Intrigued by the opening credits to the new HBO series Big Little Lies that I saw while waiting to watch another HBO show, I decided to look into Liane Moriarty’s novel which is the basis for the show. Starring Reese Witherspoon, Nicole Kidman, Shailene Woodley and Laura Dern, how can this show not be amazing? So I set out to read the book first. It is a page turner with short chapters, many of which begin or end the police interrogation dialogue, as it is established a murder has occurred in Chapter One. The female characters played by Hollywood’s finest all are mothers of kindergartners at Pirriwee Peninsula Public School, although HBO has moved the location from Sydney, Australia to LA. The mothers are all “pretty people” and the competition among them is pretty fierce at times. Woodley’s character, Jane, is a single mom who has moved to town with her son, Ziggy. Their arrival and assimilation into the mother-crowd throws off the group dynamics.
I thought this would be fluff-chick, Stepford Wives type reading, but there are larger issues surrounding the “big, little lies” moneyed mothers tell to keep up the facade of perfection. Past and present relationships are far from perfect, and Moriarty makes some pretty strong social statements throughout.
I can’t wait to watch the series. I had Amazon send copies of the paperback to my daughter and daughter-in-law and I am hoping for some discussion to come from our little mother/daughter book club. By the last quarter of the book, I was entirely sucked in and could not put it down.