Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty

The Truth Will Set You Free

Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty is both a powerful and disturbing contemporary thriller which made for compulsive reading. Its focus was bullying, domestic abuse and the lies we tell ourselves every day. It was uncomfortable reading at times but life is not always nice and we do not see what goes on behind closed doors.

Big Little Lies had a superb technique of teasing the reader as each chapter consisted of both present day police interview snippets and a narrative moving forward from six months earlier. Try as I might, I could not guess what had happened or to whom. My scenario was completely wrong. Liane Moriarty teased and tempted the reader by revealing snippets bit by bit. To say I was surprised at the outcome, is an understatement.

Domestic violence is complex. Victims lie to themselves believing it is their fault, they are to blame and it will not happen again. It is never the victims fault. “Each time she didn’t leave him, she gave him tacit permission to do it again.” To leave takes courage and one needs to have somewhere to go. Add children to the mix and it becomes harder. The abuser lies too – they are sorry (and they may be at that moment), it won’t happen again. Guilt prompts them to ‘try to make it up.’ “He bought her the first piece of jewellery she would never wear.” Guilty consciences spend money.

The novel shows abuse can happen to anyone, anywhere. There is no ‘type.’ No one asks to be abused. No one is abused because of the clothes they wear. The cycle of abuse must be broken for fear of the sins of the fathers visiting the next generation.

There is the theme of appearances. “They can all play ‘I’m richer than you’ ” game but its exhausting. People are so concerned with looking good that they forget to be good.

The difficulties of relationships is explored – parents and children, second marriages, blended families etc. Life can be very complex.

The novel warns of the dangers of the school yard gossip. The parents are worse than the children.

In contrast there is the loyalty of the under five’s. There is a beautiful friendship that touched my heart. Children are loyal, keeping secrets to protect and not harm.

There is a beautiful friendship also between three unlikely women.

Transparency is best. One of the characters is refreshing for her honesty and openness. Her vulnerability is touching. Her blossoming warms the readers heart.

The difficult topic of bullying is present. It focuses around the five year olds. The parents at the school gate seem to take it to a whole new level.

Big Little Lies was a difficult read at times but one which I devoured. It was a novel that you could really get your teeth into – life is not always what we expect. The face presented to the world is not always a true representation. And if we tell them often enough, we will begin to believe the big little lies.

A cleverly constructed story that is a compulsive read.

I received this book for free. A favourable review was not required and all views expressed are my own.




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