The Book Mark

Books that make the grade.

Big Little Lies

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Recently, I saw an interview with Liane Moriarty author of Big Little Lies (B) where she said she is conscience of writing to a formula and she doesn’t want to do that. However, I feel it is exactly what she did here. She used the same format as that of The Husband’s Secret (B) the novel prior to this.

She takes on a big subject  “bullying” and for the most part does a great job with it. Her formula is using three characters whose lives she outlines. Each one is dealing with personal issues all linking to the main plot. Eventually she brings all subplots in line with the main one.

All the players have children who are entering kindergarten for the first time. At orientation, one of the children is choked by another. In an attempt to nip the issue in the bud, the teacher has the child point out which of the children attacked her. By doing this a chain of events are set in motion with catastrophic results – someone’s death.

There is a police investigation being conducted throughout the book. In alternating chapters, we see many perspectives regarding the same events that lead up to the murder. The reader does not know who has been killed until the very ending of the book making this a very suspenseful read.

I found it very interesting that either before or after each chapter, Moriarty wrote excerpts of conversations. They all have to do with the investigation in some way. It was a quite unique approach; one I had never seen before.

All in all, Big Little Lies is a fast paced mystery with a powerful message for bullies, those who have been bullied and for everyone else who needs to understand.

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