After my last book, I promised myself that I would read something lighter, something fluffier. Big Little Lies was a spontaneous choice that came to me while perusing the options available on Kindle. Yes, I have succumbed to the pull of electronic books. I blame my local library.
So I started to read and wondered what I had gotten myself into. I felt like I had flipped to watching sitcoms on the Disney Channel after watching a series of award-winning independent feature films.
Forty. Madeline Martha Mackenzie was forty years old today.
“I am forty,” she said out loud as she drove. She drew the word out in slow motion, like a sound effect. “Fooorty.”
She caught the eye of her daughter in the rearview mirror. Chloe grinned and imitated her mother. “I am five. Fiiiive.”
“Forty!” trilled Madeline like an opera singer. “Tra la la la!” “Five!” trilled Chloe.
Madeline tried a rap version, beating out the rhythm on the steering wheel. “I’m forty, yeah, forty—”
“That’s enough now, Mummy,” said Chloe firmly. “Sorry,” said Madeline.
I rolled my eyes and Googled the novel. I was told that it was a Number 1 New York Times Bestseller. So I continued on. It didn’t take long though for me to become enthralled.
The novel tells the tale of kindergarten parents behaving badly. It’s bitchy. It’s gossipy. It’s chick-lit. And I loved it. Early on we are told there has been a death. But was it murder? Was it suicide? Was it an accident? Who died? Very quickly this fluffy novel becomes vicious and dark. I couldn’t put down my iPhone! Yes, into the wee hours of the night I kept on reading on its tiny ill lit screen. I always loved a good murdery mystery, and this did not disappoint. Unlike the books written by one of my favourite authors, Agatha Christie, this mystery actually manages to be comedic while touching on serious topics like bullying, domestic violence, infidelity, and the rules of suburban mothering.
I am definitely going to be picking up Ms. Moriarty’s earlier book, The Husband’s Secret.