Published by Penguin on 31st July 2014
Top ten bestselling author Liane Moriarty returns with another gripping read.
She could hear men and women shouting. Angry hollers crashed through the soft humid salty summer night. It was somehow hurtful for Mrs Ponder to hear, as if all that rage was directed at her . . . then she heard the wail of a siren in the distance, at the same time as a woman still inside the building began to scream and scream . . .
When a harmless quiz night ends with an act of shocking violence, the parents of Pirriwee Public School can't seem to stop their secrets from finally spilling out. Rumours ripple through the small town, as truth and lies blur to muddy the story of what really happened on that fateful night . .
Liane Moriarty is fast becoming my go-to author for captivating, thrilling and utterly stunning fiction that firmly grasps the attention of the reader from start to breathless finish. The Husband’s Secret was one of my favourite books of 2013 and LITTLE LIES has proven to be no different. Tackling the hard issues with a macabre sense of dark humour and fully realised characters LITTLE LIES is not to be missed.
Centred on a primary school in an Australian seaside town, LITTLE LIES introduces us to three very different women all connected by their children attending Kindergarten. Madeline – dealing with her ex husband and his new wife on the playground is less than ideal but feeling she’s losing her eldest daughter to them has her stressed to the max; Jane – newcomer to Piriwee, a single mother, forever tense; a run-in with one of the high-powered career mothers means a year of playground politics and the coldest of cold wars and Celeste – beautiful, flustered and seemingly perfect; the bruises on her wrists tell a different story.
The book begins with a glimpse into a shocking incident at a school trivia night and Moriarty expertly builds the tension throughout the book, feeding the reader little titbits and clues as to what happened, allowing the myriad of colourful characters to each have their say on what fed the drama until the shocking climax is finally revealed. I cannot tell you how often I had to slap my hand away from leafing through the back pages, instead allowing myself to be ensconced in the deliciously gripping and skilful storytelling and boy was it rewarding.
As always Moriarty’s characterisation is impeccable and I quickly grew to care for each of the women and was just as enthralled by the secondary characters seen through their eyes. The multi-layered approach taken by Moriarty is always assured, never giving anything away and always leaving the reader feeling loath to put down the book. The heavy subject matter is handled with her usual black humour which ensures the reader is never truly bogged down and it adds a very human aspect to the story that one never likes to think about – the ability to compartmentalise the darkest aspects of humanity with the most absurd forms of logic to ensure mental survival.
This wry look at the intricacies of life in small town suburbia, the politics of parenting, the dangers of saying too much and equally too little is smart and witty, fabulously crafted, with pacing that never falters and is always believable with one stunning finish – Little Lies is simply unputdownable and one heck of a read!