Whitney is the founder and one of the speediest readers behind Imaginary Book Club; delivering weekly book reviews, monthly favorites, and frequent recommended book lists with a side order of overwrought musings. After forming and joining book clubs in every city she lived in, Whitney finally decided to take the fun online to connect with fellow introverts who are also longing for a way to connect.
Big Little Lies is one of those books that really keeps you guessing! There aren’t too many books that can tell you, practically one page one, that someone is going to die, and literally keep you guessing until the final pages of the book!
I picked up Big Little Lies when it was suggested as one of our monthly Imaginary Book Club selections. I’m not sure that this would normally be something I picked, but I love that having an online book club makes it more likely that I’m going to pick something outside of my comfort zone!
Liane Moriarty’s Big Little Lies represents so much – on one hand it’s displaying the simple power of friendship, on another the cattiness of parents, on another childhood bullying, and yet on another the complexity of domestic abuse. I loved that Moriarty mixed a lot into the story. If this had simply been a story of female friendship, it would have seemed simplistic. If it had just been a story about parents and how childish they can behave, it would have been too cheeky and honestly a bit overwrought. If it was just a story about bullying, it would have been over simplifying a complex issue. And if it had just been about domestic and sexual abuse – well, it could have been just a bit too scary to handle.
But by weaving together these different aspects, Moriarty managed to create a book that was simultaneously serious, fun, silly, and hilarious. All of the components, which might have seemed overwhelmingly complex at first, just worked together in the perfect combination to create a complex multifaceted story.
The characters developed have nuance and life to them that just wouldn’t have been possible if they had been one sided. Instead, since the story is presented from multiple perspectives, you see inside their thoughts and feelings, understanding their motivations even when they might not have behaved in a good way.
One of my favorite elements of Big Little Lies is a crafty foreshadowing tool Moriarty uses from the very beginning. At the end of each chapter, there are snippets – flashes forward to months later – recounting a particular event at the school where all these parents’ childrens are in attendance. Through these little quotes from tertiary characters who are attended the event, you capture little bits of memories of the last few months and what led up to the murder of one of the parents.
Even with all these little hints and clues, Moriarty manages not to give it all away! She holds out, keeping you from knowing either the victim or the aggressor to the last moments. And this hint of mystery is enough to keep you from having any idea what exactly happened on that crucial night that changed everything.
Check out more of Whitney’s writings at Imaginary Book Club’s newly designed website here: http://imaginarybookclub.com/author/whitney.