Book #4 on the Summer Reads list is actually a recommendation from a fellow blogger! The first book I read this summer was The Husband’s Secret by Liane Moriarty, and I really enjoyed it. I loved the author’s subtle humor, so when I received the suggestion that I read Big Little Lies by Moriarty and was clued in that Reese Witherspoon and Nicole Kidman are going to be starring in an HBO series based on the novel, I had to push it to the top of my summer reading list.
The book focuses mainly on three families in Australia who all have children in the same kindergarten class. Madeline and Celeste have been long time friends. When Jane, a young single mom, moves to town, they welcome her right into their group (read: clique) of “kindy moms,” taking her under their wing. When Jane’s son, Ziggy, is accused of bullying another little girl in his kindergarten class on the first day of school, a divide is immediately created among all of the kindy moms that reaches crazy levels. Being the sassy woman that she is, Madeline immediately takes Jane’s side and defends her against the mother of the bullying victim and her sidekicks (kindly referred to as the “Blond Bobs), who later write a petition to have Ziggy expelled from the school. The tensions caused by the drama in the kindergarten classroom combined with the complex personal drama that all the characters deal with at home make for one extra drama stuffed story.
It seems like it has the potential to be a dull plot, but let me tell you this book was far from dull. Moriarty covers all of the issues in this one: marriage, exes, domestic abuse, bullying, school politics, one night stands, single parents, depression, mental illness, and ultimately murder. That’s the juicy part, and I assure you it is not a spoiler, as the book starts off with a dialogue at the murder scene and jumps back and forth between the murder and the weeks leading up to it. However, we are left in suspense until the very end of the novel when we finally find out who the murder victim is. And just as I found in The Husband’s Secret, you’re left wondering if perhaps people really do get what they deserve in their lives.
Moriarty’s dialogue and insight into her character’s thoughts make the novel very relatable and incredibly entertaining. It’s hard not to see the humor in the dynamic and the politics I the group of kindy moms, and at the same time it’s hard not to find it a little horrifying. The Blond Bobs, Madeline’s PMS, and her dramatic daughter, and the attractive barista at the local coffee shop give the story a lighthearted and amusing tone without undermining the more serious issues that are brought to light. Humor + significant real-life issues + murder mystery = really good page turner. High-five Moriarty, you done good.
Thanks so much for the rec, and I would definitely recommend you all read it as well (and keep an eye out for more info on the HBO show)! Once the Amazon box arrives on my porch I will start reading my next book, One True Loves by Taylor Jenkins Reid. Can’t wait to update you all on that one & in the meantime, don’t forget to leave me more suggestions!
Talk to you soon.