This book is an iron-fist in a velvet glove. You think you’re reading chick-lit, and BAM, you’re suddenly reading about one of the most serious issues facing society today.
Who it’s for:
Women aged 25 and over will really ‘get’ this book.
At 480 pages, Big Little Lies is quite long. But believe me, you will glide through it.
What the back cover says:
Pirriwee Public is a beautiful little beachside primary school where children are taught that ‘sharing is caring.’ So how has the annual School Trivia Night ended in full-blown riot? Sirens are wailing. People are screaming. The principal is mortified.
And one parent is dead.
Was it a murder, a tragic accident or just good parents gone bad? As the parents at Pirriwee Public are about to discover, sometimes it’s the little lies that turn out to be the most lethal…
BIG LITTLE LIES is a brilliant take on ex-husbands and second wives, mothers and daughters, school-yard scandal, and the dangerous little lies we tell ourselves just to survive.
What I say:
Last year, my daughter started primary school.
I’m pretty sure I was more nervous than she was. But not so much for her. Mainly for myself.
Would I make friends? Would I find ‘my tribe’? Would I (as I’d been lead to believe) have to ‘dress up’ for school pick-up? Would I be the loser standing on my own with no one to talk to?
It’s true what Liane Moriarty writes in this book – having a child at school is a bit like going back to school yourself, in the way that it can reignite old insecurities and memories of playground politics.
It’s perfect fodder for chick-lit. But that label doesn’t quite do this book justice.
With Moriarty, you get the best of both worlds – literary and ‘genre’. You get the likeable characters, you get a ‘heightened’ version of reality and you get a few good laughs. But in Big Little Lies, you also get deft writing, sharp insight and a sensitive depiction of one of society’s scourges – domestic violence.
I inhaled this book. Inhaled. Over a weekend. When my kindle started showing ‘low battery’, I nearly cried. Then I kept reading, and actually cried because of the powerful ending.
One of Moriarty’s particular strengths as a writer is her depiction of modern motherhood, with its pressures and expectations.
As one of her characters observes – ‘Mothers took their mothering so seriously now. Their frantic little faces. Their busy little bottoms strutting into the school in their tight gym gears. Ponytails swinging. Eyes fixed on the mobile phones held in the palms of their hands like compasses.’
Haha! So true. So goddamn true, except at my daughter’s school where I have found a wonderful crew of parents who enjoy a friendly chat, more than their phones.
One year on, and I think both my daughter and I have settled in beautifully.