Liane Moriarty (Big) Little Lies

I do not think I read many books that start off with a murder not to reveal who has been murdered almost until the end. In truth, Little Lies is not really about this murder. Little Lies is mostly about the interaction between women, their friendships and the many ways in which they can be annoyed which each other. By adding short interviews with mothers and stay-at-home dads about the murder and the events leading up to it, Moriarty creates an image of a world of innocent children and their less innocent mothers: prepared to defend their children and friends to the bitter end, without a thought of it’s consequences. The preamble to the murder is an incident on the first try-out of primary school: daughter Amabella (spelled correctly) blames son Ziggy of trying to strangle her. Mothers Renata and Jane immediately take their positions and are backed up by their mutual friends: Hannah, too preoccupied with flattering the succesful business woman Renata <=> Madeline and Celeste, championing Jane. Bonny, the second wife of Madeline’s ex, flatters in between, convinced of the vigor of health foods, yoga and buddhism. The meanness between the women is taken from the real world, Moriarty knows women. Little Lies starts of as a novel about a murder, it swiftly becomes a novel about bullying and abusing. I will not reveal who is doing the bullying and the abusing, that would be too much of a spoiler for a novel that works to this revelation that well. By shifting from edgy to downright grim, from adding less and less of the funny, revealing interviews, by going back to the preamble of the murder, Moriarty skillfully takes us where she wants us to go. And by playing with all known clichés about women: Harper, the second in command, Madeline who suffers from PMS and Renata, the bitchy carreer woman: we know them. When Moriarty finally revealed who did the murdering and who was being murdered I was sitting on the edge of my chair and I could not help myself from exclaiming out of pure astonishment (luckily I was not sitting in the train). It was unexpected, it also put a new light on the women in the novel. Tone, structure and knowledge of women lift this who-dun-it to an unexpected high level. I was impressed, I did not even mindthe slightly sugar sweet ending.

Little Lies


About booksandliliane

I am an avid reader and love to share my love for literature. I have my own opinion on books that have been shortlisted, laureated by critics or are pushed on us by bookstores. I will try and explain why I like or do not like a book. Hopefully influencing you in your choice of books to read.
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