Big Little Lies

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Big Little Lies

by Liane Moriarty

Penguin Publishing Group | July 29, 2014 | Hardcover

Big Little Lies is rated 4.4444 out of 5 by 9.
Check out the #1 New York Times bestseller Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty, called “a surefire hit” by Entertainment Weekly.
 
"The secrets burrowed in this seemingly placid small town...are so suburban noir they would make David Lynch clap with glee...[Moriarty] is a fantastically nimble writer, so sure-footed that the book leaps between dark and light seamlessly; even the big reveal in the final pages feels earned and genuinely shocking.” —Entertainment Weekly

"Reading one [of Liane Moriarty''s novels] is a bit like drinking a pink cosmo laced with arsenic... [BIG LITTLE LIES] is a fun, engaging and sometimes disturbing read” –USA Today


Sometimes it’s the little lies that turn out to be the most lethal. . . .
A murder… . . . a tragic accident… . . . or just parents behaving badly?  
What’s indisputable is that someone is dead.  

But who did what?
 

Big Little Lies follows three women, each at a crossroads:

Madeline is a force to be reckoned with. She’s funny and biting, passionate, she remembers everything and forgives no one. Her ex-husband and his yogi new wife have moved into her beloved beachside community, and their daughter is in the same kindergarten class as Madeline’s youngest (how is this possible?). And to top it all off, Madeline’s teenage daughter seems to be choosing Madeline’s ex-husband over her. (How. Is. This. Possible?).


Celeste is the kind of beautiful woman who makes the world stop and stare. While she may seem a bit flustered at times, who wouldn’t be, with those rambunctious twin boys? Now that the boys are starting school, Celeste and her husband look set to become the king and queen of the school parent body. But royalty often comes at a price, and Celeste is grappling with how much more she is willing to pay.

New to town, single mom Jane is so young that another mother mistakes her for the nanny. Jane is sad beyond her years and harbors secret doubts about her son. But why? While Madeline and Celeste soon take Jane under their wing, none of them realizes how the arrival of Jane and her inscrutable little boy will affect them all.
 

Big Little Lies is a brilliant take on ex-husbands and second wives, mothers and daughters, schoolyard scandal, and the dangerous little lies we tell ourselves just to survive.

Format: Hardcover

Dimensions: 480 pages, 9.3 × 6.3 × 1.5 in

Published: July 29, 2014

Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0399167064

ISBN - 13: 9780399167065

Found in: Fiction

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Reviews

Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great read for vacation! A very quick read and an engaging storyline. Some laugh out loud lines, combined with thought provoking anecdotes of what is you believe to be right and wrong when it comes to your children, your family and your friends. Overall, a light but interesting read!
Date published: 2015-03-16
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Big Little Lies This was such a well crafted story of parents behaving badly on the school yard. It was witty and humourous and the "who done it" kept me guessing up until the end. I do have to say the the adult playground gossip was a bit juvenile and sometimes it irritated me and then sometimes I would laugh out loud. I loved the suspense build up and the police questioning snippets at at the end of each chapter - added some nice humour. The only reason I held back and couldn't give it 5 stars is because the "murder" wasn't as grand as I would have hoped. The author did such a great job building and building up the ending and then it just fell a bit flat to me. I was hoping for a juicier murder - If that makes sense. Other than that I loved it and was very entertained. This was my first novel by Moriarty, and can't wait to read more!
Date published: 2015-03-14
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Big Little Lies This was such a well crafted story of parents behaving badly on the school yard. It was witty and humourous and the "who done it" kept me guessing up until the end. I do have to say the the adult playground gossip was a bit juvenile and sometimes it irritated me and then sometimes I would laugh out loud. I loved the suspense build up and the police questioning snippets at at the end of each chapter - added some nice humour. The only reason I held back and couldn't give it 5 stars is because the "murder" wasn't as grand as I would have hoped. The author did such a great job building and building up the ending and then it just fell a bit flat to me. I was hoping for a juicier murder - If that makes sense. Other than that I loved it and was very entertained. This was my first novel by Moriarty, and can't wait to read more!
Date published: 2015-01-25
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great read, another favourite author ! This is my 1st book by this author and now I'm hooked ! Really good mystery element and a nice surprise revealed at the end.Loved the Australian aspect as well.Am presently reading "The Husbands Secret" , really enjoying it , reading it much too fast !Will be searching out more books by this author, Keep writing Liane !
Date published: 2015-01-19
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Liar Liar...pants on fire. I loved this book...I read through this book like my butt was on fire. Being a working mom, it reminded me of the stay at home moms that used to mill around the school door, gossiping after the school bell had rung, summoning the students to class. It also reminded me, of the pecking order of the moms who ran the school...cupcake moms, hot dog day moms, fun day moms, the moms who always had a beef with the teachers and the principal. When my kids were in public school, I was a working mom, so I was looked at, with pity, by the stay at home moms. Being a working mom, I was deemed as a unfit mother...work was more important to me, I was labeled, and labeled as a mom who knew how to make cupcakes, but not fancy or creative cup cakes. The author captured too true to real life, the follies that go merrily around the home and school crowd. Loved the book...funny, good mystery and with the Canadian Gian Ghomeshi scandal full steam ahead, totally relevant.
Date published: 2014-12-24
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Calamity I've come to rather enjoy books by this author. This latest was a wonderful surprise. The characters are well developed and flawed. Each harbours their own secret and/or big little lie. The book flashes between a series of narrators, and also a police investigation and media interview regarding a death at the parent trivia night at a school. There are some serious twists and turns I did not foresee. The author doesn't surprise with the twists out of the blue, in hindsight I might have imagined them coming, but didn't and that made it all the more interesting. I thoroughly enjoyed this read and would recommend it.
Date published: 2014-11-24
Rated 4 out of 5 by from definitely holds your interest I really liked this book, which totally surprised me because I thought it would be rather mundane and obvious but I certainly looked forward to getting back to the book and was totally hooked on who would be dead at the end of the story. Definitely a great "take away on vacation book".
Date published: 2014-09-28
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Addictive! I am not normally one who would write a review, but I absolutely loved this book! I practically read it in one day because I was just so curious to see what happened next. Moriarty writes the book in a really interesting manner that leaves you trying to discover all the stories of each character. Seriously. A great read that I never would have initially thought to pick up. Give it a shot - you won't regret it!
Date published: 2014-08-18
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A bit more than just a light, summer read... I received a free copy of this book from the publisher and I was expecting a light, quick read. This book is so much more than that. It deals with some very serious issues! The author does a great job of pulling you into the book by starting with a death. You know that someone dies, but you don't know who or how until almost the end of the book. There are some lighthearted moments, regular every day life kinds of things that make you laugh out loud, but overall, I would say this book is more serious than funny. I really enjoy this author's books and hope she writes many more.
Date published: 2014-07-07

– More About This Product –

Big Little Lies

by Liane Moriarty

Format: Hardcover

Dimensions: 480 pages, 9.3 × 6.3 × 1.5 in

Published: July 29, 2014

Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0399167064

ISBN - 13: 9780399167065

Read from the Book

***This excerpt is from an advance uncorrected proof***   Copyright © 2014 by Liane Moriarty  Chapter 1 “That doesn’t sound like a school trivia night,” said Mrs. Patty Ponder to Marie Antoinette. “That sounds like a riot.” The cat didn’t respond. She was dozing on the couch and found school trivia nights to be trivial. “Not interested, eh? Let them eat cake! Is that what you’re thinking? They do eat a lot of cake, don’t they? All those cake stalls. Goodness me. Although I don’t think any of the mothers ever actually eat them. They’re all so sleek and skinny, aren’t they? Like you.” Marie Antoinette sneered at the compliment. The “let them eat cake” thing had grown old a long time ago, and she’d recently heard one of Mrs. Ponder’s grandchildren say it was meant to be “let them eat brioche” and also that Marie Antoinette never said it in the first place. Mrs. Ponder picked up her television remote and turned down the volume onDancing with the Stars. She’d turned it up loud earlier because of the sound of the heavy rain, but the rain had eased now. She could hear people shouting. Angry hollers crashed through the quiet, cold night air. It was somehow hurtful for Mrs. Ponder to hear, as if all that rage were directed at her. (Mrs. Ponder had grown up with an angry mother.) “Goodness me. Do you think they’re arguing over the capit
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From the Publisher

Check out the #1 New York Times bestseller Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty, called “a surefire hit” by Entertainment Weekly.
 
"The secrets burrowed in this seemingly placid small town...are so suburban noir they would make David Lynch clap with glee...[Moriarty] is a fantastically nimble writer, so sure-footed that the book leaps between dark and light seamlessly; even the big reveal in the final pages feels earned and genuinely shocking.” —Entertainment Weekly

"Reading one [of Liane Moriarty''s novels] is a bit like drinking a pink cosmo laced with arsenic... [BIG LITTLE LIES] is a fun, engaging and sometimes disturbing read” –USA Today


Sometimes it’s the little lies that turn out to be the most lethal. . . .
A murder… . . . a tragic accident… . . . or just parents behaving badly?  
What’s indisputable is that someone is dead.  

But who did what?
 

Big Little Lies follows three women, each at a crossroads:

Madeline is a force to be reckoned with. She’s funny and biting, passionate, she remembers everything and forgives no one. Her ex-husband and his yogi new wife have moved into her beloved beachside community, and their daughter is in the same kindergarten class as Madeline’s youngest (how is this possible?). And to top it all off, Madeline’s teenage daughter seems to be choosing Madeline’s ex-husband over her. (How. Is. This. Possible?).


Celeste is the kind of beautiful woman who makes the world stop and stare. While she may seem a bit flustered at times, who wouldn’t be, with those rambunctious twin boys? Now that the boys are starting school, Celeste and her husband look set to become the king and queen of the school parent body. But royalty often comes at a price, and Celeste is grappling with how much more she is willing to pay.

New to town, single mom Jane is so young that another mother mistakes her for the nanny. Jane is sad beyond her years and harbors secret doubts about her son. But why? While Madeline and Celeste soon take Jane under their wing, none of them realizes how the arrival of Jane and her inscrutable little boy will affect them all.
 

Big Little Lies is a brilliant take on ex-husbands and second wives, mothers and daughters, schoolyard scandal, and the dangerous little lies we tell ourselves just to survive.

About the Author

Liane Moriarty is the author of five novels, The Last Anniversary, What Alice Forgot, The Hypnotist’s Love Story, and the best-selling Three Wishes and The Husband’s Secret. The Husband’s Secret reached number one on the New York Times bestseller list, was a number one bestseller in the UK, sold close to two million copies worldwide, has been optioned for a film, and will be translated into more than thirty-five languages. Moriarty lives in Sydney with her husband, son, and daughter.         

Editorial Reviews

Praise for Big Little Lies : “Ms. Moriarty’s long-parched fans have something new to dig into….in ways that may give  Big Little Lies  even more staying power than  The Husband’s Secret. ” — The New York Times “Funny and thrilling, page-turning but with emotional depth,  Big Little Lies  is a terrific follow-up to  The Husband’s Secret .” — Booklist  (starred review) “ Big Little Lies  tolls a warning bell about the big little lies we tell in order to survive. It takes a powerful stand against domestic violence even as it makes us laugh at the adults whose silly costume party seems more reminiscent of a middle-school dance.”— The Washington Post “Moriarty demonstrates an excellent talent for exposing the dark, seedy side of the otherwise “perfect” family unit…. Highly recommended.” — Library Journal  (starred review) “Irresistible…Exposing the fault lines in what looks like perfection is a specialty of Liane Moriarty… Moriarty’s sly humor and razor-sharp insights will keep you turning the pages to find out.” — People Magazine   "The secrets burrowed in this seemingly placid small town...are so suburban noir they would make David Lynch clap with glee...[Moriarty] is a fantastically nimble writer, so sure-footed that the book leaps between dark and light seamlessly; even the big re
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Bookclub Guide

INTRODUCTION
Madeline is a force to be reckoned with. She’s funny and biting, passionate, she remembers everything and forgives no one. Her ex-husband and his yogi new wife have moved into her beloved beachside community, and their daughter is in the same kindergarten class as Madeline’s youngest (how is this possible?). And to top it all off, Madeline’s teenage daughter seems to be choosing Madeline’s ex-husband over her. (How. Is. This. Possible?).


Celeste is the kind of beautiful woman who makes the world stop and stare. While she may seem a bit flustered at times, who wouldn’t be, with those rambunctious twin boys? Now that the boys are starting school, Celeste and her husband look set to become the king and queen of the school parent body. But royalty often comes at a price, and Celeste is grappling with how much more she is willing to pay.

New to town, single mom Jane is so young that another mother mistakes her for the nanny. Jane is sad beyond her years and harbors secret doubts about her son. But why? While Madeline and Celeste soon take Jane under their wing, none of them realizes how the arrival of Jane and her inscrutable little boy will affect them all.
 

Big Little Lies is a brilliant take on ex-husbands and second wives, mothers and daughters, schoolyard scandal, and the dangerous little lies we tell ourselves just to survive.


ABOUT LIANE MORIARTY

Liane Moriarty is the author of five novels, The Last Anniversary, What Alice Forgot, The Hypnotist’s Love Story, and the best-selling Three Wishes and The Husband’s Secret. The Husband’s Secret reached number one on the New York Times bestseller list, was a number one bestseller in the UK, sold close to two million copies worldwide, has been optioned for a film, and will be translated into more than thirty-five languages. Moriarty lives in Sydney with her husband, son, and daughter.


DISCUSSION QUESTIONS
  1. At the beginning of the novel, Madeline is enraged over Ziggy not being invited to Amabella’s birthday party. Why do you think Madeline becomes so angry about such a seemingly small injustice? Do you think Madeline is the kind of person who just looks for a fight, or do you think she was justified in feeling so upset? And do you think that by tackling both ends of the spectrum —from schoolyard bullying and parents behaving badly in the playground  to displays of domestic violence in all its incarnations—that the author is trying to say something about the bullying that happens out in the open every day?

  2. There is a lot of discussion about women and their looks.  On the beach Jane’s mom shows that she has rather poor body image.  Jane observes that women over 40 are constantly talking about their age.  And Madeline says, “She didn’t want to admit, even to herself, just how much the aging of her face really did genuinely depress her. She wanted to be above such superficial concerns. She wanted to be depressed about the state of the world….” [p. 82] Do you think this obsession with looks is specific to women, particularly women of a certain age?   Why or why not?

  3. There are a lot of scenes in which the characters say they wish they could be violent: Jane says she wants to throw Ziggy into the wall when he has a tirade in the bathtub, that she would hit Renata if she was in front of her, and then she stops just short of kicking Harper.  Do you think the author is trying to show the reader Perry’s side and have us sympathize with him? Or, rather, that feeling violent is a natural impulse but one that people learn to suppress?

  4. When Ziggy has to do his family tree, Madeline comments, “Why try to slot fractured families into neat little boxes in this day and age?” [p. 184] A lot of Madeline’s storyline is about the complications that arise from the merging of new modern families. What kind of problems exist among families and extended families now that didn’t when you were a child?

  5. When Jane recounts what happened the night she got pregnant, she focuses on what the man said rather than on what he did.  Why does Jane feel more violated by two words – fat and ugly—than by the actual assault?   Jane seems to think the answer is “Because we live in a beauty-obsessed society where the most important thing a woman can do is make herself attractive to men.” [p. 196] Do you agree?

  6. The power of secrets is a theme throughout the novel. Jane remembers, “She hadn’t told anyone. She’d swallowed it whole and pretended it meant nothing, and therefore it had come to mean everything.” [p. 220] Do you think this is a universal truth, that the more you keep something secret, the more power it takes on?

  7. Gwen, the babysitter, seems to be the only one to suspect what is going on with Celeste and Perry.  Celeste then realizes she’s never heard Gwen talk about a husband or a partner. Do you think the author intended to intimate that perhaps Gwen had had an abusive husband or partner and that she left him?  And in light of what happens at the end with Bonnie, do you think it’s only people who have personally experienced abuse who pick up on the signs?

  8. At one point Jane thinks she and Ziggy will have to leave Pirriwee because “rich, beautiful people weren’t asked to leave anywhere.” [p. 362] Do you think different rules apply to rich people? Do you think being rich allowed Perry to get away with things longer than would have been likely if he hadn’t had money?

  9. Bonnie says, “We see. We fucking see!” [p. 421] Were you surprised to learn about Bonnie’s history?  Were you surprised to discover that all along Max had been seeing what Perry was doing to Celeste?

  10. What did you make of the interview snippets to the reporter? Do you think the author used them almost like a Greek chorus to make a point?

  11. Madeline muses, “Maybe it was actually an unspoken instant agreement between four women on the balcony: No woman should pay for the accidental death of that particular man.  Maybe it was an involuntary, atavistic response to thousands of years of violence against women.  Maybe it was for every rape, every brutal backhanded slap, every other Perry that had come before this one.” [p. 430] And then Madeline thinks, “ Sometimes doing the wrong thing was also right.” Do you agree with this statement?  Do you agree with what the women decided to do?  Do you think there’s a stronger bond between women than there is between men?  Were you surprised that women who ostensibly didn’t like one another—Madeline and Bonnie, Madeline and Renata—ended up coming together to help one another out?

  12.  At one point in the book, Susi says that, in Australia, one woman dies every week because of domestic violence.  In the United States, more than three women are murdered by their husbands or boyfriends every day.  Every nine seconds in the United States a woman is assaulted or beaten.  Domestic violence is the leading cause of injury to women—more than that caused by car accidents, muggings, and rapes combined.  Are you surprised by these statistics? Why or why not?  Clearly, the author chose Celeste—the picture-perfect mom and/ wife as well as an educated lawyer—to be the victim of domestic violence in order to make a point.  Do you think it’s plausible that someone like her would fall victim to abuse such as this? 

  13. Madeline comments that “there were so many levels of evil in the world.” [p. 433] Discuss the implications of this statement in light of the novel and the novel’s different storylines.