Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty – 4/5
Let’s start with what I enjoyed. IT’S A MYSTERY! The novel is written moving forward through the eyes of three different characters. The flow is interrupted, at the beginning or end of most chapters, by excerpts of the police investigation/interview about what happens at the climax of the story. I really enjoyed the storyline, characters, surprise ending, and the novel as a whole.
Madeline is your typical [relatively] rich suburban mom in stilettos – although the novel is set on the beach. Celeste is a stunning wife in a troubled home. Jane is a single mother with a dark secret about her son. The three women meet when their children are in the same kindergarten class. Although it is often mentioned that not everyone in the story is ungodly rich, I feel the tone implies it much stronger. Speaking of tone, that was the one thing I was not a fan of. I don’t know exactly what it is, but there was something scattered and childish about it. I did read the book in virtually two sittings, but it was a bit of a struggle.
I was not a huge fan of the writing style. Honestly, in my head I read most of it as a whiny and bored housewife (not that there is anything wrong with that), emphasis on the whiny, I think if the narration was written in a more sophisticated way it would have made this one of my favorite books. The plot almost makes up for it though. It’s a long read, and it shows, but not in a terrible way. Not great either, but manageable. The plot keeps you interested enough that you can get past the fact that instead of being told from the perspective of mothers in their 20’s to 40’s it actually sounds like a high schooler is talking to you. Harsh? Maybe. Honest? Absolutely. This will probably end up on my “top” list for the year, but with a grain of salt.