WARNING: This review contains spoilers.
Big Little Lies! What an amazing book! What an amazing author! After the response from RCM Book Club’s last pick, Liane Moriarty’s What Alice Forgot, I knew we had to read BLL and that we would be in for a treat.
When I read the novel, I had not watched the corresponding HBO series so I knew nothing of the story. And all I can say is that Liane is an incredible writer. I find myself in awe of her style, her characters, and her plot development. In my opinion, her true genius lies in her honesty. Her characters are so incredibly relatable due to the honest way she tells the story.
For, example, Madeline is obsessed about her looks and the evidence of aging and “she wanted to be above such superficial concerns.” I can relate; I found another gray hair this week and it bothered me that it bothered me. Another example is when Jane says that she wants to throw Ziggy into the wall when he throws a tantrum in the bathtub. What mom hasn’t had that fleeting thought at one time or another?
I absolutely LOVED the interview snippets at the beginning of each chapter. They were kind of like the chorus in Greek plays that ingeniously gives more insight into the story. Plus, they were a hilarious, but an oh-so-true look into human nature.
Tackling Not So Little Issues
More importantly however, Liane’s commentary about sensitive and difficult topics is remarkable and she does it in such a way that is not only insightful but also incredibly entertaining. She got me thinking about the big LITTLE lies we tell ourselves: my house should be cleaner. A perfect mother does ________ (insert whatever here). I should be doing _________ (insert whatever here) instead of reading a book (or whatever fun thing you like to do for yourself).
Obviously, Big Little Lies is not the first book that I have read by Liane, and I knew that she tackled difficult subjects and themes, however I was surprised by that first instance of domestic violence. In light of recent world events, I have been thinking about the BIG little lies that we have told ourselves for centuries and continue to ask ourselves today. He didn’t really mean to hit me/hit her. The kids don’t know. They’re just boys being boys. What was she even doing in that hotel room? Why would she stay? All she had to do was get up and walk out. It has always been this way; it will never change.
Madeline asks: “Have you felt this tension, know if you were fully aware, it would cripple you?” I have these past few months. The issues seem insurmountable: Harvey Weinstein, Matt Lauer, #METOO, sex trafficking, the sheer volume violence against everyone, the desperate need for diapers in our own community, the list is endless. There is so much to do and so many things that need our focus and attention. “There are so many levels of evil in the world.” Where do we even start? Is it time for drastic steps, similar to Abigail’s drastic attempt to end child marriage? How and where do we even begin to think and talk about these topics?
Books like Big Little Lies help us start the conversation. And wasn’t Big Little Lies a great book?
Big Little Lies Book Discussion
Share your thoughts in the Comments below and/or during the Rocket City Mom Virtual Book Club of Big Little Lies on Thursday, January 25th at 8:30 CST. JOIN US HERE and see you there!
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Shannan Moore Malone squeezes in the time to write while taking care of the Buddy Man. As you already know, she loves books but she also loves great movies, running, and is, beyond a shadow of a doubt, a foodie. Though generally more on the quiet side, you can get her talking by mentioning living authentically, the importance of clarity and organization, and enjoying life, which she occasionally writes about on her blog her blog and posts about on Instagram @shannanenjoyslife.