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Big Little Lies Hardcover – July 29, 2014
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An Amazon Best Book of the Month, July 2014: What is it about Liane Moriarty’s books that makes them so irresistible? They’re just classic “domestic” novels about marriage, motherhood, and modern upper-middle-class family life, after all. And despite the fact that Big Little Lies is Moriarty’s sixth adult novel (and it comes decades after the grandmother of this kind of thing, Bridget Jones’ Diary), it is remarkably new and fresh and winning Set in an Australian suburb, Big Little Lies focuses on three women, all of whom have children at the same preschool. One is a great beauty married to a fabulously rich businessman; they have a “perfect” set of twins. One is the can-do mom who can put together a mean pre-school art project but can’t prevent her teenage daughter from preferring her divorced dad. The third is a withdrawn, single mother who doesn’t quite fit in. Right from the start--thanks to a modern “Greek chorus” that narrates the action--we know that someone is going to end up dead. The questions are who and how. Miraculously, Moriarty keeps this high concept plot aloft, largely because she infuses it with such wit and heart. She also knows not to overplay the message she’s sending: that we all tell lies--to each other and, more importantly, to ourselves. --Sara Nelson
Praise for Big Little Lies
“Ms. Moriarty’s long-parched fans have something new to dig into…Big Little Lies [may have] even more staying power than The Husband’s Secret.”—The New York Times
“Funny and thrilling, page-turning but with emotional depth, Big Little Lies is a terrific follow-up to The Husband’s Secret.”—Booklist (starred review)
“Big Little Lies tolls a warning bell about the big little lies we tell in order to survive. It takes a powerful stand against domestic violence even as it makes us laugh at the adults whose silly costume party seems more reminiscent of a middle-school dance.”—The Washington Post
“Moriarty demonstrates an excellent talent for exposing the dark, seedy side of the otherwise “perfect” family unit…Highly recommended.”—Library Journal (starred review)
“Irresistible…Exposing the fault lines in what looks like perfection is a specialty of Liane Moriarty… Moriarty’s sly humor and razor-sharp insights will keep you turning the pages to find out.”—People Magazine
"The secrets burrowed in this seemingly placid small town...are so suburban noir they would make David Lynch clap with glee...[Moriarty] is a fantastically nimble writer, so sure-footed that the book leaps between dark and light seamlessly; even the big reveal in the final pages feels earned and genuinely shocking.”—Entertainment Weekly
“If you're looking for a novel that will turn you into a compulsive book-finisher look no further. Moriarty has produced another gripping, satirical hit...It’s can’t-put-downability comes from its darker subplots...A book that will make you appreciate the long days of summer.”—Oprah.com
"Reading one [of Liane Moriarty's novels] is a bit like drinking a pink cosmo laced with arsenic...a fun, engaging and sometimes disturbing read…Moriarty is back in fine form."—USA Today
“A juicy drama.”—People Stylewatch
“Not your average mommy novel. It’s a juicy, twisted murder mystery replete with themes of marital abuse and self-denial…The perfect mindless beach read.”—Purewow.com
“Suburbia is about to get a lot more scandalous.”—Closer Weekly
"The Aussie author of last year’s runaway hit The Husband’s Secret comes back with another winning and wise novel that intertwines the lives of three women."—EW.com
"It’s no mystery why Liane Moriarty is a summer staple: with wit and compassion...[she] keeps it real."—Family Circle
“Riveting and insightful…Moriarty has crafted a great summer read full of perceptive glimpses into the many guises of human relationships: mother-child, husband-wife (and ex-wife) and above all, the strong bond of female friendships.”—Bookpage
"Deservedly popular Moriarty invigorates … women’s fiction through wit, good humor, sharp insight into human nature and addictive storytelling."—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
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WARNING: if you're watching the series and don't want the end spoilered, don't buy the book. The series has followed along pretty faithfully so far, with one or two smallish changes (the theater production isn't an issue in the book, for example).
Big Little Lies is beautifully written, with a rising air of tension throughout the book as we get closer and closer to the murder foreshadowed from the beginning. I won't spoil who the victim is for you, but suffice it to say I was a little surprised. I'd already figured out who the real perpetrator of the playground bullying probably was - it's always nice when you guess SOMETHING right - but there were definitely a few shocks in the last quarter of the book that I didn't see coming. It's an excellent book and well worth reading.
That said, if you haven't watched the HBO series, get on that right away. It's incredible; Nicole Kidman and Reese Witherspoon are compelling as a pair of 'yummy mummies' who on the surface appear to have the perfect life, but beneath the surface things are far from the polished facade they portray. Alexander Skarsgard steals every scene he appears in as the poised, rich, handsome husband with violent tendencies behind closed doors.
Big Little Lies is a compelling story on the screen or on the page. HIGHLY recommended.
Moriarty's characters are big, bold, and believable. As the reader begins to recognize their quirks and personalities, the reader also begins to see the edges of the lies these characters tell in order to keep lives intact, in order to keep secrets private. While there are a lot of elements here, Moriarty is in full control. Even from the title, there is a specific perspective lent to the story as the reader begins to understand that things can not be taken at face value and that a human being is never as simple as he or she may appear.