Big Little Lies is one of those books that kept me up too late at night, on the couch too long when there were dishes to do, and speculating about the characters at work. It is a thriller that tells the story of three women: Madeline, Celeste, and Jane. Each of the women are very different, yet their lives are intertwined in the most complicated and unexpected ways. The author, Liane Moriarty, did a fantastic job writing a story that keeps readers on the edge of their seats; I was sucked into the story immediately.
Madeline is passionate, spunky, and a force to be reckoned with. Her ex-husband and his new wife’s daughter is in the same Kindergarten class as Madeline’s youngest child. On top of that, Madeline’s teenage daughter seems to be choosing Madeline’s ex-husband over her. Celeste is a beautiful woman with a seemingly perfect marriage. Her twin boys are starting school but she is finally realizing that the flaws in her marriage are more severe than she has allowed herself to believe. Jane is a young, single mother who just moved into town. Although her son, Ziggy, seems to be sweet and quiet, Jane harbors secret doubts about him. Each of these women tell themselves, and others, many dangerous little (and sometimes not so little) lies throughout the book.
One of Madeline’s favorite things to say is “Oh, Calamity” and as the book continues, more characters begin to pick up this ridiculous, but often fitting, saying. In chapter one, the reader finds out that someone dies during a fundraising trivia night at the school. Was it a murder, an accident, an action fueled by lies, or just good parents gone bad? Chapter two travels back in time six months and documents the drama leading up to that fateful night. There are many hints that are integrated into the story but the final reveal will still have readers gasping in disbelief.
Although I found some of the drama to be over the top and a little bit petty to be occurring between grown adults, the book was hugely entertaining. Moriarty writes in a light-hearted manner but still manages to include many tough issues, including single parenthood, domestic abuse, and bullying, in the story. Even though this book is almost 500 pages, it’s one that you won’t be able to put down until the last page is turned and the final lie is revealed; you might just find yourself saying, “Oh, Calamity” out loud.