Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty
(Putnam Adult, 2014, 480 pages)
I definitely enjoy reading Moriarty’s fiction (previous titles include What Alice Forgot and The Husband’s Secret). The way she writes really captures the reader’s attention so you want to see where she’s going to go with the story. Big Little Lies is told from various perspectives, but our main characters are Madeline, Celeste, and Jane. All three women have children entering kindergarten at their local public school and their lives end up becoming intertwined.
Madeline has an outgoing personality and has no problem stirring up trouble if necessary to defend her friends. Celeste seemingly leads a perfect life – she’s a beauty with a handsome husband and two gregarious twin boys. But mentally she always seems to be somewhere else… Jane is a young single mother who recently arrived in the area. She’s quiet and keeps to herself but is taken under Madeline’s wing. When Jane’s son, Ziggy, is accused of bullying at school it sets off a whole chain of events that eventually leads to murder.
The book is set up so that the reader already knows a murder has occurred. You’re just not sure who the victim and the murderer are. Each chapter has you thinking you might know but then new information is provided and new “justifications” could be made. Moriarty definitely keeps you guessing and there are a fair number of twists in the story that you won’t expect. This was an engaging book and I’d recommend it. A good page-turning book that I found to read pretty quickly.