Tuesday, 7 October 2014

Big Little Lies: A Wolf in Sheep's Clothing!

Wow, this is one cunning book! Luring readers in with 'the funny' before delivering a plot line that will alternatively break hearts, raise hackles and devastate.

First with the 'Funny'......

The beginning of 'Big Little Lies' had me laughing in recognition as Moriaty introduces us to the Parents of Pirrawee Public School. Much like the children, these parents quickly separate themselves into cliques and alliances. 
Hollywood 'Mean Girls' style (though set in Australia), the Mums and Dad's find themselves firmly in one of two parental camps after an episode of bullying during the orientation day for Kindergarten.

Two Alpha females struggle for control of the hearts and minds of the school: Madeline ( a grown up 'shiny girl'; loud, sparkly, opinionated and big hearted) and Renata ( career Mum with a BIG job and LOTS of board meetings) are both convinced in the righteousness of their cause.
Madeline in defence of the accused bully Ziggy, who steadfastly denies all charges and Renata in her drive to ostracize Ziggy and his waif like mother from the school community.

Moriarty, initially writes her characters so that is clear who is 'good' and who is 'nasty'. While we understand why Renata is so driven to protect her daughter Amabella ('It's a real name, it's French..... we didn't make it up!) who is a victim of the 'bully', it is clear that she steps over the line to become a bully herself. Madeline, while brash and outspoken is clearly on side of justice.

Here is where the story becomes tricky, gradually moving from an amusing story of the innocence of childhood and the political machinations of parental cliques to something more sinister.
Rape and domestic violence rear their vile heads, with all the confusion of guilt and love that come along with these. Characters that seem originally to be supporting, Jane, mother of the infamous 'Ziggy' and the beautiful and wealthy Celeste, a vague and anxious mother of twin boys, come to the fore of the narrative.

Moriarty begins to expertly manipulate the emotions of her readers and what was a light and fun book darkens to something that offers more grit and substance.

I really adored 'Big, Little Lies', it delivered so much more than I was expecting. I love being surprised by a book and while 'twist' endings are exciting, how much more impressive when a narrative can morph from a Teddy Bear into a real Bear!

This shape shifting modern classic is available for purchase from Amazon.com via the following link:

'Big Little Lies' by Liane Moriarty

All purchases made via this link will support Little Miss Kindle's reading and reviewing addiction. Many Thanks!

1 comment:

  1. Hi Bess,

    I work for Booktrope Publishing and I have an Urban Fantasy book releasing soon that I would like to offer you for review, but I can't find your email. If you want to message me on twitter at @moonlightreader, that would be great :)