I try to stay with my own genre, (Children’s Literature) when it comes to writing reviews, however the latest novel I just completed reading begs to be praised. It not only has great characters, an amazing plot but has a fabulous setting, all the prerequisites for an absolutely fantastic read.
I picked up “Big Little Lies” by Liane Moriarty at the airport the other week looking for something to read on the plane. I had no prior knowledge of Liane’s writing so was pleasantly surprised when I found I couldn’t put the book down. I am a sucker for great characters that draw me into their lives. The plot brilliantly revolved around a primary school on the north shore beaches of Sydney and seemed so familiar it could easily have been any beach side country town in NSW. The writing was authentic and drew me in to a climax that I did not see coming, (and I pride myself usually on figuring these things out). I was hooked completely, the full fishing line and sinker reeled me in. If you have ever had anything to do with children and schools you will empathise with the parents in this story. The depth of characters, humour and darkness are all well balanced to make this a gripping tale from start to finish.
The plot hints of a murder occurring during the school trivia night, (a fund raiser for smart boards, essential equipment in any modern school) and we find ourselves trying to figure out not only “who dunnit?” but “who was murdered?” The more we read the more the plot thickens as we become more familiar with each of the key characters, their families and the children of the Kindergarten class. As a former Kindy teacher and mum I found myself quite amused at times with the parental behaviour. Liane has observed their typical characteristics so well it was almost like reading events that could so easily have happened in a school near me (or you).
While at times quite light and humorous, the story also has quite a dark side to it as it tackles issues such as school bullying and violent affairs within and out of marriage. Both subjects are very topical at the moment and Liane has represented the issues in a clear and poignant manner.
On googling the book to find a picture to add I found that the story is being made into a telemovie to be released next year on Foxtel produced by and staring Nicole Kidman and Reece Witherspoon who play the key characters. I really look forward to seeing how they produce this.
I gave this fantastic novel 5 out of 5 stars. I couldn’t put it down.