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Mirkat Always Reading

I'm always reading something, usually multiple books at a time.

Big Little Lies

Big Little Lies - Liane Moriarty


I haven't seen the show.  I want to and I will, but I don't have cable, so that will have to wait until it's out on DVD and available at my library.  I've heard that the setting has been changed from Australia to California. [No spoilers, please!  Though I guess I pretty much know from having just completed this book.]


So the book.  The focus is a group of "kindy mums" at Pirriwee Public, in a cushy, suburban beachside community in Australia. The multiple points of view belong to Madeline, Jane, and Celeste, although other perspectives are included through interview snippets.  Madeline's kindergartner is her youngest, Chloe.  Teenage Abigail is from her first husband, Nathan--who is now married to Bonnie, mother of Skye, who is in the same kindergarten class as Chloe.  Madeline and second husband Ed also have a son, seven-year-old Fred, also enrolled at Pirriwee.  Celeste is married to the wealthy and charming Perry.  They seem to have a picture-perfect life with their twin boys Josh and Max, in their sprawling beachside home.  Newcomer Jane is a young single mother with a son named Ziggy. 


The three women bond on the day of kindergarten orientation, after Jane rescues Madeline, who has twisted her ankle and taken a spill in the street leading up to the school.  But soon things become complicated for Jane when one of the boys in the class hurts a girl named Amabella, and Amabella points to Ziggy as the perpetrator. And because Jane believes him when he denies it, she doesn't force him to apologize.  And next thing anyone knows, parents are taking sides.


The book is structured to reveal bit by bit events leading up to an ill-fated trivia night at the school.  Someone dies during the event, but the reader does not find out who dies until the narrative gets there (Chapter 2 is "Six months Before the Trivia Night").  This isn't your typical mystery; in a way, the mystery is more about why it's a mystery....  I won't say more, beyond noting that "things are often not as they seem" is an important theme in the narrative.  I really enjoyed he narrative style and characterization.  I'll definitely seek out more Liane Moriarty books (this is my second, after The Husband's Secret).