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  • Writer's picturemeredithjohnson

Book Review: Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty

From the start, Big Little Lies gives the reader a clue as to how the story will unfold in the end. There's been an accident at Pirriwee Public School trivia night. A murder seems to have taken place and yet no one is aware who could have done it. Many drinks were had and many many secrets revealed that night. But how did it come to this?

Big Little Lies follows the story of Madeline, Celeste, and Jane; three mothers living among Sydney Australia's Northern Beaches in a small quaint town. Madeline and Celeste are long time friends who take Jane, a new comer to the peninsula under their wing. All three are Kindergarten moms with children in the same class at Pirriwee Public School. From the very start, Jane has trouble with the school, as her son Ziggy is accused of bullying a little girl named Amebella. The trouble is, he's accused by the girls mother Renata, a fellow Kindergarten mom who is a bit of a bully herself. As events unfold, she creates more trouble for Jane and everyone else.

Jane, Madeline, and Celeste become good friends over time, bonding over their distaste for Renata and others within their school. As time goes on it becomes clear that many, including the three women have many secrets they wish to hide. In the end those secrets lead to murder and a shocking revelation that all is not as it seems in this small quaint town.

As I read Big Little Lies, I kept thinking that some of the drama presented in the story seemed over the top. Maybe there are places where this much drama unfolds within a school year. However, I'm very glad I don't live there. As for the characters, I liked Madeline the best and her husband Ed. Some parts of the story (mostly those including Perry) made me cringe, and I wanted so much for Celeste to be stronger than she was. Jane is a great character as well and was kind of a point of light in an otherwise drama filled story. As I read, I felt like I thought about these characters more than I intended to, which made the story feel real and perhaps that's why I didn't enjoy the book as much as I wanted to.

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