Thanks to the Cannonballers who raved about this book. After reading two rather serious pieces of nonfiction (death, death, and more death), this novel set in Australia was just the light but compelling read that I needed. Not that there isn’t some serious and grim stuff at the center of Big Little Lies, but there’s also a great deal of humor and heart.
Moriarty pulls us into the lives of three mothers, whose children are all starting the same kindergarten class. There’s Madeline, the former single mother now remarried, who can’t avoid her ex-husband or his annoying wife because their daughter is in the same class as hers. There’s Celeste who is not only beautiful but seems to have it all—the perfect husband, an amazing house, and twin boys. Finally, there’s Jane, a current single mom in her twenties, who has just moved to this seaside town with her son, Ziggy, hoping for a new start.
Moriarty does a skillful job of showing how these women bond on the first day of school (though a series of unfortunate events) but also spends time exploring each of their back stories. The hilarious part is that Moriarty alternates between this forward moving plot and snippets of future witness statements after some disaster occurs at the school’s Trivia Night—a disaster that may involve Maddie, Celeste, and Jane.
How can you not love a book that tackles domestic violence issues but also makes fun of upper class parents and their helicoptering ways? This book is a perfect beach read and though Chicago in early April is not particularly “beachy,” reading this made me want to put my feet up, put my sunglasses on, and drink something fruity and tropical.