s twisty as all get out. The ending is very satisfying, and everything is tied up nicely.

    One final complaint, though: the book is way too long. This should have been a 250- or 300-pager; it’s not epic or important or engaging enough to warrant 480 pages.

    Final verdict: It took me a while to get into it and trust that Moriarty was once again going to spin a good yarn. And she does. That little imitation Greek chorus thing made me knock the rating down to 3 stars. But ah, shucks, I really do like you, Moriarty--even if I did feel compelled to go back and remove one of my stars for The Husband’s Secret!

    Catch the 8-part HBO series if you can (it's on the 5th segment, but some of you with HBO might be able to watch the earlier segments). It stars Reese Witherspoon, Nicole Kidman, and Laura Dern (all are excellent), and it's filmed in beautiful Monterey. I'm loving it; like it better than the book. And the Greek chorus works way better. I even downloaded the theme song!

  • Roxane

    No, I haven’t seen the TV show. This book is fine. It’s certainly readable and hard to put down. I enjoyed reading Big Little Lies. But it’s shallow. Yes, it deals with domestic violence and sexual assault and the pressures and pettiness of white middle class and upper class womanhood when it comes to their social lives and their children and so on, but everything here is easy, frothy. And that’s fine. Not every book needs to carry the weight of the world. But at the same time, some of what this

    No, I haven’t seen the TV show. This book is fine. It’s certainly readable and hard to put down. I enjoyed reading Big Little Lies. But it’s shallow. Yes, it deals with domestic violence and sexual assault and the pressures and pettiness of white middle class and upper class womanhood when it comes to their social lives and their children and so on, but everything here is easy, frothy. And that’s fine. Not every book needs to carry the weight of the world. But at the same time, some of what this book deals with is serious and so it makes the frothiness aggravating at times. Also, it just needs to be said, this is a very white book. Again, every book doesn’t need to be everything buuuuut, I guess only white people go to the elementary school at the center of this narrative which, given Sydney’s reasonably diverse population speaks to how segregated the world is. Look, I hate having a brain, too. I wish I could just turn it off and enjoy froth for froth’s sake. Also, this book is brutally well written. You can absolutely see the structure and how the plot was assembled and what each character is supposed to do. There’s an interesting twist at the end. There is lots of relatable mommy content but I am not a mother so I rolled my eyes at all the gilded mother suffering (not the abuse/sexual violence obviously, just the harried mom stuff). I get it, I get it. Everything resolves very tidily and satisfyingly. This book is a fine template for how to write a massive bestseller, if you want to do that sort of thing.

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