Cliques happen in schools. They just happen. Bullying happens in schools. It always does. Even when schools brandish signs that say “This is a NO BULLY ZONE!” These things still happen in schools all around the world. And it isn’t always the children who form the cliques and do the bullying, now is it?
In Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty, those bullying cliques are brought squarely into the light of day. And it is a beautifully written, witty version of horrible, sad, maddening, every-day life tale that grips you by the throat and pushes you through right to the very end.
The book opens with the ending. From the first couple of chapters it is made aware that at Pirriwee Public School on Pirriwee Peninsula near Sydney a parent has died at the schools Trivia Night Fundraiser. It looks quite like a murder.
After the murder, the book takes you back six months to explain what led up to the events of the night. The characters who make up this tale are believable, loveable, heart-wrenching and I miss them terribly since I finished the book.
Madeline is married to Ed and the mother of three. Abigail is her daughter with her first husband Nathan who “could not handle” being a father after a few days and left them high and dry. Madeline has been so awash with fury over this for 14 years that she fails to realize just how wonderful her life is with Ed and their two children, Fred and Chloe. Of course, Abigail’s father is now back in her life and Abigail thinks he is wonderful.
Celeste is drop-dead gorgeous, is married to Perry and has twins the age of Chloe. She has two boys, a huge house, an extremely large bank account, and one big, nasty secret. A secret that she believes is the price she pays for such a “perfect” life.
Dear, sweet Jane suffered a terrible incident that resulted in the birth of lovable, sweet Ziggy, They have recently moved to Pirriwee to start a new life.
Poor Ziggy is accused of choking a little girl on orientation day. He denies it and the little girl tries to take it back. However, her mother, who has serious tunnel vision for the majority of the book, wants an apology and she wants it right then.
Jane cannot make herself belief that sweet, caring little Ziggy would ever hurt anyone. Unless…But no. He did not know his father. And Jane truly believes more in nurture rather than nature.
Madeline takes Jane under her wing, so to speak and as Madeline and Celeste are friends, Jane now has a built in support group.
Here is where the cliques show themselves: The Madeline side and the non-Madeline side. They are rampant. Pick one. Stand your ground. Repeat all rumors to the detective investigating the case in a manner that shows the other side must be guilty.
In the end, that which appears to be true, sadly, is not. Those who appear to be innocent, sadly, cannot be.
This is a tale of truth, reality, mistakes, rumors and selfishness. Yet it is all wrapped up in a dazzling make you cry, make you laugh out loud novel that must be read!