Book Review: Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty

big little lies

veronicaOnce in a while a book comes along and I read it as the show is released on television. I knew that I wanted to read Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty before watching the hit show on HBO. After hearing so many mixed reviews of both the novel and those of the show, I knew I wanted to shut it all down and form my own opinion.

Big Little Lies the novel was an interesting read. Moriarty did an excellent job in breathing life into these characters, making them all so vivid, real and relatable. Jane, a young, single mother moves to a small but upscale beach town on the Australian coast to give her son a different environment. On orientation day, Jane meets Madeline and they become fast friends, despite the age gap. Through her, Jane also meets Celeste.

Jane’s son Ziggy is accused of strangling his classmate, Amabella, during orientation day and thus the saga begins. Lines are drawn, cliques become tighter, and parents become overprotective and accusatory. Jane’s friendships with Madeline and Celeste blossom to where she confides in her past, allowing them to know who Ziggy’s father is.

This novel addresses a lot of different touchy subjects and actually portrays it very well; Moriarty did not shy away from taking on bullying, rape, cliques or domestic abuse. I’m not sure if it was her intention, but the novel translated well onto the screen.

While I enjoyed the novel, I felt the show fell flat on several aspects, not just because they set it in California. They changed quite a few things that I feel were necessary to plot and character development. They hardly touched on Madeline’s first daughter, now a rebellious teenager, and how she emulates her step-mom. But kept her secret project in the show without context and without any repercussions. I also thought Madeline having an affair was just weak and lazy writing. Can Hollywood be anymore cliché?

Overall, I would take Liane Moriarty’s original work over the lazy Hollywood version.


more information
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july 29, 2014