I was asked if I wanted to review one of Penguin's new books 'Big Little Lies' by Liane Moriarty and instantly I recognised the name of the author and was very pleased! I, actually, read one of Liane's earlier books 'The Husband's Secret' not that long ago and I really, really enjoyed it so I couldn't wait to read another of hers.
'Big Little Lies' is a book that'll capture your interest almost instantly, partly due to the plot and also due to the fact that the format is different and adds an extra dimension to the story - You learn that there's been a death at a school function almost straight away, and then, as you'd expect, you begin hearing the story from the beginning. But, as well as this, the book is interspersed interviews, from various side characters, giving their view on the goings on at the school, and their accounts of the evening in question, which gives you an entirely different perspective on everything. It's a really nice change to the standard story telling format and gives this book an edge that I definitely enjoyed.
Of course what you don't know is Who has died, why they died and how and it's this that you learn throughout the more standard story format. The story is, primarily, about Jane who's a single mother that's moving to a little beachside town with her young son. When she takes her son to his first day of primary school she meets two other mothers, Madeline and Celest, who take this much younger mother under their wings and they form a little friendship unit very quickly.
On the first day of school, their induction, there's 'an incident' which sets up a conflict within the school, it puts parents on either one side or another and gives basis for a lot of the gossip which you learn via the interviews that are slotted in to the story. In all honesty the story would've been interesting enough if it had only been about that; about the intricacies of the school yard, the way the children deal with the conflict, the friendships and the animosity but there's so much more than that.
There's secrets in this little town, and there's lots of them. I'm, of course, not going to tell you what those secrets are but they add such depth to the story and really keep you reading on. As always I guessed the ending, but that's nothing new and I think that plenty would be very shocked when certain truths become known (yes, I'm being cryptic, it's necessary).
The book is really well written, you get to know the characters with ease and you feel like you could even be one of the side characters, you could be inside this story. There's mystery and secrets, there's humour and romance, there's dark aspects and beautifully light moments. I enjoyed this story, a lot, and am going to have to read a lot more by Liane Moriarty - She has a fantastic control of plot and characters and she weaves a story that's a joy to behold.
I was, very kindly, sent this set of Penguin Books items, too, which are just perfect for me. I have a little collection of tote bags, I have far too many mugs and note pads are an addiction I'm not supposed to be entertaining any more... but these are book themed! This has made me want more book related items, books are such a big part of my life that it seems natural to have more fun things that encompass this.
Penguin are, currently, running a competition in which you can win an Ipad Air 2, along with two full sets of Moriarty's books (a set for yourself and a set for a friend) and there's, also, 5 runners up prizes which consist of a copy of 'Big Little Lies' and a penguin set the same as the one I've pictured above. You can enter the competition, via Facebook, here.
If you can't wait to see if you win a copy, and want to read the book now, you can order in four different formats from Amazon, here.