Secrets and Scandal in ‘Big Little Lies’


When I’m looking for the next great novel, I use the New York Times bestseller list to find what’s popular. Picking the #1 book is too obvious, so I look for the 20th or the 57th, somewhere obscure. There I seem to find all my favorites, including Room, The Goldfinch, The Girl on the Train, Gone Girl, Water for Elephants, and so much more.

Mind you, all of the aforementioned books have been made into feature films (The Goldfinch is in the works) – but none of these books were famous at the time. They were buried in obscurity as far as the media was concerned. The same can be said for Big Little Liars by Liane Moriarty. I found Liane Moriarty by total mistake, but it’s one of the best mistakes I’ve made to date (book wise).

Book description: Pirriwee Public School’s annual Trivia Night has ended in a shocking riot. One parent is dead. The school principal is horrified. As police investigate what appears to have been a tragic accident, signs begin to indicate that this devastating death might have been cold-blooded murder. A murder…A tragic accident…Or just parents behaving badly? What’s indisputable is that someone is dead.

Big Little Lies follows three women, each at a crossroads. Madeline who is dealing with her ex-husband and his yogi new wife and their daughter, who is now in the same kindergarten class as her own daughter. While Celeste is a gorgeous housewife and a mother of rambunctious twin boys, and married to the fatally passionate Perry. Single mom Jane, the youngest of everyone, is battling a sadness beyond her years and harbors secret doubts about her son. But why? While Madeline and Celeste soon take Jane under their wing, none of them realizes how the arrival of Jane and her inscrutable little boy will affect them all.

Big Little Lies is a brilliant take on marriages, mothers and daughters, schoolyard scandal, and the dangerous not so little lies we tell ourselves just to survive.

In the little Australian towns Moriarty creates, peoples lives always get thrown amuck by the secrets they keep (or try to). What’s done in the dark comes to light as the Bible says, and there is no shortness of dark or light in her novels. The novel was so good it was turned into an award winning HBO series starring Reese Witherspoon, Nicole Kidman, Laura Dern and Shailene Woodleyin 2017 and returns for Season 2 in 2018.

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