[447]: Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty

Putnam Adult | Hardcover, 480 pages
Publication Date: July 29th, 2014
Adult Fiction | Contemporary
Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars

Liane Moriarty is an author whose books have always put me on a topsy-turvy. Her characters made me mad, made me laugh, and yes, on occasion, it had inspire a tear or two. Her previous work, The Husband’s Secret, drove me crazy. So much so that I set it aside for future reading. One of the best characteristics of her stories is her uncanny ability to let me into the lives of her characters while making me feel like I’m a peeping jane. Like, I’m encroaching on a private matter that I’m not supposed to see.  But no matter what, I can’t look away. The same is true for this book.

I took this book on our recent trip to San Diego, tucked safely away in my purse no matter where I went. I tell you, I was head over heels with it. I indulged, whole-heartedly and without guilt as I soaked in the story in all my voyeuristic glory. I read it everywhere. I just couldn’t get enough.

She has this ability to tell a story with succinct realism that it’s almost a sickness. Her characters, though most were cut out from a stereotypical cardboard, made for some engrossing read. You have Madeline: spunky, with an in-your-face honesty leads the pack of this school parents dramarama. She is funny, loyal and defender of the oppressed. The oppressed being, Jane: a recent transplant to Pirriwee Beach, who’d immediately become a pariah because her son was accused of bullying a little girl on the first day of school. Also in their little band of merry maids, is perfect Celeste: married to a financier, beautiful, statuesque, but is kind and generous. They each have their own stories and points of views.

This book boasts an unpredictable mystery. One that will have you pulling your hair on its ends, as you try to relieve the pressure in your chest. But not to worry, Liane knows how to  make her readers laugh as well. And it’s the kind of Australian dry humour we’d learned to appreciate from their British counterparts. Considering that the major plot arches dealt with a couple of heavy subjects (abuse and bullying), and that one of the mysteries revolved around a murder, humour was definitely required to ease off some of the tension.

If you’re looking to expand your world, look no further than Liane Moriarty’s work. Though ours is a shaky relationship (I loathed What Alice Forgot), I can always count on her for writing some shockingly honest depiction of how normal married people live. You know, not from what you see on their Facebook but what actually happens behind closed doors.

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