Read This: Big Little Lies

by - February 06, 2018

I chose this book, mainly because it was set in Australia, but also because I was in Australia at the time lounging by the pool with nothing to do. And maybe because it's a mini series on HBO and won  some awards. But, mostly because my friend Sara (who undeniably has the best taste in most things) recommended it to me.

At first glance it's a momdram (re: mom drama). Total yawn, but I was quickly surprised as I read further into the 400 pages (lord have mercy). And hey, it caught my attention, with its quick wit and serious topic discussion, I couldn't put it down. It also does a good job at bouncing through an array of emotions because I found myself obsessed in the downward spiral of each character. Janet Maslin of The New York Times summed it up pretty well: "[It's] a seemingly fluffy book [which] suddenly touches base with a vicious reality.”

Secondly, I liked it because it dove right into, as Madeline puts, “[the] many levels of evil in the world.” There's something to be said for an author who can put pen to paper about things many of us internalize, but never speak of. There's the good things, virtuousness or righteousness, versus the evil things, viciousness or unrighteousness.  Two diametrically opposed terms or things, used for morally judging an action committed by some intelligently and willfully operating agent, a.k.a. human beings. To say a thing is good is to voice approval and encouragement of that act, whereas to say that some thing is evil, voices disapproval and condemnation. But what if nothings said about that thing? The implications of Madeline's statement are seen all over the novel’s different storylines and characters. You, as the reader have the choice to read into these tiny things or let them float onward on the fluffy cotton candy cloud over your head. You become the voice, what is good thing, what is evil thing, and the novel enlists this responsibility onto you, as the reader. It's funny to think a book can be so adjacent to the lives we live everyday. It's haunting to compare your neighbours and friends to the characters in the book and wonder what their secrets are. What are their big little lies? I mean, we all wonder, right.

So What's it All About?

Well, Madeline is one hell of a force to be reckoned with. Celeste is just drop dead gorgeous. And then there’s Jane, who’d would rather sink into life’s dark shadows. But, despite their differences, these three women’s lives have intertwined into a twisted tale of friendship. Who thought this would end in a murder? Ex-husbands and second wives, mothers and daughters, schoolyard scandal, and the dangerous little lies we tell ourselves just to survive.

So You've Read Big Little Lies:

What are your thoughts?

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  1. My questions:

    1. While reading the book did anyone else picture Madeline to be Nicole Kidman and Celeste to be Reese Witherspoon? Because when I watched the show I couldn't believe it, I thought Reese was the perfect fit for Celeste and Nicole for Madeline. Anyone else?

    2. You're telling me Jane had never seen a picture of Perry anywhere? What about all those Facebook posts? Surely Celeste and Jane would of been Facebook friends. Unless Jane is one of those I-don't-do-social-media people but, still we're under the impression that these women are pretty good friends throughout the start of the school year. They hang out all the time and Celeste never once showed Jane a picture of her husband? Not even Madeline showed Jane a photo of Celeste and Perry being annoyingly perfect?

    3. Who did you suspect was murdered? Did it change throughout the book? When did you start to suspect Perry?

    4. Abigail is passionate about doing her part to end child marriage with her "special project." You see, I think it was a valid and effective way to make a point, but at the same time I can sympathize with Madeline and Nathan. What do you think?

    5. Would you enjoy being friends with Madeline?

    6. Final question, in the show, why are all the men such good performers at the school trivia night?! Like that would not happen.

    Let me know your thoughts!