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Liane Moriarty, BIG LITTLE LIES

Before discussing today’s book, I want to indulge in a bit of self-promotion.  My latest book, THE BAD ACTOR, will be coming out from Five Star on July 22.  It is currently available from Amazon and Barnes and Noble in preorder.  Usually my books come out as e-books in a few months, and the price of the hard cover version drops in price.  This is the newest in the Laura Magee series.  If you aren’t familiar with these books, start with the first, TO GRANDMOTHER’S HOUSE, and follow along through the twists and turns of Laura’s life.

Although BIG LITTLE LIES by the popular Australian author Liane Moriarty would not not normally be categorized as a mystery, the plot does hinge on two puzzling issues.  Is the boy accused of bullying the little girl really guilty?  And who is the boy’s father?  These two questions run through a book that is ostensibly about the relationships among parents whose children attend the same elementary school.  Another way in which the story is similar to certain kinds of mysteries is that one of the main characters withholds information until the end when the revelation shocks us into seeing several characters in a dramatically different way.

Moriarty is superb at her characterizations of middle class women.  Each has her own unique identity well delineated even though they share many of the same values.  She is also a very funny writer who depicts human foibles in a gentle but humorous way.  I would highly recommend this book as well as her earlier one, THE HUSBAND’S SECRET.  Both take the concept of the mystery in interesting directions.

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