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Big Little Lies (2014)

by Liane Moriarty

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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5,7633621,482 (4.12)210
A murder... a tragic accident... or just parents behaving badly? What's indisputable is that someone is dead. But who did what? Big Little Lies follows three women, each at a crossroads: Madeline is a force to be reckoned with. She's funny and biting, passionate, she remembers everything and forgives no one. Her ex-husband and his yogi new wife have moved into her beloved beachside community, and their daughter is in the same kindergarten class as Madeline's youngest (how is this possible?). And to top it all off, Madeline's teenage daughter seems to be choosing Madeline's ex-husband over her. (How. Is. This. Possible?). Celeste is the kind of beautiful woman who makes the world stop and stare. While she may seem a bit flustered at times, who wouldn't be, with those rambunctious twin boys? Now that the boys are starting school, Celeste and her husband look set to become the king and queen of the school parent body. But royalty often comes at a price, and Celeste is grappling with how much more she is willing to pay. New to town, single mom Jane is so young that another mother mistakes her for the nanny. Jane is sad beyond her years and harbors secret doubts about her son. But why? While Madeline and Celeste soon take Jane under their wing, none of them realizes how the arrival of Jane and her inscrutable little boy will affect them all.… (more)
  1. 20
    Little Children by Tom Perrotta (BookshelfMonstrosity)
    BookshelfMonstrosity: Unexpected disruptions to everyday routines cause otherwise comfortable suburban communities to unravel in these witty, character-driven novels. However, one shocking catalyst drives the plot of Big Little Lies, whereas various factors contribute to the drama in Little Children.… (more)
  2. 00
    The Lifeguards by Amanda Eyre Ward (Micheller7)
  3. 00
    The Hive by Gill Hornby (chazzard)
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» See also 210 mentions

English (350)  Dutch (2)  French (2)  Piratical (1)  Swedish (1)  All languages (356)
Showing 1-5 of 350 (next | show all)
Liane Moriarty's novel "Big Little Lies" has become a sensational bestseller of women's fiction in recent years, only supported by its critically acclaimed and immensely watchable HBO adaptation starring Reese Witherspoon, Nicole Kidman, Shailene Woodley and Laura Dern among others (which features a) some of the best casting choices and b) one of the best cast ensembles I've ever witnessed in a book-to-film/TV adaptation). It may have been a mistake for me to read the novel only after watching the TV show, but to be honest, the adaptation was so fantastic that reading about these people's lives only enhanced the experience of getting to know their respective personal stories.

"Big Little Lies" is absolutely addictive. If I hadn't already known the entire story, I probably would have turned page after page in one sitting alone, and even without this being the case, it didn't take long for me to finish the novel. The plot works brilliantly by using a very interesting formula: take the lives of several characters who appear to be so perfect and oh-so-normal from the outside, and throw them into a difficult situation in order to reveal their true characters by showing how they deal with the situations, and then reveal the dark secrets shadowing their seemingly perfect lives. It's a formula which could not have worked better, though one aspect certainly helped: the fact that the characters were so vibrant. We got to know every little shade of their souls, and even with the uncomfortable subjects which are placed at the heart of the story, it felt comforting to place oneself in their neighborhood and watch their conflict-disquieted lives unravel. Yes, it was certainly uncomfortable at times, but that was the entire point of the novel. It's the reason this book is so memorable and different in the first place. Self-centered people like the characters portrayed in Liane Moriarty's world live all around the planet. What the show did so great was to paint these women in such an interesting light that you could not help but root for them anyway.

I'm definitely checking out Liane Moriarty's other books. ( )
1 vote Councillor3004 | Sep 1, 2022 |
A humorous mystery that covers with sensitivity such serious subjects as bullying, domestic violence, abuse, adultery, political maneuvering in social circles, and all of the big little lies that people keep hidden. I loved the unusual format, the brilliant writing, and the fascinating characters. Highly recommended reading. ( )
1 vote DebCushman | Aug 25, 2022 |
I was surprised by how feminist this book is. ( )
  J.Flux | Aug 13, 2022 |
Although there is a murder in this book, the plot revolves around the everyday life of three mothers and that is why I was so surprised to find this book so entertaining from beginning to end. It is not the kind of plot I usually read about, but I was completely invested in the lives of these three different and well-developed main characters.
The best part of this book were the characters. I even liked the comments of the other characters while they were being interviewed about the events before the accident.
I also admire how the author managed to balance humor with difficult subjects, like domestic abuse. It managed to go from light-hearted to serious without making it look weird and out of place and that is difficult to do.
Some aspects of the plot where a bit predictable but the revelation towards the end still caught me off guard. ( )
  elderlingfae | Aug 11, 2022 |
Showing 1-5 of 350 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (53 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Moriarty, Lianeprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Andersson, KerstinNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lee, CarolineNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Strandberg, AnnaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Taupeau, BéatriceTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
You hit me, you hit me, now you have to kiss me
-SCHOOL YARD CHANT
Pirriwee Public School...where we live and learn by the sea!  Pirriwee is a BULLY-FREE ZONE!  We do not bully.  We do not accept being bullied.  We never keep bullying a secret.  We have the courage to speak up if we see our friends bullied.  We say NO to bullies.
Dedication
With love to Margaret
First words
"That doesn't sound like school trivia night," said Mrs. Patty Ponder to Marie Antoinette. "That sounds like a riot."
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A murder... a tragic accident... or just parents behaving badly? What's indisputable is that someone is dead. But who did what? Big Little Lies follows three women, each at a crossroads: Madeline is a force to be reckoned with. She's funny and biting, passionate, she remembers everything and forgives no one. Her ex-husband and his yogi new wife have moved into her beloved beachside community, and their daughter is in the same kindergarten class as Madeline's youngest (how is this possible?). And to top it all off, Madeline's teenage daughter seems to be choosing Madeline's ex-husband over her. (How. Is. This. Possible?). Celeste is the kind of beautiful woman who makes the world stop and stare. While she may seem a bit flustered at times, who wouldn't be, with those rambunctious twin boys? Now that the boys are starting school, Celeste and her husband look set to become the king and queen of the school parent body. But royalty often comes at a price, and Celeste is grappling with how much more she is willing to pay. New to town, single mom Jane is so young that another mother mistakes her for the nanny. Jane is sad beyond her years and harbors secret doubts about her son. But why? While Madeline and Celeste soon take Jane under their wing, none of them realizes how the arrival of Jane and her inscrutable little boy will affect them all.

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