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.
Alright, this book has so much to it to go over. And I’ll remind you now, this review may contain some spoilers.
The book revolves around three women: Madeline, Celeste and Jane. Madeline is the sassy, eccentric one. However, she has a deep side to her and is struggling to deal with her older daughter not wanting to live with her anymore. Anyone who’s been through a divorce can relate to it. She’s also struggling with an odd jealousy of her ex-husband’s new wife because of how well she gets along with her daughter. Madeline is also the busy body of the town, and she takes a liking to Jane and wants to help her out.
For Jane, she has a son named Ziggy and all we know is that she’s single and moving back home. There’s tons of hints at mental illness or major depression and anxiety, but Jane isn’t very open through a lot of the book. When Ziggy is accused of bullying, Jane struggles to fit in and make friends and wonders if her son has it in him to hurt a little girl.
Celeste is Madeline’s best friend, but she has some secrets as well. We don’t learnt his for a while, but her wealthy life isn’t so perfect because her husband repeatedly abuses her. It’s an odd cycle of abuse that leads to sex, abuse that leads to gifts, etc. She has twin boys and she stays with her husband more for them than for herself because they have a perfect life. Or so she thinks.
They all really tie together when Celeste learns that her child is the one that hurt a little girl, not Jane’s son Ziggy. She realizes that her children are learning abusive ways from their father and is planning on leaving her husband. However, that’s not nearly the end. When Jane finally meets Celeste’s husband Perry at a community function, she realizes that he is the man who raped her and got her pregnant with Ziggy. Upon that major reveal, it is Bonnie who accidentally murders Perry (What the?).
Anyways, everything turns out as good as it can in the end. It leaves you wanting more but also satisfied with each character having a “solution” or “ending” to their secrets and their problems. They find their own happiness.
Overall, I enjoyed this book. It kept me reading and although I tired of Celeste and Jane at times, Madeline’s personality kept me reading the whole way through. All 3 of the women proved themselves to be strong and were dealing with real life issues in their own ways. They were believable, they were both likable and unlikable, and they were human. The novel is told in a way where you wonder about their secrets and about what happened that fateful night, but it’s not given away until the very end. I think this is a great book for young adults and women to read. I will be purchasing some further novels from this author for sure.