- Maureen Buschek
Gossip in Suburbia
Australia's suburbia is probably similar to America's but I'm not sure any place would be quite like the town in Australian author Liane Moriarty's 2014 "Big Little Lies". What a place. At first all is tranquil with the opening scene outside the local grammar school.
You meet three very different women. First is Madeline, a very "girly" woman who loves funky clothes, has a funny wit and a querulous teenage daughter. Then there is the beautiful Celeste with the rich and handsome husband, gorgeous waterfront home and adorable twins. Jane is young and poor with the cutest little boy with the funny name. All three become close friends and get very involved at their children's school functions. It's amazing that they get along despite their backgrounds but little cracks in all this contentment start to emerge. That's where the "big, little lies come in.
Moriarty's books seem to follow a pattern but in this case it works and works well. You know from the beginning that someone is murdered, you just don't know who the victim is or who did it. The writing is witty and at times laugh out loud funny, then turns serious in an instant. There are some very serious themes in the book; it is not just a murder mystery and definitely not a beach read which is how it appears at first. The reader is propelled through these people's lives to the horrific end where you just might say "wow, I didn't see that coming".
Reese Witherspoon's production company snapped up the rights and created a very popular TV series. The casting is spot-on and the reviews are rave just as they were with this New York Times best seller book. The TV show parallels the book in the first season. The second season has been ordered with Liane Moriarty on board to help create a new storyline.
The author has several other books which include "The Husband's Secret", "What Alice Forgot" and "Truly Madly Guilty". "Big Little Lies" is probably her most popular and definitely worth checking out. We also have the DVD of the TV show and many patrons have found it satisfying to read the book and then watch the DVD. All is not always what it appears to be!