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Little Lies by Liane Moriarty

Monday, February 9, 2015

Publisher: Penguin
Format: Kindle e-book
Rating: 4/5

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Sometimes it’s the little lies that turn out to be the most lethal. . . . 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. Big Little Lies is a brilliant take on ex-husbands and second wives, mothers and daughters, schoolyard scandal, and the dangerous little lies we tell ourselves just to survive.
All I can say is I'm glad I don't have to navigate playground politics right now. Goodness me, this book was a riot! I absolutely loved it. Anyone who has read this blog before will know I like reading a gossip blog or two. This book appealed to that part of my nature - it was scandalous yet campy in tone.

Side note - I had no idea Liane Moriarty is the sister of Jaclyn Moriarty - one of my favourite YA writers EVER! When you know, you can pick out a shared sense of humour (well I think so anyway) but still, it was interesting to find out!

Anyway, I loved all of the characters in this book. Even the 'baddies' although, to be honest, they're all 'baddies' to a certain extent. This book is firmly set in the grey area - namely, how far will you go in the name of your child's wellbeing and reputation? How much of it is about the actual situation and how much of it is about you getting 'one up' on the other parents? How much of it is about your past school situation versus your child's? They say once a man, twice a child, generally referring to your senior days, however after reading this (and witnessing similar situations in real life) I'd be more inclined to say this childlike state might occur again sooner rather than later.

You can instantly recognise all of the characters. We all know a Madeline and a Renata and a Harper (oh how we all know a Harper). I hate to say it but I think I might be a Renata...however, I don't have kids yet so we'll see when the time comes! Hopefully I'm not a Harper. Oh Lord, please don't let me be a Harper.

However, the best thing about this book is the humour. It really is very funny at times. There are some great one-liners - usually from Madeleine - and coupled with the tight and well planned lot that zigs when you want to zag, it's a zinger of a read. I'm not surprised it has been picked up by Reese Witherspoon and Nicole Kidman for a television adaptation. I think it will do what The Slap wanted to do (well, I didn't like the book or the show so maybe I'm biased. Perhaps it was a hit but I don't think so...). I hope they keep it set in Australia though - a lot of the humour was cultural, I think.

Definitely give this a go. You won't be disappointed!

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