Title: Big Little Lies
Author: Liane Moriarty
Publisher: Penguin Publishing
Rating on Amazon: 4.5/5 Stars
Price $9.99 to $17.00
Summary and Review
The novel opens with an elderly neighbor of the school wondering what has happened with the commotion at the school’s trivia night and an excerpt from the detective interviews informs readers that someone has been killed at trivia night. We then follow Madeline, Celeste, and Jane through their budding friendship.
Madeline is the type A leader she needs to know everything and stands up for everyone in her friend group. Celeste is a former lawyer and mother of twins. She however has a secret: her husband is abusive. In the novel, she grows from dismissing his actions to making the decision to leave him. Jane is the young mother she is new to the school and doesn’t fully fit in with the elite society that she is trying to hide in. In her past she was raped which resulted in her son Ziggy. Due to the nature of Ziggy’s father, Jane spends much of her time doubting if her sweet child has a dark streak. This drives her actions in the story.
Big Little Lies has two major events. The wrongful accusation of Jane’s son Ziggy as a bully and the eventual murder at trivia night. The two events are connected through various small and big events.
Big Little Lies starts as the mommy wars between the stay at home and working mothers. It is the summary of every career woman’s fears. And each character questions how their career decisions effect their relationships and respect in the parent circles. However as information is revealed the politics of the school become more important in defining relationships and character actions.
Every woman should read this book. We all know a Madeline, Celeste, and Jane. To an extent we have all been a naive Madeline and unable to see that our friend is in an abusive relationship or not sure how to comfort our friend when they come forward as a survivor of rape. Or on the flip side we have been the one confided in by a friend and we are not sure how to help them escape from the situation. Most of the time our friend will not come to us from a position of power with options and resources like Celeste. Most of the time our friend will be like Jane and unsure where it is safe to fall for support. I’m not saying Big Little Lies is the how to help get your friend to a better situation guide, but it is the gentle reminder to listen, watch, and love those closest to you since your actions do have effects on everyone in your life.
I would recommend the book with a warning of domestic violence and rape. Also if reading isn’t your thing check out the TV adaptation on HBO.