Saturday, 20 May 2017

Book Review: Big Little Lies


Hello again! Today's post is another book review; I really enjoy sharing the books I read with you all. I decided to read Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty after a workmate recommend it. I had super high hopes for it, but I'll admit that for the first few chapters I wasn't keen. The narrative style is a very modern writing technique; using internet 'chat' style statements at the end of each chapter to create speculation about the bigger picture. Once I got further into the story I quickly became addicted. The three main characters (Jane: a young single mother, Madeline: passionate, girly and begrudging, Celeste: showstoppingly beautiful) although seemingly quite extreme, are definitely relatable and work well as a trio. All of the characters that are introduced throughout the book are known to each other through their children being at the same school; on the surface this book comes across as being yet another kindergarten group of cliques who all believe their child is the most amazing, fantastically talented five year old to ever attend school.

However, through the snippets of information provided in each chapter and the statements suggesting that something big will be revealed at the school fundraising night it's almost impossible not to become curious; this book becomes fascinating very quickly. It deals with many taboo topics, such as domestic abuse, bullying, rape amongst several others. There are many hints that all is not what it seems; it really pushes the idea that parents can be badly behaved and that can easily affect children. I found myself becoming increasingly frustrated by the snippets of information as they kept pointing to some kind of crime being committed, with no suggestion of who but a clear indication of when. With an obvious link to the title, the whole book focuses on the 'little lies' that we as people often tell others without thinking of the consequences; leading up to the big event at the end of the book there are all kinds of lies and exaggerations being spread by main and minor characters. I found book incredibly gripping the further I read; there was so many unexpected twists, I never knew what was going to happen next... Even my best guesses were completely wrong!

It was a little confusing at time because there was such a vast array of characters being introduced at different points; I really liked the writing style once I got into the action and focussed on what was going on. The whole book was littered with clues, but because as a reader you saw so many different perspectives and ideas it was so hard to keep up with the clues and piece them together. Moriarty has a way of making all of the characters connect in ways that they don't even realise whilst on the surface being polar opposites; once the characters were established this was an excellent way of piecing the clues together. By using the present to relay the lead up of events to the fundraiser night alongside statements from witnesses of a murder from the same event from the past really messes with you when you're reading. This book really highlighted how you can never really know what is going on in someone's else life, no matter how close you think you are to them. For a crime novel, it was very light in places and very dark in others; I was gripped after several chapters, once I the key players were fully established.

Overall, I found once the plot started to shape itself, the amount of suspense was unfathomable; the ending was hugely unexpected and satisfying. I started the book not impressed at all, but I'm glad that I persevered as I ended up loving it. I wasn't a fan of the witness statements; yes they were useful for keeping up to date with the plot but the layout was confusing. As a reader you need to keep on track with all of the characters but it wasn't easy as there were so many players and perspectives provided throughout; it's only when the main characters are set in that the plot begins to make sense. Moriarty seamlessly weaves many important topics into this novel, using a variety of perspectives to do so. What I particularly liked about the way that Moriarty presented the murder was that the identity of both the murderer and the murdered were left to guesswork until the very end, with no disappointment at all. I would recommend reading this as although it's a slow start, once the action begins it's impossible not to engage with its enticing mystery, yet humourous (at times) aspects of storytelling. It's a fascinating read and wholly realistic; the majority of the characters will remind you of someone you've met at sometime in your life and that's what makes this book such a pleasure.


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