This was an absolutely perfect book to read last Saturday when I was home alone all day and got to curl up under a blanket and forget about the rest of the world. Basically everything is perfectly executed in Big Little Lies:
— The mystery is compelling and surprising, concealing not only the killer but the deceased.
— The characters and the world they inhabit are easy fodder for stereotypes and dismissal as frivolity, but Moriarty humanizes them and gives them dimension. I found myself identifying with three women whose lives could not be more different from mine, but who nonetheless are shaped by being women and having to live within certain expectations. (And, then, live with the consequences of not meeting those expectations.)
— The prose and tone are witty and light, making me laugh out loud. And while the narration engages in some gentle teasing, it’s never mocking or chastising the women for their lives.
— Even when the subject matter goes dark, the book doesn’t revel in the sordidness; it respects the characters’ trauma without offering titillation and, in doing so, steers the reader away from re-victimizing them.
Big Little Lies has been read a lot already. From everything I had heard about it, I suspected I would love it, and I’m relieved that even with the burden of elevated expectations, I have nothing bad to say about it at all. If I didn’t have to stop and eat lunch, I would have read it all in one sitting. Definitely looking forward to reading Lianne Moriarty’s other books now.