I’m not usually one for books about mommies and gossip and the plight of the suburban housewife, but I am highly susceptible to books everyone seems to love. So I gave in (like I always do). Actually, let’s not even play around and call it “giving in.” I’m a curious bastard. If you get me curious, I’m gonna follow through.
And I’m so glad I was curious about this book, because I really ended up loving it.
Here is where I would normally give you a brief rundown of the plot, but I feel like if I explain the plot of Big Little Lies to you, you maybe will say what I almost said, which is: That is not for me. I do not like reading about those things.
Here is some actual useful information so as for you to properly judge your interest in this book:
- It’s funny and sly without being mean. It’s heartfelt without being sentimental. It’s compassionate without being dopey.
- It will tease you mercilessly until you beg for . . . well . . . mercy. And then it will punch you in the butt.
- The characters are extremely well drawn. The three main ones especially, but in the end all of them are, really.
- It takes on some serious issues in a realistic manner, and it does always in the context of its own characters. This isn’t a VERY SPECIAL EPISODE kind of book. It’s a book about Madeline, Jane and Celeste, and some things that happen to them.
- It’s frustrating, but the frustration ultimately pays off.
- It’s feminist as hell, if you’re into that sort of thing. And if you’re not, what the hell.
- It has twisty mystery elements, one of those elements being that you know from page one someone is dead, but unlike with most mysteries, you don’t know how OR who.
By the time I was about a third of the way in, I was frantically googling spoilers for this book because it had me so worked up and stressed out about what was going to happen. In a way, I’m glad I couldn’t find any spoilers of significance* because the ending really would have lost some impact, but man I was worked up for a while. This was probably made worse by the fact that I was listening on audio and it probably took me at least twice as long to read the book that way than if I’d have been reading through the hardcover.
*INTERNET YOU HAVE FAILED ME.
The audio was great, but if you’re the type of insatiable curious person who will easily be turned into a raging frothmonster by endless teasing, I’d suggest picking up a hard copy of some sort so you can just zoom through that sucker.
Will definitely be reading more of Liane Moriarty’s stuff, including an eventual re-read of this one since I know what happens now and I’ll actually be able to relax while reading it instead of running around my house screaming things like WHEN WILL THE TORTURE END.