My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Big Little Lies is brilliantly written. Liane Moriarty certainly knows how to use a red herring. Though I did figure out a few of the book’s major twists, I was left guessing and second-guessing and third-guessing the main mystery of the novel. Even after it was revealed I didn’t believe it. It happened so suddenly and I was certain it was another of Moriarty’s diversions.
Not only is Big Little Lies a well-written novel with a razor-sharp sense of humor and utterly real (this is so unfortunate in many cases) characters; it is also an important novel. Moriarty tackles themes of bullying, domestic violence, marriage and parenthood, complicated structures, and friendship in a way that is so entertaining that the issues somehow seem to sink it more deeply. Big Little Lies not only makes you think about these issues but lets you think about them from different angles. Are we all capable of violence given the right circumstances? Why are some people able to control that urge better than others? When does the violence start? Why?
I’m not just thinking about all of these questions thanks to Big Little Lies. This book has changed the way I view the world. Every song on the radio suddenly sounds like a potentially abusive relationship. “If I tell you I love you, will you come back?” (I’m paraphrasing here) Why did she leave in the first place?
One of my favorite things about the novel was the little snippets of the interviews with the parents/witnesses throughout the story. Not only did they provide smoke screens, they deftly demonstrated how perceptions can be skewed and half-heard conversations can cause big problems. It was like the most ridiculous game of telephone ever. The adults were so much worse than the children.