Coming July 29, 2014, the new novel from Liane Moriarty, number-one New York Times best-selling author of The Husband's Secret.
"What a wonderful writer - smart, wise, funny." (Anne Lamott)
Pirriwee Public's annual school Trivia Night has ended in a shocking riot. One parent is dead. The school principal is horrified. As police investigate what appears to have been a tragic accident, signs begin to indicate that this devastating death might have been cold-blooded murder.
In this thought-provoking novel, number-one New York Times best-selling author Liane Moriarty deftly explores the reality of parenting and playground politics, ex-husbands and ex-wives, and fractured families. And in her pitch-perfect way, she shows us the truth about what really goes on behind closed suburban doors.
©2014 Liane Moriarty (P)2014 Penguin Audio
I love to read books set in interesting places or historical settings. I especially love mysteries and thrillers.
Kindergarten Politics. I never had children, but I imagine that those two words strike heart-stopping fear in any parent with a child entering elementary school. Liane Moriarty took me through the experience with all the irony, hilarity, fear and poignancy possible. I loved the format of the story-telling. It was clear who was talking at each point of the story, but the story was written to allow each witness to say a paragraph or so about how they saw the event. As you can imagine, lots of differing viewpoints. For the main characters, Madeline, Celeste and Jane, their stories alternated from chapter to chapter. I would love to meet them for coffee anytime.
The narrator was outstanding in every way. I always knew who was talking, but the emotions generated by these stories were clear to the listener. I have no complaints with this narrator.
There is a death and an investigation, but it is actually minor to the rest of the story. Just the setting for the death, a Kindergarten Trivia Night in which everyone dressed as Elvis or Audry Hepburn, makes it funny to me.
If this book sounds like something you would never want to hear, let me tell you, I resisted my many friends begging me to read this story. Boy, am I glad I got away from my comfort zone to listen to this excellent story. I will go to Liane Moriarty again!!
I've never experienced a book quite like this one. I'm exhausted from listening to it. I was on the edge of my seat through the entire story. As each new fact was revealed I was impatient to see what happened next.
I laughed and laughed dozens of times. And I cried once, standing in the grocery store holding my breath waiting to see what happened. I was totally invested in the character and story development.
What makes the writing truly genius was that all of the reactions I listed above came from small, simple things that happened in the story. There weren't big, unbelievable action scenes or sweeping romances, just daily, simple, life-happenings that added up in just the right (or wrong) way.
And the ending...perfect. It was worthy of the rest of the story. The ending was long and satisfying.
I loved the narrator. I think she really added to it. Her voice squeaked and cracked and felt very real.
I loved, loved, and enthusiastically recommend this book.
The character development, the characters themselves, and the somewhat "dark" humor
There are lessons to be learned, and all of its flawed characters teach us those lessons.
Her voice inflections greatly added to the story, she has a very pleasing voice to listen to.
How to avoid a "train wreck" in life.
The story droned on just a bit in areas, but the characters were so entertaining that I didn't mind.
Live on edge of National Forest with lake, birds & wild animals. No more perfect place to indulge life-long love of reading.
If you had asked my opinion 1/2 way through this book, I would have said, "it's a solid 3.5 to 4 star book which I'm enjoying, slight chick lit tendencies, subtle humor with a touch of heavy handed narration."
If you had asked me at 3/4 through, I would have said, "I'm surprised at how invested I am in the main characters, hadn't thought that it would have prompted this much thinking about untested assumptions and the interplay of dual standards in everyday life. Definitely 4 to 4.5 stars."
Now that I've finished it: It's a solid 5 star listen on every front. The narration fit the characters and the setting perfectly. The Audible plot summary tells you that there is a murder at a school night event, so no spoilers here. You know that someone (one of the main characters??) dies. Periodically I wondered who and why, but the question wasn't a front and center focus for me -- more a background hum of "oh yeah, I do wonder about that." The ending includes this event and wraps everything up in a way that was very satisfying without being coy or absurdly neat.
The thing about this book that really struck me was the many levels of hypocrisy that exist in what might be everyday life in our social circles. It wasn't heavy handed, in fact some of this was dished out with wry humor. But it was thought provoking on many levels. Three days after finishing the book, I'm still thinking about it. Major kudos to Liane Moriarty. Well done!!
My husband and I listened to this book while driving to (and from) a vacation destination, and were thoroughly engrossed throughout. A very interesting presentation of events, EXCELLENT narration, and a satisfying ending all worked to make this a 5 star book.
Dept Q, Harry Hole... where are you?
Many, many thanks to the audible reviewers of this book for leading me to the promised land. Big Little Lies is a work of genius, brilliantly performed. I have been extremely fortunate to have enjoyed many 5 star books. This one has to rank among the best.
Liane Moriarity's gift of creating characters and weaving an entirely unique story into a remarkably complex mystery is, well, genius. The setting is something I could never imagine being caught up in. Yet I was so caught up in the characters and every aspect of their lives I never once thought of them as fictional.
Caroline Lee, cracked voice and all, was equally great.
Do yourself a favor, buy this book!
Say something about yourself!
I generally don't take the time to write reviews but am taking the time now. If you have enjoyed all of Liane Moriarty's other books, then you will enjoy this one too! It will definitely not be rated the "feel good" story of the year but very brilliantly crafted and inter-woven. I found the narrator very likable and believable and enjoyed listening to her accent. I was concerned a bit based on another review I had read as I cherish my credits and am very careful what I use them on, but am delighted to report that this book was very credit worthy!
I'm not sure how she did it, but with the magic formula of humor, Liana Moriarty was able to deliver yet another perfect read! Bringing the issues of bullying, domestic violence, and overly pretentious helicopter parents to the forefront of this story, the author weaves a fantastic and humorous story that will get everyone involved. Every second I enjoyed, and being able to be light-hearted about some of these major problems was just what I needed to end my summer. I'll definitely be listening again.
Caroline Lee also brought home another winner with her narration. Beautifully executed!!
Addicted to Audible!
I love Liane Moriarty, her books keep you guessing from beginning to end. She has the rare talent of combining humor with serious topics without being insensitive. In this wonderful mystery/comedy/commentary on modern life and helicopter parents she is at the top of her game. To give any hints would give away the story. Other reviewers have done a great job, so I can only add that this book will resonate with any parent or educator. It will keep you listening and the ending will not disappoint! MUST LISTEN!!!
Never without an audible book on my phone!
This is my third Liane Moriarty book and I'm now a real fan. I just love her ability to take everyday life and extraordinarily real characters and delve really deeply into circumstances and emotions. And, she is able to do this through normal human interactions and humor. Clearly living on the North Shore of Sydney isn't any different than any upper middle class US suburb. Caroline Lee's performance was spot on.
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