This book drew me in with its cover. It has bright colours, and was prominently on display, which is my general criteria for choosing books. Also there was a murder, which always tickles my fancy. Hm… that doesn’t make me sound quite right. In any case, I went into this novel not expecting much, and ended up declaring it my favourite novel ever by the end. Big Little Lies is a story of how the little lies we tell others and ourselves, can get bigger and bigger until we can’t control them anymore. Trust me when I say, these suburban moms are much more than meets the eye.
The Good Bits.
Jane moves to a new area hopeful to start a new life for herself and her son Ziggy. But at the Piriwee Public Preschool orientation another child accuses him of strangling her. This scene reflects the tone of the entire novel, suburban life with an edge.
The book surprised me with how well I could keep up with all the characters. There’s at least six or so moms at the preschool, their husbands, and their children. The focus is, of course, on the wives. The way this book helps you keep track, is that each of the characters are related in some way. This dad is the ex-husband of this mom, and this mom said blank about that mom, etc. etc. And maybe it’s because I watch a lot of reality tv but I ate it right up. And maybe it’s because it was in the form of gossip, but it also made all the other characters more interesting. No one was a caricature because they all had little secrets that showed you a different side of their personality. But however much this novel shows women scheming and manipulating each other, it also shows a lot of examples of women supporting each other. What Moriarty presents are real, relatable characters.
Throughout the novel you also learn of a character whose husband is abusing her. As a woman I would like to think that if my partner hit me, I would be off with my bags in a minute. I doubt that’s a common feeling. But imagining what you might do and actually doing it in the situation are different. Moriarty hits home with that feeling with her character. I think she does a fantastic job at portraying a scene of domestic abuse that’s easier for people to imagine.
I got so drawn into the character’s lives that I would have forgotten a murder was coming, if Moriarty wasn’t reminding me. She uses an interview style between chapters to foreshadow. Something I appreciated. Any time I read “little did she know that something terrible was in her future” or something similar, I die a little. This novel shows that you can foreshadow in an intriguing and engaging way. The interviewees throw around rumors and theories that help you learn more about their characters, on top of providing appropriate foreshadowing.
For me personally, nothing about this novel upset me. From beginning to end, I loved it. I literally shivered when I read the ending, it’s perfect.
Butttttttttttt as a note to others, a lot of the book is parent politics, so if you have zero interest in things like reality tv you may not like this. The murder is more something that you think about in the back of your head, and the drama and characters are at the center. There isn’t any time the characters spend looking for the murderer, because that doesn’t get revealed until the end. The murder is only mentioned in the interview snippets between chapters. So if you need more murder than that, this book may not be for you.
The Last Bite.
People gossip, that’s the short of it. Especially in smaller communities. Moriarty takes advantage of this to add twists and turns to her novel, but also to distract you from the fact that a murder is going to happen. The last few chapters are so packed with feels, that’s the only way I can say it. I trembled when reading about the murder, and just sat back thinking “wow” once I finished. I cannot recommend this book enough, it is gold.
Suburban moms and a murder, would you read it? Let me know in the comments!
Have you read Big Little Lies? What did you think?
Let’s do lunch again next week!
*please note, if you purchase the book through the link provided I will receive a commission. However, this is not a sponsored post. I was not paid to write it, and all my opinions are my own