Thank god for Big Little Lies. I’ve been in a reading slump pretty much all this year, and the only books I have been able to complete are new adult. Sex has been the only motivator so far this year, but there is nothing more motivating than murder.
Big Little Lies is set in an idyllic, beach town in Australia. (To an American, all Australian towns are idyllic and on the beach tbh.) We tumble into the world of the most vicious animal in the kingdom: the mom. Soccer moms, moms on juice cleanses, career moms, moms who do yoga, and moms who commit murder. Madeline, Jane, and Celeste are the three stars of this show (quite literally, as well), and the story follows the highs and lows of their intersecting lives, leading up to the murder of someone. Everybody has secrets, and everybody has lies they tell the world and themselves. Big Little Lies tries to navigate the world of womanhood through the lens of motherhood, and I enjoyed myself for the entire ride.
My favorite part of the book was the Greek chorus of “witnesses”. Their testimonies are sprinkled between chapters, and they are used for comic relief or as an ominous warning to the danger that lies ahead. I loved the whip smart dialogue, and I am enjoying their incorporation into the HBO show. I loved Madeline, Jane, and Celeste. The author did a great job of creating three very distinct characters who sometimes fall into their tropes (the assertive one, the shy one, and the beautiful one) but she does it so expertly that it creates intimate connections with all the women very quickly and easily. I will say this book is quite funny, it doesn’t carry the sardonic, pessimistic tone of a Gillian Flynn novel, but it’s lightheartedness does not mean it does not have serious stakes. I found the ending very satisfying. It wrapped up everything nicely, but I’m pretty sure there is something ugly beneath that beautiful wrapping paper.