Big Little Lies has been on my TBR since its TV adaptation’s trailer came out earlier this year. I’ve been dying to watch the TV show, as its received tons of amazing reviews and sixteen Emmy nominations–even though I’ve never watched the Emmys but this might be the year between BLL and Master of None. However, not only due to the fact that I don’t have HBO (yes, that means I haven’t watched Game of Thrones either), but also that I am the type of reader that HAS to read the book before seeing the show or movie. As you can imagine, it’s been impossible to get a copy of BLL through my local library system because of how many people want to read it. But then came one magical Monday night.
As I was scrolling through my library’s online catalog, I saw that a copy of BLL was sitting on my local library’s shelf. I ran (okay, I drove) there and finally picked up the book and started reading it the next day. A bit of a sidenote, but it took me to actually hold this book in person to see that there was a broken lollipop on the cover. I was hooked on BLL throughout reading it, and I’m excited to talk about why you need to read BLL, especially if you’re nervous about all the hype .
It takes place in Australia. I had no idea that BLL took place in Australia, as the HBO mini series takes place in the US. While the setting of Australia doesn’t play too much into the plot, it was cool to see how that affected the characters’ dialogue and a few cultural aspects. I will admit that most of the time BLL could have taken place anywhere, so I understand how the TV adaptation was able to change the setting easily.
There’s a big cast of characters AND IT WORKS. Each chapter alternates between the POVs of our three main characters, Madeleine, Celeste, and Jane. While having three POVs isn’t an earth-shattering feature, each of the women have their own “set” of characters and their stories interweave. There’s Madeline, the schoolyard queen bee, with her husband Ed, two daughters, Abigail and Chloe, and son, Fred, her ex-husband Nathan, and Nathan’s wife, Bonnie, who happens to have a daughter the same age as Chloe in the same school, same kindergarten class. There’s Celeste, known in Pirriwee for her beauty, her wealthier-than-you-could-ever-imagine husband, Perry, and twin boys, Max and Josh. There’s Jane, the newest mom in the neighbor, not to mention, the only single one, with her son Ziggy. Additionally, at the end of each chapter, we get tidbits from fellow parents and members of Pirriwee as they’re interviewed in an on-going police investigation.
It deals with some heavy topics, specifically violence and physical abuse. The book starts off with Mrs. Ponder watching some suspicious activity at Pirriwee Public’s trivia night and we learn that in that same chapter that there’s been a murder at the event. Each chapter from then on goes back six months in time and with each chapter, we get closer to the dreaded trivia night. Our “real” plot begins with a bullying situation between the kindergarteners, as Jane’s son, Ziggy, is accused of choking Renata’s daughter, leaving bruises on Amabella’s neck (this isn’t a typo, the girl’s name isn’t Annabella). As the story progresses, we learn that some of our main characters have dealt with physical abuse in their romantic relationships and we see it start to affect their everyday lives.
As mentioned, there’s a hit TV adaptation. Once I saw the trailer for BLL, I knew I wanted to watch it immediately. I think I would have changed my bookish ways for one exception if the TV series had been a bit more accessible. Reese Witherspoon and Adam Scott are two of my favorite actors, not to mention that the cast as a whole is an A+ crew. As I’m writing this post, I have just started watching the first episode, and so far I’m very impressed with how many of the lines from the show come straight from the book! I’m hoping to eventually get the season on DVD from my library, but like the book, it’s a long waitlist, so my iTunes gift cards may be getting a bit of use in the next few weeks.
Have you read Big Little Lies? Share in the comments!