I just finished watching the HBO series Big Little Lies and, I’m sure, like many others, didn’t want it to end. The slow, almost hypnotic pace of the direction by Jean-Marc Vallée in producer and writer David E. Kelley’s adaptation of Liane Moriarty’s book eased viewers into the complicated lives of the mothers of first graders in an affluent suburb of Monterey, California.
I quickly scooped up the book and was not disappointed by its southern Australian setting. The characters are the same: the charismatic, rapid-fire and funny Maddie, the outwardly serene but haunted Celeste, the tortured young mom Jane. These three women and their children and the men in their lives are all tangled together in a web of lies, both big and small. The story begins with a crime scene and the reader must shuffle through a series of entertaining, and at times, disturbing unreliable narrators until the truth is finally revealed.
|Jane, Maddie, and Celeste share a high-end kaffee klatsch
Moriarty perfectly captures the Mommy Wars that some people indulge in these days and invites the reader inside the heads of the three main female characters. We see the men in their lives through theirs and other’s eyes, but a little like the classic film The Women, the emphasis is squarely on the ladies. Themes of abuse, to children and adults, runs throughout. The setting may be beach/bucolic, but the passions run deep. Big Little Lies is a great read and I’d be willing to check out more by this author. There are rumors of a second series of the HBO show, too.
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