disclosure: we were sent this book and a Penguin Books goodie bag in exchange for an honest review
At the end of every day, I am always to be found with my head in a book. It’s always been that way, I can’t remember a time when I didn’t have a book waiting to take me to a different place, a new adventure, a journey. In the days before Monkey, when I might relax by the pool on holiday, I was known for taking a number of books to keep me entertained for the duration. If you are looking for a good holiday read I have just the thing for you in the shape of Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty.
I was hooked from the beginning of Big Little Lies when it popped through my letterbox recently. Right from the start you are wondering what has happened, someone has died – but who and why? At the end of every chapter that are quotes from various characters from within the story. To start with I thought they were from police interviews, but the nearer the end of the book you get, you realise that might not be the case. But they grab you and make you want to read more. Very clever. It’s based in Australia, so that instant feeling of warmth and sunshine exudes!
We meet single mum Jane and her young son Ziggy, they’ve moved to the seaside and he is about to start at Kindergarten at Pirriwee Public School. On the induction day, Jane comes to the aid of Madeline, another school mum, and a fast friendship is made.
During the induction, little Ziggy is accused of trying to strangle another child. Not the sort of start any child or parent would want is it! The ‘victim’ Amabella, is the daughter of Renata, a successful businesswoman who likes to be heard and has a little ‘following’ amongst the other mums. The scene is set for a series of friendships to be formed, and rivalries to unfold as the children start their first term and the parents head towards the school Trivia night.
One thing I don’t miss about working in an office is all the politics. But in Big Little Lies, you realise that that side of life is everywhere, even in the playground.
Madeline is dealing with her own family issues, an ex who left her when her eldest daughter was a baby, who is now back on the scene, years later with a new free-spirited wife. A teenage daughter who is becoming obsessed with her step mum and wants to live with her father. To make matters more difficult her ex has a daughter who will be in the same class as Madeline’s youngest daughter. Not ideal.
We also meet the beautiful Celeste and her twin sons. Celeste and Madeline are already friends and they take Jane and Ziggy under their wings. From the outside Celeste looks to have a perfect life – she has the looks, wonderful children, a good husband who earns a fortune and a house that it is the envy of all visitors. But no-one has a ‘perfect life’ do they?
What of Jane? Why the sudden move to the coast and who is Ziggy’s father?
As the friendship grows, the lives of these three women intertwine, injustices are fought together and their hidden secrets begin to unravel.
Big Little Lies is the sort of page-turner I love to read. It’s easy to get involved with the characters and you want to know what secrets they are hiding. As a mum of a reception age child, I can relate to some of the issues they face with ‘fitting in’ at school too. Although, luckily the mum’s I know are far nicer and less judgmental than Renata and her groupies.
Pirriwee Public School prides itself on being a bully-free zone, but I’m not sure the same could be said for the parents. All the way through the book you are wondering who died and why, and at different points, I was left with different conclusions but I certainly hadn’t guessed correctly when I reached the end. That’s what I love, a book that isn’t predictable. I warmed to characters throughout the story and knew who I would want to be friends with. Big Little Lies teaches you not to jump to conclusions, to dig deeper to find the truth.
It’s a great, compelling read which I can thoroughly recommend. My Amazon affiliate link is shown below for your information.