Book Review: Big Little Lies (by Liane Moriarty)

Book Details

Title: Big Little Lies

Author: Moriarty, Liane

# of pages: 460

Link to Buy:

Author Profile

Liane Moriarty is the Australian author of six internationally best-selling novels, Three Wishes, The Last Anniversary, What Alice Forgot, The Hypnotist’s Love Story and the number 1 New York Times bestsellers, The Husband’s Secret and Big Little Lies.

Her breakout novel The Husband’s Secret sold over three million copies worldwide, was a number 1 UK bestseller, an Amazon Best Book of 2013 and has been translated into over 40 languages. It spent over a year on the New York Times bestseller list. CBS Films has acquired the film rights.

With the launch of Big Little Lies, Liane became the first Australian author to have a novel debut at number one on the New York Times bestseller list. An HBO series based on Big Little Lies is currently in production, starring Nicole Kidman and Reese Witherspoon.

Writing as L.M. Moriarty, Liane has also written a children’s book series, The Petrifying Problem with Princess Petronella, The Shocking Trouble on the Planet of Shobble and The Wicked War on the Planet of Whimsy.

Liane lives in Sydney with her husband, son and daughter. Her new novel, Truly Madly Guilty, will be released in July 2016.


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.

Non Review Rant

This is part of the Mystery & Thriller Week 2019 on Goodreads.

Excerpts / Quotes / Highlights

  • As Mrs. Ponder watched, one Elvis punched another across the jaw. He staggered back into an Audrey. Two Elvises grabbed him from behind and pulled him away. An Audrey buried her face in her hands and turned aside, as though she couldn’t bear to watch. 
  • “It’s because a woman’s entire self-worth rests on her looks,” said Jane. “That’s why. It’s because we live in a beauty-obsessed society where the most important thing a woman can do is make herself attractive to men.” 



The book is about someone who is dead and how it came to that point. One or more people are lying. The reader would find the details later.


The thriller part does not start until late in the book but the first few chapters are hilarious. How each parent and each kid is introduced is very interesting.

Every single line is hilarious. The mothers and the fathers and the teachers commentary after the trivia night, the orientation for kindergarten and how each parent, the kid and the gift possessed is revealed. It is not haha funny all the time but I have a smile on my face almost constantly. This book is a winner already.

The book took me a little over a week to finish. In the middle, I felt that it was slow and sort-of-boring.

I like how the book is structured. It starts with a timeline – X months before the trivia night. Then it narrates some story in the past, followed by a commentary on the event that was just narrated. Then a commentary  in present day, after the trivia night, that somehow links the two incidents together.

The best part of the story was when Jane told her story to Madeline. We know why she is skinny and her obsession with gums.

As round chapter 44 we finally get a hint that it was perhaps Jane who is murdered.

Final Thoughts

I love the way one fact is unearthed after the other, one twist follows the previous one. Like the name of Ziggy’s father, his relation with one of the parents, the real person who is bullying Amabella, the actual reason Jane moved to Pirriwee, Peninsula.

In the end, it was never about a murder mystery. It was about people, kids and parents and teachers; about emotions and reactions.

Awesome read. Rating four because the middle was kinda dull and slow.

Cover: 5 / 5
Plot: 4.5 / 5
Writing:  4.5 / 5

Overall rating: 4/5

Shabana Mukhtar

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