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Saturday, March 4, 2017

Book Review: Big Little Lies

It's been a long time since I read a book that I could barely stand to put down. It's always pure pleasure to find something to read that grabs you so hard that you race to the finish despite wanting to slow down and savor the ride. I found a book like that this past weekend: Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty.


Big Little Lies

I have to admit that this wasn't something I was ever interested in reading until I saw the first two episodes of the limited HBO series adapted from the book. It's been on the bestseller list at work for ages, but it didn't look at all like the kind of book I would enjoy. It just goes to show that you should never discount something out of hand like that! I'm not much a mystery fan, either, but this mystery had an intriguing twist: from the beginning of the book (and the tv show) you know that someone has been murdered--but you don't know who or how or why. You do know where it takes place, though, and it's the unlikeliest of places--a primary school parents' event, a trivia night/costume party fundraiser.

The plot is told from the point of view of three main characters: Madeline, the 40 year old, sharp mouthed and witty mother of two whose ex husband (and his new younger yoga-loving wife) drives her crazy; Celeste, whose seemingly perfect life and storybook marriage to the handsome, rich Perry is covering up a dark secret; and Jane, a struggling single mother of a little boy named Ziggy who just moved to town. Jane's past is a mystery, as is the identity of her child's father. When little Ziggy
is accused of trying to strangle another child in his kindergarten class (which he denies doing) it
sets off a chain of shocking events among the parents. But could playground bullying between little children really lead the adults to commit a murder? That's the question at the heart of the book.

From the first episode of Big Little Lies I watched, I was intrigued. Who on earth could be dead, and how, and why? And the actors in the show are superb: Nicole Kidman as Celeste, Reece Witherspoon as Madeline, Shailene Woodley as Jane, Alexander Skarsgard as Perry, Adam Scott as Madeline's current husband Ed, and Zoe Kravitz as the new younger wife of Madeline's ex. Since only two episodes have aired so far, I had to know what happened next, so I bought the book the next day at work. And I couldn't put it down!

I read Big Little Lies in 24 hours, that's how enjoyable it was! I had no idea who had been murdered until I started the last chapter, and then it turned out I was wrong. And the threads of the plot are all tied up so skillfully that I wanted to give the author a round of applause at the end! It's about secrets and gossip and the big little lies we sometimes tell ourselves just to get through life.

It's been a while since a book gave me so much pure enjoyment. I still plan to watch the rest of the series, too. Read this book, guys....I think you'll like it too!




16 comments:

  1. Oh I just know I will like this book; I trust your judgement :)

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    1. Reading it was like devouring a big, rich ice cream sundae on a summer afternoon. Pure indulgence!

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  2. You know, I've been doing exactly the same, watched two episodes and got the book and have been reading almost nonstop since. Almost through, just had to stop and be civil for a while.

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    1. Haha! Then you understand! How did you like it? ( I'm sure you're done with it by now ). Was the victim a surprise to you?

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    1. Enjoy! I ended up reading until 3am last Saturday night! Let me know what you think of it!

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  4. As soon as I sit down to relax I find myself picking up my book of crosswords.... I think I've become obsessed. About time I read a BOOK.

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  5. Definitely sounds like a book I would love. If only my eyes would let me read more. I used to be an avid reader but these days have to limit myself. I will however endeavour to read this one on your recommendation.

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    1. Have you tried audio books? My friend Marian rented the audio book from the public library for free and listened to it at work (she's a mail carrier).

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  6. I will definitely try this one. Always looking for an unputdownable book. Just looked on Amazon books, and the reviews are as good as yours! I help in an Oxfam bookshop so will look out for it....or indeed anything by the author.

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    1. I hope you like it! Let me know what you think!

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  7. Sounds good, but not so cheap as an ebook. But then, it is a best seller.

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  8. It's so great when we happen to come across an unputtdownable book, isn't it! Thank you for the recommendation. I really like Reese Witherspoon, so maybe I'll check out the series before the book.

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  9. On the strength of this I have requested it from the public library. I'm always open to good book recommendations!

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  10. Oh My Goodness, I just read about this show/book and here you are talking about it. I might just try to watch the show as I am still having trouble reading. But I so want to read this book. The review said Reese Witherspoon was perfect in her role.

    cheers, parsnip

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