I really like Lianne Moriarty’s books, I’ve read The Husbands Secret & Truly, Madly, Guilty and liked their style of constant build up with the big reveal at the end. Big Little Lies follows the same pattern.
In the beginning the reader is immediately aware that there has been a murder at the school trivia night but we don’t know ‘whodunnit’. Instead we are taken back to a few months before the evening and introduced to the characters. The novel mostly focuses on three friends, Madeline who is obsessed with clothes and makeup and a typical girly girl who you can’t help but love, Celeste who’s stunningly beautiful and stunningly rich but nice with it, and Jane who’s much younger, only just moved to the area and lives up to her name as the ‘plain Jane’. I’ve been watching the TV show so of course I wanted to read the book even more and of course there’s differences, the show got rid of some characters like Madeleine’s daughter Fred.
Each family has their secrets and lies. Madeline is suffering through fights with her teenage daughter who seems to prefer her father and stepmother. Celeste is hiding the horrors of her real family life behind the rich, beautiful facade. As for Jane she’s got a whole heap of baggage not least that her son Ziggy is being accused of bullying.
I must admit that I didn’t find this novel as engaging as the others I’ve read by this author but I don’t know if that was partially because I’ve seen the beginning of the series and so sort of knew what half of it was about, but I found the characters likeable and the plot was great! Of course the end was a huge shock in line with Lianne’s usual way of writing. There’s not one but two major twists and the ending leaves shock waves rebounding through the reader.