I’ll be the first to admit I’m failing pretty hard at my one and only New Year’s resolution: to read one book every month. I know it’s now the beginning of June and I’m just posting about my first book but boy what a book to finally kick start this book club with for 2017. I’m sure many of you will have watched the TV mini series of the same title that is based on this novel, you know the one with some of Hollywood’s best: Reese Witherspoon, Nicole Kidman, Laura Dern, Shailene Woodley. So once I finished binge-watching the show I went out the very next day to pick up a copy of Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty and ever since I couldn’t put it down. When it comes to books that are made into movies and television shows I think I might be the only person on Earth that actually likes to watch the visual performance before reading the text. I’ll just wait while you all shake your heads and fur your brows in disbelief and horror. I don’t know what it is, maybe it’s something to do with the fact I find it easier to visualise the characters and the setting as I read it, which gives me a greater understanding of the story. I’m not the fastest of readers and for quite a lengthy novel I seemed to flick through the chapters rather quickly, multiple at a time. And because I already knew the ending I was super keen to get to the finish the book to see how it all plays out in comparison to the TV show.
I’ll give you a quick run down of the story without trying to spoil all the good bits. Right from the beginning in both the book and the show you know a murder has occurred. Jane (Woodley) and her son Ziggy are new to the area and he is starting at the same school as Madeleine (Witherspoon) and Celeste’s (Kidman) children. There is a school yard incident between Ziggy and another girl Amabella, whose mother is Renata (Dern). There is also an Audrey Hepburn and Elvis Presley themed trivia night held for the parents and this is where the murder takes place. Each woman then has their own individual story line as well as the main story line that feature subjects including: domestic violence, infidelity, juggling career and parenthood, and blended families.
I think what I enjoyed the most was that the main characters were all female and featured completely different personalities, all with relatable elements. I liked how it heavily focused on the subject of domestic violence, and the way Kidman brought the vulnerability of Celeste to life on screen. I also loved how the book was set in Sydney’s western suburbs – sad that the show was set in Monterey, California but understandable as it would’ve cost production a lot to film it down under. This was the first novel I’ve read in a while that wasn’t from the Chick Lit genre and I must say I rather enjoyed it. Now that I’ve seen the show and read the book I think I enjoyed them equally as much. Like I mentioned before I flicked through the pages rather easily and I loved the dark, mysterious element they brought to the TV version. And so I would absolutely recommend this read to anyone who has or has not seen the TV show.