Big Little Lies
by Liane Moriarty
genre: chick-lit, mystery
Summary from Audible
Pirriwee Public’s annual school Trivia Night has ended in a shocking riot. One parent is dead. The school principal is horrified. As police investigate what appears to have been a tragic accident, signs begin to indicate that this devastating death might have been cold-blooded murder.
In this thought-provoking novel, number-one New York Times best-selling author Liane Moriarty deftly explores the reality of parenting and playground politics, ex-husbands and ex-wives, and fractured families. And in her pitch-perfect way, she shows us the truth about what really goes on behind closed suburban doors.
Why I Chose the Book
Read through the description on Audible and it sounded like it would be a good one. I’ve been trying to be a little more picky, but the sale price and length (nearly 16 hours) was such a good bargain, I decided to go for it despite being burned on several sales titles recently.
I was ready for a traditional murder-mystery novel, so I was pleasantly surprised to find Big Little Lies had a twist. Instead of starting with the murder and following a detective or bumbling bafoon through clues, the reader is transported back, months before the fateful night without actually knowing who died. Guests from the trivia night start each chapter by talking to the police, often only one or two lines about what they think happened before the omniscient narrator takes over again, laying out the events that led up to the death.
Possibly a minor spoiler here, but hard to give a proper review without it. Moriarty blew me away. I was not expecting a narrative about school bullying and abusive relationships. Big Little Lies gave me insights into my moral compass that I found mildly disturbing. It had me questioning that line between what is legal and what my heart says is right–kinda like taking one of those alignment quizzes to determine if you’re lawful, chaotic, or true.
Another mild spoiler (sorry guys). Truly one of the most interesting themes in the novel was the parents essentially bullying a kindergartener. I understand the need to protect your child when you think another child has done something to them, but things quickly spun out of control and took on a life of their own. It made me think of The Slap though I’ve never actually seen the TV series or the movie.
I laughed, I cried. Special mention for the setting being in Australia.
Don’t know if Moriarty is a pen name or not, but I have to appreciate that she turned out to be such a wonderful writer.
If you know anyone in an abusive relationship, slip this novel to them. Tell them it’s a wonderful murder mystery (or chick-lit novel depending on your audience) and leave them to see the parallels in their own life.
5 out of 5 stars.
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