Review: Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty

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Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty | Rating: ★★★★☆

“It’s because a woman’s entire self-worth rests on her looks,” said Jane. “That’s why. It’s because we live in a beauty-obsessed society where the most important thing a woman can do is make herself attractive to men.”

Big Little Lies is an impossible to put down read. An indulgent thriller that keeps you on the edge of your seat. A stylish tale of mystery that centers around friendships between women and the woes of motherhood. It is purely fun and intriguing, while still being thought-provoking on occasion. And it reminds us that we don't always know what is happening in the homes of our friends.

Liane Moriarty's writing is smooth, honest and to the point. It's not overly sweet, but it's not overly serious. Big Little Lies takes place in a standard setting, exploring various topics and friendships, but maintains this feeling of being in the gray area in life. I liked the overall tone of the novel, because it's reminiscent of real life while still holding onto that indulgent tone I mentioned earlier; Moriarty portrays the relationship between a group of women, who's children all go to the same school. In many ways, Moriarty zeroes in on the complications of adulthood friendships and how they can, at times, be as youthfully mysterious as the ones that their children are forming at school.

There was something ultimately chilling of Big Little Lies. This may be the central mystery. Mostly, it is because of how true to life these characters ring.

You know a Jane, a young mother of a son who has moved to another new location and has baggage she's been carrying for years. You know a Celeste, who is perfect on the exterior but battles demons too many women have to fight. You know a Madeline, the exuberant mother who becomes like a big-sister and protector to those she cares about. 

Even the side characters are fleshed out to the point that they feel like people you know in your own life. Moriarty doesn't skimp out on developing them and hashing out a backstory, toying with the many complexities of their lives. This is what sets the story into new territory--Big Little Lies is just as much a contemporary, fluffy novel as it is thrilling and mysterious. Moriarty mixes up the genres beautifully and seamlessly, making sure that the hundreds of pages are devoured in little to no time.

While this book could have gone terribly in so many ways, Moriarty has this genuine way about her prose and makes Big Little Lies impossible to put down. Not many books live up to their hype, but this one does in many ways. Fun, full of life, mystery and chills, Big Little Lies is the ultimate wine read that will keep you on the edge of your seat.

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