Our book club’s September/October selection was one I had already read. In fact, I’ve since read several other Liane Moriarty books since this one, and enjoyed them all.
This selection was probably the first book since our first (The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry) that everyone in the club enjoyed and mostly agreed on. We also had a newcomer to the club so our dynamic has now increased by another voice.
When all of us have a general consensus about a selection, our discussion often turns to what resonated with us personally about the story. This, to me, is one of the best parts of our meetings. It’s in these moments that our fellow readers become more than a woman that sits beside us once a month at a book discussion. She becomes a sister. And it is continued proof to me of the healing power and profoundness of art to bond people who might not have connected otherwise.
As far as the book itself, it, too, is about a sisterhood.
Big Little Lies is deceiving upon first glance. The member who selected it even introduced it as a “basic, white-girl book”. And certainly there are elements of that within it. But the subject matter is much deeper and complex.
You might have heard of Big Little Lies. HBO released it this year as a mini-series and it recently won several Emmy awards. I’m just starting to watch it, but I highly recommend reading the book first. I’m only one episode in and they’ve already made some major changes to the characters’ stories from what I can tell.
Those characters include:
Madeline: a mother with a side hustle and some blended family issues.
Celeste: former attorney, now SAHM. Gorgeous and wealthy.
Jane: single mom with a mysterious past. New in town, looking for a fresh start.
I love how these seemingly superficial characters are the vessels for a plot that goes places you don’t always see coming. I mean, if Stephen King says it’s a hell of a good book, you should probably listen. When someone who (1) can twist a story into something entirely spellbinding, and (2) is a master of creating rich, complex characters compliments another author’s story, I take note.
It’s very hard to write about a book like this without giving away spoilers and I just really don’t want to spoil it so let me just say that King’s compliments are well placed and this is a book that never leaves the reader bored. It’s a quick enough read for a vacation, yet complex enough to result in a discussion that lasted well over an hour.
As a mother, I related a lot to the story. Because the fears of these parents are real fears. Technology, and our inability to police it 24/7. How our choices, good and bad, affect our children.
It also evoked a lot of discussion among our group about just how much times have changed, just in the last decade or two, in terms of marriage, parenting, and the discussion of abuse starting to be less and less taboo.
I highly recommend Big Little Lies. If you’ve also read it, I’d love to hear your thoughts about it in the comments!