- Audible Audio Edition
- Listening Length: 16 hours
- Program Type: Audiobook
- Version: Unabridged
- Publisher: Penguin Audio
- Audible.com Release Date: July 29, 2014
- Whispersync for Voice: Ready
- Language: English
- ASIN: B00K8G4A9S
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank:
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Big Little Lies Audiobook – Unabridged
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Liane Moriarty, as alliterative as ever, brings us, protagonist, Madeline Martha Mackenzie, who is forty, fabulous, a fashionista, and unfortunately, feebly, forgettable. Madeline is a helicopter parent who resides in a lovely little seaside town in Australia. We are introduced to a group of her fellow mommies and they are all as uninteresting as she is. There is a big hook (plot device) in this one that promises an eventful homicide at the end of it's almost 500 pages, and this is suppose to convince us to hang in as these silly women stumble through their social issue drenched lives. This book is just terminally BORING. There are words that appear so frequently that I could close my eyes and choose 1 of 10 that would appear in the text next. Stiletto heels, muffins, Facebook, nits, ponytails....Seriously. Moriarty is so busy with the alliterations, she is in desperate need of a thesaurus. Add this to, all men are stupid and duplicitous...gifted children are BAD...and EVERYONE over 50 is either dithering and superstitious, "benign", or "you want to bury your head in her awful floral blouse". There was one moment very early in that I thought she may give us an interesting take on the pathology of a child who was conceived in a less than desirable manner...but alas...that was not to be. Just one ridiculous and absurd plot twist after another until the reader is finally rewarded at the end with the most pathetic and contrived circus I have ever come across in a novel..."Summer Read" or NOT.
My final analysis on this HOT MESS is to implore you to take along something that won't totally assault your literary heart on your beloved beach vacation this year. Just because you are experiencing "the sun and the sand with a drink in your hand" it does not mean that your brain has suddenly atrophied. SKIP THIS ONE. Grrrrrrr.
Madeline Martha Mackenzie is a 40 year old throw-back to the screw ball comedies. She has the mouth, the wardrobe and her heart is in the right place when not suffering from her monthly PMS. She lives in the same town with her ex-husband, Nathan and his yoga chanting, euphorically perfect second wife, Bonnie. Nathan left Madeline and their newborn infant 14 years ago, and while Madeline has re-married a wonderful man and has two children with him, it still hurts that their 14 year old daughter now wants to live with her ex and his wife.
It would seem that Celeste has it all. She is a beautiful woman, married to a very wealthy man, Perry, and has two adorable twin boys attending Pirriwee Public School. What looks to be a perfect relationship to others, can become toxic when the couple is behind closed doors. This is a fact that is finally becoming glaringly clear, even to Celeste.
Jane is a single mother raising her five year old boy, Ziggy, with the help of her mother and father, who live near by. She has just moved to the Pirriwee Peninsula, after taking leases in different apartments across Sydney, hoping to finally find a "life that worked". Once an outgoing career oriented 19 year old, she bears the scars of a disastrous sexual encounter.
As serendipitously as it was meant to happen, on her way to kindergarten orientation, Jane stops to help a slightly injured Madeline after a fender bender. Having their children in the same kindergarten class is the impetus that brings Celeste, Madeline and Jane together. While all three woman are experiencing troubles, some certainly more serious than the others, they are drawn together and stick together. Jane has a real support system from her new friends, when Ziggy is accused of bullying a female kindergarten classmate of a high powered attorney. When a petition is circulated to try and have Ziggy suspended from the school, it divides the parents of Pirriwee Public school into two factions.
This is chick literature with a sting, that is both funny, intelligent and ultimately moving. There is simply so much to recommended about this book, written by an author who has proven herself incapable of creating a one dimensional character or a boring plot. The characterizations are perfect, the Australian setting idyllic, the pacing perfect as there is not one unnecessary page, the character's interconnections realistic and touching.. The story is full of clever dialogue and laugh out loud moments, while never losing sight that the subject matter is at times complex. I have to admit I did not like the ending of The Husband's Wife, this time all the subplots converge at the right time and place, giving the narration a most satisfying ending. Big Little Lies is filled with sharp observations about domestic abuse, bullying, second marriages, self-esteem, parenting, friendship and second chances. "Oh calamity" what an enjoyable book. Very Highly Recommended.
It does take on very important topics (domestic abuse and bullying) and tells the story of a single mother (Jane) who along with her son Ziggy moves to a seaside town supposedly on a whim (though you will learn later that there is more to why she chose that town...a clever plot turn on the author's part). She is very young (24) and has difficulties when she registers her son for kindergarten. The other mothers assume she is a nanny because she is so young.
For years, Jane has refused to identify Ziggy's father or the circumstances around her son's conception. She eventually reveals the ugly and life-altering story to some of her new friends. But about half way through the book I guessed what the outcome would be concerning the father.
I found all the drama at the school and with the very high maintenance mothers of the other children to be a bit tedious. The "camps" seemed to be divided between Jane's friends (who were for the most part rational) and the other mothers (who were mostly caricatures of the over-involved mom....too involved, too quick to judge, too critical. A little more "grey" and not so much black and white would have helped.
I'd much more quickly recommend Moriarty's The Hypnotist's Love Story and The Husband's Secret. Both of those books seem to be more tightly written and were novels I lost myself in right away.
I'd also like to send out a request that publishers do a much better job of proofing their work. I've noticed recently that I find lots of typos in books. This one had several....the word "remembered" misspelled, "had" written as ha'd, etc. Really needs to be improved.