Overview (No Spoilers):
Around the end of September a bunch of my girlfriends and I took a weekend up to Traverse City where we stayed in the most beautiful house along the water of the Leelanau Peninsula in Michigan. If you haven’t ventured to this part of the country before I would highly recommend it. Every time I head up to the Traverse City region I’m always blown away by the scenery and friendly atmosphere of this little corner of Michigan. On this trip not only did I get the following book recommendation but I also fulfilled an item on my Michigan bucket list by finding a Petoskey stone (Michigan’s official state stone)!
At first glance, Big Little Lies does not fall in a genre I typically pick up unprompted. That being said, I typically enjoy reading books that inspire movie/TV show adaptions and as Big Little Lies has a highly, acclaimed HBO show based on Moriarty’s novel I couldn’t help but be intrigued. Luke and I had started watching the TV show due to hearing positive reviews, however only two or three episodes in I knew this was not necessarily going be a feel good show. The show The Leftovers has forever scarred me from watching TV that leaves the lingering feeling of completing a punishment after every episode. In a complete about face, despite not initially continuing with the show, upon reading this edge of your seat, stressful novel I foresee binging watching the rest of this award winning series in my near future. Adding significantly to the level of suspense, was the manner in which the story was doled out with a volley of different point of views prior to an untold key event intermingled with interviews conducted afterward. In this way, despite being kept in the dark about said tragedy, the reader is spoon fed minor clues until the big reveal where you are kept guessing right up until the end. I was able to guess bits and pieces along the way, but the big twist was still a shocker that kept me riveted right up until the very end. As happens with many novels of this style, the small world, convenient coincidences card is played a bit to the extreme, however the unique narrative keeps the reoccurring happenstances from becoming too obnoxious. Moreover, the writing style initially tricks you into assuming you know everything about a character based on the initial descriptions and stereotypes that go along with the box that that personality is portrayed to fit into. As that character’s secrets are revealed, as often happens in real life, you find out preconceived notions about a person are not always cut and dry. People are so very complex, as such, do not fit neatly into a single stereotype. Additionally, the overwhelming drama that took place makes me cringe when anticipating (if I ever have children) the pressures on parents, let alone their children when starting school. Overall, Big Little Lies was again a healthy reminder regarding the benefits of reading outside one’s comfort zone, as it has been likely since Educated that I’ve been this stressed while reading a book.
Additional Insight (Spoilers Abound):
- What would have happened if Jane had an active Facebook account? She would have seen Perry’s active posts and found out sooner.
- How would have Perry actually reacted to Ziggy?
- Are there other women out there with Perry’s children?
- Will Max continue to bully? Will Ziggy have a relationship with his brothers?
- I love the combination of Tom and Jane! Delightfully awkward, yet sweet!
- Poor Bonnie! I couldn’t help like her despite Madeline’s grudge.
- Despite Renata’s sincere apology in the end, her attitude from the beginning was petty and spiteful. Totally unforgivable in my estimations.
- I was kept guessing right up until the end who had been killed. Initially I was convinced it was Jane, before wavering to Celeste. Then I toyed with the idea that it had been Madeline, before circling back to Jane. It never crossed my mind till the end that it was Perry. What would have happened after this night had he not been killed?