Chiara Manalà

Community Liaison for the Creative Royston Management Committee
Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty, 2014, Penguin Publisher

This novel struck me from page one: as I started it, I couldn’t put it down and there are many reasons why! First, the chapters weren’t very long, maybe two to four pages each on average, which made easy to follow the story. Second, what made the chapters peculiar was that each and everyone of them ended with a cliff-hanger: there was no chance I could stop reading until I had found out what happened next, and that made very hard to decide where to draw a line and continue in another moment. Third, the characters created by the author are spectacular, because they are real, they go through what anyone else does in their everyday lives and there is no sugar coating reality in this novel: nothing is what it seems and nobody is who they are built to be. Taken singularly, each character has to deal with their own lives, their jobs, their families and particularly their past, one that leads all of them to the same present point where truths are revealed. The way the writer decides to do so is simply compelling: she dedicates as much attention and care in telling the stories of the characters – the main as much as the supporting ones – as she does in weaving the plot to its crucial point, a murder. From the beginning we are taken back and forth from the present to the past time and then back again to the present until the peak of the plot climax, and in doing so Liane Moriarty shows how agile her writing is as she manages both the dynamics between single characters and in the group. Here we are led to the resolution of the book and we get the answers to those questions risen from chapter One, the ones that makes us read till the very last page.
I highly recommend this best-selling piece of writing: it’s compelling, captivating, surprising and brilliant.