Sunday, April 26, 2015

Big Little Lies

Big Little Lies
Liane Moriarty

Big Little Lies

Genre: Fiction

Summary (from Goodreads): Sometimes it’s the little lies that turn out to be the most lethal. . . .
  A murder… . . . a tragic accident… . . . or just parents behaving badly?
What’s indisputable is that someone is dead.   But who did what?

  Big Little Lies follows three women, each at a crossroads:   Madeline is a force to be reckoned with. She’s funny and biting, passionate, she remembers everything and forgives no one. Her ex-husband and his yogi new wife have moved into her beloved beachside community, and their daughter is in the same kindergarten class as Madeline’s youngest (how is this possible?). And to top it all off, Madeline’s teenage daughter seems to be choosing Madeline’s ex-husband over her. (How. Is. This. Possible?).

Celeste is the kind of beautiful woman who makes the world stop and stare. While she may seem a bit flustered at times, who wouldn't be, with those rambunctious twin boys? Now that the boys are starting school, Celeste and her husband look set to become the king and queen of the school parent body. But royalty often comes at a price, and Celeste is grappling with how much more she is willing to pay.  

New to town, single mom Jane is so young that another mother mistakes her for the nanny. Jane is sad beyond her years and harbors secret doubts about her son. But why? While Madeline and Celeste soon take Jane under their wing, none of them realizes how the arrival of Jane and her inscrutable little boy will affect them all.

  Big Little Lies is a brilliant take on ex-husbands and second wives, mothers and daughters, schoolyard scandal, and the dangerous little lies we tell ourselves just to survive.
Marcie's Review:  I almost put this book down after reading the first 60 pages because it focused too much on mommy cliques and cattiness between moms, and I just don't care to read about those things.  But I kept reading because it had such a good rating on Goodreads that I figured it had to get better.  I was pleased to discover that it developed into a book about the importance of friendship between women and, while the moms were still gossipy and spiteful, that paled in significance to the fairly weighty issues that were dealt with later in the book.  Moriarty managed to maintain her funny tone even when discussing serious topics, and the style of flashing forward to conversations that occurred after the climax of the book, while annoying, made the book impossible to put down because I had to find out what happened.  Once again, Moriarty has written a book full of delightful characters that is captivating to read.

I cannot give this book 5 stars because I found the mothers to be too unbelievably badly behaved, and I hated reading about the stereotypes of the different groups of moms.  It makes me sad to think that some moms, or moms in some places, actually would behave like this.  But perhaps they do, and I just have a particularly nice group of moms that I hang out with.

And, the flash forward conversations drove me nuts.  It was a great plot device, and certainly made it so that I didn't want to stop reading, but I just didn't like knowing that there was a great big climax coming, but not knowing what happened or even who it happened to.

Marcie's Rating: 4 stars

Becky's Review:  This book had a format that could have really bothered me as a reader and made me not enjoy the book. I really don't like when an author hints at something and never tells you what really happened to the end.  Luckily Moriarty did not make you wait until the end to find out what was going on with Celeste and Jane.  We know their deep secrets pretty early (probably in the first third of the book).  You do have to wait until almost the end to find out about the tragedy at the school.  That didn't bother me and I think it is because of the flash forward conversations.  I had guesses as to what happened.  Turns out I was completely wrong!  I do like how Moriarty developed her characters although I think that some seemed like an exaggeration of a personality and not quite realistic but I think that is the quirkiness that goes along with Moriarty's writing style. I enjoyed this book and had a hard time putting it down.

Becky's Rating; 4 stars

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