Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Book Review: "Big Little Lies" by Liane Moriarty

You know those books that keep you up reading late into the night? For me, Liane Moriarty's Big Little Lies was one of those books. Initially, I was a bit thrown off by the structure of the story; moving back in time and counting down to the big event that the entire story builds toward with inserts of police interview narrative taking place after the big event. In the beginning, I read the police interview snippets and only hoped to remember everyone's name to see if the information became relevant. I soon found that those interview snippets reinforced one of the main themes in the book: the power of gossip and biased observations.

Once I got used to the structure, I was quickly swept up into the lives of the three main perspective characters. There is Madeline, a force of a woman and mother, who toes the line between being headstrong and being a bully. Bullying is another theme in this story, and Moriarty makes it clear that it is not a behavior contained to childhood playgrounds, but a behavior that can follow people into their adult lives with horrific psychological effects. Madeline is an aging, re-married divorcee struggling with the fact that her ex-husband and his perfect yoga Barbie doll of a wife have moved to the same town and their children all attend the same school. I found Madeline to be an acquired taste as she is rather rash in her decision making and much more likely to follow emotional impetus than take a rational approach.