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by Liane Moriarty ‧ RELEASE DATE: July 29, 2014

Deservedly popular Moriarty invigorates the tired social-issue formula of women’s fiction through wit, good humor, sharp...

After last year’s best-selling  The Husband’s   Secret , Australian Moriarty brings the edginess of her less-known  The Hypnotist’s Love Story  (2012) to bear in this darkly comic mystery surrounding a disastrous parents' night at an elementary school fundraiser.

Thanks to strong cocktails and a lack of appetizers, Pirriwee Public’s Trivia Night turns ugly when sloshed parents in Audrey Hepburn and Elvis costumes start fights at the main entrance. To make matters worse, out on the balcony where a smaller group of parents have gathered, someone falls over the railing and dies. Was it an accident or murder? Who is the victim? And who, if anyone, is the murderer? Backtrack six months as the cast of potential victims and perps meet at kindergarten orientation and begin alliances and rivalries within the framework of domestic comedy-drama. There’s Chloe’s opinionated, strong-willed mom, Madeline, a charmingly imperfect Everywoman. Happily married to second husband Ed, Madeline is deeply hurt that her older daughter wants to move in with her ex-husband and his much younger, New-Age–y second wife; even worse, the couple’s waifish daughter, Skye, will be in Chloe’s kindergarten class. Madeline’s best friend is Celeste, mother of twins Max and Josh. It’s hard for Madeline and the other moms not to envy Celeste. She's slim, rich and beautiful, and her marriage to hedge fund manager Perry seems too perfect to be true; it is. Celeste and Madeline befriend young single mother Jane, who has moved to the coast town with her son, Ziggy, the product of a one-night stand gone horribly wrong. After sweet-natured Ziggy is accused of bullying, the parents divide into defenders and accusers. Tensions mount among the mothers' cliques and within individual marriages until they boil over on the balcony. Despite a Greek chorus of parents and faculty sharing frequently contradictory impressions, the truth remains tantalizingly difficult to sort out.

Pub Date: July 29, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-399-16706-5

Page Count: 416

Publisher: Amy Einhorn/Putnam

Review Posted Online: June 14, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2014


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big little lies book review nytimes


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by Hanya Yanagihara ‧ RELEASE DATE: March 10, 2015

The phrase “tour de force” could have been invented for this audacious novel.

Four men who meet as college roommates move to New York and spend the next three decades gaining renown in their professions—as an architect, painter, actor and lawyer—and struggling with demons in their intertwined personal lives.

Yanagihara ( The People in the Trees , 2013) takes the still-bold leap of writing about characters who don’t share her background; in addition to being male, JB is African-American, Malcolm has a black father and white mother, Willem is white, and “Jude’s race was undetermined”—deserted at birth, he was raised in a monastery and had an unspeakably traumatic childhood that’s revealed slowly over the course of the book. Two of them are gay, one straight and one bisexual. There isn’t a single significant female character, and for a long novel, there isn’t much plot. There aren’t even many markers of what’s happening in the outside world; Jude moves to a loft in SoHo as a young man, but we don’t see the neighborhood change from gritty artists’ enclave to glitzy tourist destination. What we get instead is an intensely interior look at the friends’ psyches and relationships, and it’s utterly enthralling. The four men think about work and creativity and success and failure; they cook for each other, compete with each other and jostle for each other’s affection. JB bases his entire artistic career on painting portraits of his friends, while Malcolm takes care of them by designing their apartments and houses. When Jude, as an adult, is adopted by his favorite Harvard law professor, his friends join him for Thanksgiving in Cambridge every year. And when Willem becomes a movie star, they all bask in his glow. Eventually, the tone darkens and the story narrows to focus on Jude as the pain of his past cuts deep into his carefully constructed life.  

Pub Date: March 10, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-385-53925-8

Page Count: 720

Publisher: Doubleday

Review Posted Online: Dec. 21, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2015

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by Hanya Yanagihara



The Year in Fiction


by J.D. Salinger ‧ RELEASE DATE: June 15, 1951

A strict report, worthy of sympathy.

A violent surfacing of adolescence (which has little in common with Tarkington's earlier, broadly comic, Seventeen ) has a compulsive impact.

"Nobody big except me" is the dream world of Holden Caulfield and his first person story is down to the basic, drab English of the pre-collegiate. For Holden is now being bounced from fancy prep, and, after a vicious evening with hall- and roommates, heads for New York to try to keep his latest failure from his parents. He tries to have a wild evening (all he does is pay the check), is terrorized by the hotel elevator man and his on-call whore, has a date with a girl he likes—and hates, sees his 10 year old sister, Phoebe. He also visits a sympathetic English teacher after trying on a drunken session, and when he keeps his date with Phoebe, who turns up with her suitcase to join him on his flight, he heads home to a hospital siege. This is tender and true, and impossible, in its picture of the old hells of young boys, the lonesomeness and tentative attempts to be mature and secure, the awful block between youth and being grown-up, the fright and sickness that humans and their behavior cause the challenging, the dramatization of the big bang. It is a sorry little worm's view of the off-beat of adult pressure, of contemporary strictures and conformity, of sentiment….

Pub Date: June 15, 1951

ISBN: 0316769177

Page Count: -

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: Nov. 2, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 1951

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big little lies book review nytimes

big little lies book review nytimes

Big Little Lies

big little lies book review nytimes

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Big Little Lies

By liane moriarty.

big little lies book review nytimes

Liane Moriarty’s 2014 novel Big Little Lies begins with a shocking death at an elementary school’s trivia night, rocking a community of affluent parents to their core. They want to know: Was this death an accident, or did something more sinister occur? Though these looming questions usher the atmospheric novel to its exciting conclusion, it’s Moriarty’s smart observations—balancing humor with empathy—about parenting, gossip, and school-yard dynamics that makes Big Little Lies a true page-turner, and inspired its adaptation into a hit HBO series starring Reese Witherspoon and Nicole Kidman.

The novel follows three mothers, Madeline, Celeste, and Jane, over the six months leading up to the trivia event. These women are harboring secrets and hiding their deepest trauma from each other, fueled, ultimately, by their need to survive. Moriarty, writing thoughtfully about the impacts of heavy topics like domestic violence and sexual assault, makes the characters feel real. As the mothers’ secrets grow increasingly tangled, the explosive school event brings everything to the fore. — Mahita Gajanan

Buy Now: Big Little Lies on Bookshop | Amazon

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Book Review : Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty

Book Review - Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty

Author: Liane Moriarty

Publisher: Berkley

Genre: Mystery, Chick lit

First Publication: 2014

Language:  English

Major Characters: Celeste White, Madeline Martha Mackenzie, Jane Chapman

Theme: The Pain of Lying and the Healing Power of the Truth, Women and femininity, Family and Marriage, Friendship

Setting: Sydney, New South Wales (Australia)

Narrator: Third Person Omniscient point of view

Book Summary: Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty

Three mothers, Jane, Madeline and Celeste appear to have it all, until they find out just how easy it is for one little lie to spiral out of control . . .

Single mum Jane has just moved to town. She’s got her little boy in tow – plus a secret she’s been carrying for five years.

On the first day of the school run she meets Madeline – a force to be reckoned with, who remembers everything and forgives no one – and Celeste, the kind of beautiful woman who makes the world stop and stare, but is inexplicably ill at ease.

They both take Jane under their wing – while careful to keep their own secrets under wraps.

But a minor incident involving the children of all three women rapidly escalates: playground whispers become spiteful rumours until no one can tell the truth from the lies . . .

Liane Moriarty’s novel Big Little Lies has become a sensational bestseller and one of the best books by women in recent years, only supported by its critically acclaimed and immensely watchable HBO adaptation starring Reese Witherspoon, Nicole Kidman, Shailene Woodley and Laura Dern among others (which features some of the best casting choices I’ve ever witnessed in a book-to-film/TV adaptation).

Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty is absolutely addictive. I have turned page after page in one sitting alone, it didn’t take long for me to finish the novel. The plot works brilliantly by using a very interesting formula: take the lives of several characters who appear to be so perfect and oh-so-normal from the outside; and throw them into a difficult situation in order to reveal their true characters by showing how they deal with the situations; and then reveal the dark secrets shadowing their seemingly perfect lives.

“They say it’s good to let your grudges go, but I don’t know, I’m quite fond of my grudge. I tend it like a little pet.”

It’s a formula which could not have worked better, though one aspect certainly helped: the fact that the characters were so vibrant. We got to know every little shade of their souls, and even with the uncomfortable subjects which are placed at the heart of the story, it felt comforting to place oneself in their neighborhood and watch their conflict-disquieted lives unravel.

Yes, it was certainly uncomfortable at times, but that was the entire point of the novel. It’s the reason this book is so memorable and different in the first place. Self-centered people like the characters portrayed in Liane Moriarty’s world live all around the planet. What the show did so great was to paint these women in such an interesting light that you could not help but root for them anyway.

“All conflict can be traced back to someone’s feelings getting hurt, don’t you think?”

What an outrageously crazy book Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty is – and I’m saying that in a good way. Hot tempered Mother’s who become too involved in their child’s disputes (and I’m talking about children aged 4-5yrs), to the point of seeking out revenge; threatening other parents, twisting the truth and even signing partitions to have a child expelled. It’s complete madness! But while it all may seem like madness, it’s really not far from the truth.

The other reason why I enjoyed Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty was the mystery surrounding the death . The book starts off with a death on trivia night, but the reader will not know who died until the end. It backtracks 6 months prior to when the parents and children met on school orientation day.

We get to know these parents, see their different personality, how they interact with one another, and get an insight into their little circle of friendships. The parents are known to one other through kindergarten, and living in a small seaside community, so they’ve already had formed their own little groups. They are civil to one other but a lot of backstabbing goes on behind their back. However, when a bully incident happens with the children on orientation day, tempers flare and grudges are formed. Which divides the adult further apart and makes life a living hell for one new, single mother of Pirriwee Pubic School for the next 6 months.

“Reading a novel was like returning to a once-beloved holiday destination.”

In Big Little Lies we follow the lives of the mothers of Pirriwee Public School. Initially they seem confident, beautiful and stylish mothers with a stable and well balanced home/work life. But that’s on the surface. It’s all a great big lie. As we read on, we do start to see some serious cracks showing. The book tackles a range of family and personal problems; growing older and body image, rebellious teenagers, ex-spouses, infidelity and spousal abuse.

“Everyone wanted to be rich and beautiful, but the truly rich and beautiful had to pretend they were just the same as everyone else.”

Liane Moriarty is a very skilled and clear storyteller, and while it may seem a lot to take in, at no stage did I feel overwhelmed or lose focus. Each character is given their own chapter – and voice, where the reader gets to see and feel their suffering and confusion. Meanwhile giving us snippet of witness testimonies at the beginning and end of each chapter, just to remind us that we are getting nearer to discovering who died. And if it was murderer? Hoping it’s not the one of the people I have grown to really care for.


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Big Little Lies (Moriarty)

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big little lies book review nytimes

Big Little Lies   Liane Moriarty, 2014 Amy Einhorn/Putnam 480 pp. ISBN-13: 9780425274866 Summary Sometimes it’s the little lies that turn out to be the most lethal. A murder … a tragic accident … or just parents behaving badly? What’s indisputable is that someone is dead. But who did what? Big Little Lies follows three women, each at a crossroads: Madeline is a force to be reckoned with. She’s funny and biting, passionate, she remembers everything and forgives no one. Her ex-husband and his yogi new wife have moved into her beloved beachside community, and their daughter is in the same kindergarten class as Madeline’s youngest (how is this possible?). And to top it all off, Madeline’s teenage daughter seems to be choosing Madeline’s ex-husband over her. (How. Is. This. Possible?). Celeste is the kind of beautiful woman who makes the world stop and stare. While she may seem a bit flustered at times, who wouldn’t be, with those rambunctious twin boys? Now that the boys are starting school, Celeste and her husband look set to become the king and queen of the school parent body. But royalty often comes at a price, and Celeste is grappling with how much more she is willing to pay.   New to town, single mom Jane is so young that another mother mistakes her for the nanny. Jane is sad beyond her years and harbors secret doubts about her son. But why? While Madeline and Celeste soon take Jane under their wing, none of them realizes how the arrival of Jane and her inscrutable little boy will affect them all.   Big Little Lies is a brilliant take on ex-husbands and second wives, mothers and daughters, schoolyard scandal, and the dangerous little lies we tell ourselves just to survive. ( From the publisher .)

See the 2017 TV miniseries with Reese Witherspoon and Nicole Kidman. Listen to our Movies Meet Book Club Podcast as Hollister and O'Toole discuss the miniseries and book.

Author Bio • Birth—November 1966 • Where—Sydney, Australia • Education—M.A., Macquarie University • Currently—lives in Sydney Liane Moriarty is an Australian author and sister of author Jaclyn Moriarty. In its review of her 2013 novel, The Husband's Secret , she was referred to as "an edgier, more provocative and bolder successor to Maeve Binchy" by Kirkus Reviews . Moriarty began work in advertising and marketing at a legal publishing company. She then ran her own company for a while before taking work as a freelance advertising copywriter. In 2004, after obtaining a Master's degree at Macquarie University in Sydney, her first novel Three Wishes , written as part of the degree, was published. She is now the author of several other novels, including The Last Anniversary (2006) and What Alice Forgot (2010), The Hypnotist's Love Story (2011), The Husband's Secret (2013), and Big Little Lies (2014). She is also the author of the Nicola Berry series for children. Moriarty lives in Sydney with her husband and two children. ( Adapted from Wikipedia. Retrieved 8/5/2013. )

Book Reviews If you're looking for a novel that will turn you into a compulsive book-finisher look no further. Moriarty has produced another gripping, satirical hit…. It’s can’t-put-downability comes from its darker subplots… A book that will make you appreciate the long days of summer. A surefire hit.... The Aussie author of last year’s runaway hit The Husband’s Secret comes back with another winning and wise novel that intertwines the lives of three women. Entertainment Weekly What's worse than a terrible riot at Pirriwee Public's annual school Trivia Night that leaves one parent dead? The sneaking suspicion that the death was actually murder.... Moriarty...[visits] issues of parenting, divorce, and shattered families in shuttered suburbia. Library Journal [D]arkly comic mystery surrounding a disastrous parents' night at an elementary school fundraiser.... [after which] the truth remains tantalizingly difficult to sort out. Deservedly popular Moriarty invigorates the tired social-issue formula of women’s fiction through wit, good humor, sharp insight into human nature and addictive storytelling. Kirkus Reviews

Discussion Questions 1. At the beginning of the novel, Madeline is enraged over Ziggy not being invited to Amabella’s birthday party. Why do you think Madeline becomes so angry about such a seemingly small injustice? Do you think Madeline is the kind of person who just looks for a fight, or do you think she was justified in feeling so upset? And do you think that by tackling both ends of the spectrum —from schoolyard bullying and parents behaving badly in the playground  to displays of domestic violence in all its incarnations—that the author is trying to say something about the bullying that happens out in the open every day? 2. There is a lot of discussion about women and their looks.  On the beach Jane’s mom shows that she has rather poor body image. Jane observes that women over 40 are constantly talking about their age.  And Madeline says, "She didn’t want to admit, even to herself, just how much the aging of her face really did genuinely depress her. She wanted to be above such superficial concerns. She wanted to be depressed about the state of the world…." [p. 82] Do you think this obsession with looks is specific to women, particularly women of a certain age?   Why or why not? 3. There are a lot of scenes in which the characters say they wish they could be violent: Jane says she wants to throw Ziggy into the wall when he has a tirade in the bathtub, that she would hit Renata if she was in front of her, and then she stops just short of kicking Harper. Do you think the author is trying to show the reader Perry’s side and have us sympathize with him? Or, rather, that feeling violent is a natural impulse but one that people learn to suppress? 4. When Ziggy has to do his family tree, Madeline comments, "Why try to slot fractured families into neat little boxes in this day and age?" [p. 184] A lot of Madeline’s storyline is about the complications that arise from the merging of new modern families. What kind of problems exist among families and extended families now that didn’t when you were a child? 5. When Jane recounts what happened the night she got pregnant, she focuses on what the man said rather than on what he did. Why does Jane feel more violated by two words—fat and ugly—than by the actual assault? Jane seems to think the answer is "Because we live in a beauty-obsessed society where the most important thing a woman can do is make herself attractive to men." [p. 196] Do you agree? 6. The power of secrets is a theme throughout the novel. Jane remembers, "She hadn’t told anyone. She’d swallowed it whole and pretended it meant nothing, and therefore it had come to mean everything." [p. 220] Do you think this is a universal truth, that the more you keep something secret, the more power it takes on? 7. Gwen, the babysitter, seems to be the only one to suspect what is going on with Celeste and Perry. Celeste then realizes she’s never heard Gwen talk about a husband or a partner. Do you think the author intended to intimate that perhaps Gwen had had an abusive husband or partner and that she left him?  And in light of what happens at the end with Bonnie, do you think it’s only people who have personally experienced abuse who pick up on the signs? 8. At one point Jane thinks she and Ziggy will have to leave Pirriwee because "rich, beautiful people weren’t asked to leave anywhere." [p. 362] Do you think different rules apply to rich people? Do you think being rich allowed Perry to get away with things longer than would have been likely if he hadn’t had money? 9. Bonnie says, "We see. We fucking see!" [p. 421] Were you surprised to learn about Bonnie’s history?  Were you surprised to discover that all along Max had been seeing what Perry was doing to Celeste? 10. What did you make of the interview snippets to the reporter? Do you think the author used them almost like a Greek chorus to make a point? 11. Madeline muses, "Maybe it was actually an unspoken instant agreement between four women on the balcony: No woman should pay for the accidental death of that particular man. Maybe it was an involuntary, atavistic response to thousands of years of violence against women. Maybe it was for every rape, every brutal backhanded slap, every other Perry that had come before this one." [p. 430] And then Madeline thinks, "Sometimes doing the wrong thing was also right." Do you agree with this statement?  Do you agree with what the women decided to do?  Do you think there’s a stronger bond between women than there is between men?  Were you surprised that women who ostensibly didn’t like one another—Madeline and Bonnie, Madeline and Renata—ended up coming together to help one another out? 12. At one point in the book, Susi says that, in Australia, one woman dies every week because of domestic violence. In the United States, more than three women are murdered by their husbands or boyfriends every day. Every nine seconds in the United States a woman is assaulted or beaten.  Domestic violence is the leading cause of injury to women—more than that caused by car accidents, muggings, and rapes combined. Are you surprised by these statistics? Why or why not?  Clearly, the author chose Celeste—the picture-perfect mom and/ wife as well as an educated lawyer—to be the victim of domestic violence in order to make a point. Do you think it’s plausible that someone like her would fall victim to abuse such as this? 13. Madeline comments that "there were so many levels of evil in the world." [p. 433] Discuss the implications of this statement in light of the novel and the novel’s different storylines. ( Questions issued by publisher .)

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Book Review: Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty

Posted by Alka

Ethereal Jinxed | Book Review | Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty

I have read many books just for the reason that they are popular or cast into a popular movie/ TV series. Ok fine, I am charged guilty. But yes, popular does not mean brilliantly written. However, the way Big Little Lies was written by Liane Moriarty, I was happy that I picked it up. In the start, it reminded me of Desperate Housewives (I had watched two seasons of this series once. Now hush) but then the story changed.

This is a story of the mothers whose kids study in kindergarten, a story of domestic abuse and of sexual abuse and of shallowness and of friendship perfectly knit together in a recipe for success. Though my son is very small, I can feel snippets of how it could be relatable when he grows up to be of that tender kindergarten age. The style in which the characters are sketched and interact with each other, though cliche makes it seem like this is how it happens in real world (ok leave the dramatic part aside). The book made me cry at a few places and left me frustrated, check one paragraph for yourself:

Ungrateful bitch. Deserve to be hit. Deserve it. She pinched the flesh on her upper thighs until it brought tears to her eyes. There would be new bruises tomorrow. Bruises she’d given herself. She liked to watch them change, deepening, darkening and then slowly fading. It was a hobby. An interest of hers. Nice to have an interest. She was losing her mind.

Read this if you like women literature. It’s very good, a much better choice than my last read Wedding Night by Sophie Kinsella. And I have not given ten-on-ten because I felt the start of the book was slow, otherwise it is just perfect.

Keep watching my blog for more and more book reviews.

 follows three women, each at a crossroads:

Madeline is a force to be reckoned with. She’s funny and biting, passionate, she remembers everything and forgives no one. Her ex-husband and his yogi new wife have moved into her beloved beachside community, and their daughter is in the same kindergarten class as Madeline’s youngest ( is this possible?). And to top it all off, Madeline’s teenage daughter seems to be choosing Madeline’s ex-husband over her. (How. Is. This. Possible?).

Celeste is the kind of beautiful woman who makes the world stop and stare. While she may seem a bit flustered at times, who wouldn’t be, with those rambunctious twin boys? Now that the boys are starting school, Celeste and her husband look set to become the king and queen of the school parent body. But royalty often comes at a price, and Celeste is grappling with how much more she is willing to pay.

New to town, single mom Jane is so young that another mother mistakes her for the nanny. Jane is sad beyond her years and harbors secret doubts about her son. But why? While Madeline and Celeste soon take Jane under their wing, none of them realizes how the arrival of Jane and her inscrutable little boy will affect them all.

 is a brilliant take on ex-husbands and second wives, mothers and daughters, schoolyard scandal, and the dangerous little lies we tell ourselves just to survive.

is the Australian author of six internationally best-selling novels – , , , , , and

Her breakout novel sold over three million copies worldwide, was a number 1 UK bestseller, an Amazon Best Book of 2013 and has been translated into over 40 languages. It spent over a year on the New York Times bestseller list. CBS Films has acquired the film rights. 

With the launch of , Liane became the first Australian author to have a novel debut at number one on the New York Times bestseller list. An HBO series by the same name is based on Big Little Lies, starring Nicole Kidman and Reese Witherspoon. 

Writing as L.M. Moriarty, Liane has also written a children’s book series, , and . 

Liane lives in Sydney with her husband, son and daughter.

Rating: 8/10
Genre:Contemporary, Chick Lit
Book Name:Big Little Lies
Author:Liane Moriarty
Publication Year:2014

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big little lies book review nytimes

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Book Review: Liane Moriarty’s “Big Little Lies”

Chloe Mintz , Sophomore Staff Writer

September 13, 2019

big little lies book review nytimes

While searching for a novel that would satisfy both my desire to read mature literature, yet remain comprehensible for the fifteen- year-old I am, I came across the novel “Big Little Lies” . For those who are unfamiliar with the work of Liane Moriarty, “Big Little Lies” centers upon the lives of Madeline Mackenzie, Celeste Wright, and Jane Chapman. Madeline, strong-willed and zealous, is as likely to forgive as she is to forget— the probability is slight. Celeste, the essence of beauty, conceals her secrets behind a facade of perfection. And Jane, the youngest of the three mothers, desperately hopes to escape her haunting past. Until a schoolyard scandal threatens to penetrate their perilous web of lies.

As any sane person would conclude after reading the story’s synopsis, I was no longer asking, “should I purchase this novel?” but rather, “how quickly can I read the 486 pages?” 

“Big Little Lies” was a refreshing relief from the same old, same old: the cliché and, at best, mediocre genre of (though I love it wholeheartedly) contemporary romance. At least for me. From witty satire to bone-chilling narratives, Moriarty’s writing captivated me until the final stroke of ink. Just when I thought I understood the progression of the plot, details of the story were introduced throwing me off course. With elements of suspense, friendship, and humor, “Big Little Lies” is sure to appeal to numerous audiences.

It was just so very surprising that the good-looking, worried man who had just offered her a cup of tea, and was right now working at his computer down the hallway, and who would come running if she called him, and who loved her with all of his strange heart, would in all probability one day kill her.

— Liane Moriarty

Upon finishing the novel, I immediately cued HBO to stream the “Big Little Lies” television adaptation. To say that I couldn’t get enough of the miniseries would be an understatement. By the end of the summer, I had rewatched every episode a handful of times and could reproduce the warbling lyrics of Michael Kiwanuka’s, “Cold Little Heart” (the show’s theme song) from memory. It was a relief for my family when I was expected to return to school.

Though I typically prefer the novels to their screen adaptations, I cannot deny scriptwriter, David E. Kelley’s ability to bring Moriarty’s work to life. Each element of the story was carefully crafted to draw audience members in by the thousands.

“I have not read the book, but I have watched the show. What I really like about ‘Big Little Lies’ is how it reflects on past stories and brings them into the present, and I really like the plot twists,” says Aspen Hunter (‘23).

And of course, I cannot forget the sensational performances of Reese Witherspoon, Nicole Kidman, Shailene Woodley, and Laura Dern who play Madeline, Celeste, Jane, and Renata respectively. A better cast could not have been picked.

“In the show, my favorite person is Renata Klein because she is so independent and willing to be a hard worker. I feel a personal connection to her just because of how crazy she is, and she is kind of obnoxious at times. I really like that,” says Katelyn Butler (‘22).

Whether you’d prefer to read the novel or binge the series on television, “Big Little Lies” cannot be missed. 

Disclaimer: “Big Little Lies” contains dark themes and is intended for mature audiences. 

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Paige McGuinn • Sep 18, 2019 at 8:22 pm

Great review Chloe!! I’ll be sure to check it out 🙂 (Also you have a great range of vocabulary haha!)

Teresa Matassini Fernandez • Sep 14, 2019 at 8:59 pm

Chloe you amaze you with your writing of this intriguing story. You capture the essence of the storyline in a beautiful synopsis. Keep writing you have a talent and I loved reading your article.

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‘Big Little Lies’ Review: Reese Witherspoon Commands a Captivating Cast in an HBO Mystery Worth Solving

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“ Big Little Lies ” may sound like a cute, paradoxical title; something easy to remember, but quick to dismiss once the true lesson of the series hits. But those three little words prove telling — damning, even — after just a few episodes. The lives of three women and their families living in idyllic Monterey, CA, are slowly revealed to be more troubled than their pristine homes and views would suggest. Stress leads to anger and anger turns to danger, all because of the everyday lies we all tell ourselves, each other and, yes, even our children.

Writer David E. Kelly (adapting the book by Liane Moriarty) and director Jean-Marc Vallée (“Wild”) use these white lies, guarded secrets, and passive aggressive vendettas to frame a grave, life-changing consequence: murder. Who died and who did it remains unknown (through the four episodes made available to critics), and the storytellers seem ready to hold out for a climactic reveal at or near the end of these eight episodes. But the wait is made deliciously diverting by a talented cast clearly relishing the opportunity to dig into complex, multi-dimensional women eager to break a bubble they refused to admit was trapping them.

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What drives the story is the unveiling of truth: yes, the answers behind who did the damning deed and who died, but also the truth buried deep inside people who have come to accept life as it is, rather than what they want it to be. At a time when the world is waking up to harsh realities every morning, seeing personal, non-political self-discoveries is an enriching experience that doubles as escapism. “Big Little Lies” is a series built to be as entertaining as it is enlightening, and they’ve pulled off both feats with great zeal.

READ MORE: Reese Witherspoon Made ‘Big Little Lies’ Because She Had Enough of Hollywood Reducing Women to ‘Wives and Girlfriends’

Big Little Lies Nicole Kidman

Told in flashback via an omniscient perspective but framed by interrogations of otherwise minor characters, “Big Little Lies” starts on Jane Chapman (Shailene Woodley). A single mother of one, Jane has just moved to Monterey to find a better life for her son. Whether her own situation improves seems secondary, if that, as Jane is healthily devoted to her child, even if her protective ties are laced with deep-seated personal issues. On Ziggy’s first day of school, Jane meets Madeline McKenzie ( Reese Witherspoon ), an alpha mom with a daughter in Ziggy’s class and another daughter in high school.

The two quickly bond and form a friendship built on Jane’s early act of kindness later matched by Madeline when an incident at school forces parents to pick sides. Joining them in spirit and for seaside drinks is Madeline’s best friend, Celeste (Nicole Kidman), whose twins are in the same class as Jane and Madeline’s kids. The trio share intimacies with one another, but largely come together to back each other up. Jane is worried about Ziggy fitting in at school. Celeste is struggling with her stay-at-home-mom role, and Madeline, well, Madeline is at the center of everything.

A master manipulator who relishes a showdown, Madeline is like every controlling mama bear you’ve seen prowl the halls of prep school. And yet here, she’s very much her own person. Witherspoon brings a ferocious attitude to the role, providing all the spiteful energy you’d need to believe Madeline would kill if she deemed it necessary or be killed because any one of her enemies could no longer tolerate the queen bee. Still, the story includes many a contemplative moment. We watch Madeline drive down the winding, oceanside highway or stare off her back porch at the vast sea that is her backyard, regularly lost in thought. She’ll break down eventually, giving way to core truths with her husband (Adam Scott, giving a restrained, pathos-filled performance that still sports an edge), just as she’ll burst with emotion when spurred on by her friends.

READ MORE: ‘Santa Clarita Diet’ Review: Drew Barrymore Bites Off More Than She Can Chew in a Skin-Deep Netflix Comedy

Big Little Lies Reese Witherspoon

It’s a precise turn with sharp, informed decisions made time and time again, in a role perfectly built for Witherspoon’s talents. Her co-stars match her high bar without overworking to clear it. Woodley is measured in her emotional output, crossing a wide spectrum but full of youthful purity that perfectly contrasts Madeline’s constant scheming. Kidman, meanwhile, juxtaposes her two selves: She puts forth a serene exterior for her friends that masks a recklessness shown only to her husband (Alexander Skarsgård, turning a two-note character into a man you hate to hold empathy for). The Oscar winner ties them together nicely, especially in later episodes when she’s forced to confront her choices.

Herein lies the true mission behind the limited series: For all the hubbub about murder, “Big Little Lies” is an intricate examination of what women want; from marriage, sex, motherhood, friendship, work — from life in general. By building their captivating individual stories around a development as drastic and tantalizing as murder, the series asks us to imagine how something so small could lead to something so big. Could a little lie, a minor miscommunication, an innocent tiff, lead to death? Some stories are easier to imagine ending in tragedy than others, but Kelly and Vallée treat each woman’s arc with equal weight, demanding we consider their struggle on the same level as their friends’. After all, people don’t have to die for lives to be ruined.

So much of the show’s overall impact will depend on the ending, as whoever winds up dead and whoever killed him or her will force audience to reframe their perspective on these characters. With all murder mysteries, a less than satisfying finale can damn the whole thing to obscurity. But the lessons learned from “Big Little Lies” won’t be as easily shaken. They lie not in discovering the truth, but in searching for it. And this is one damn addictive search.

“Big Little Lies” premieres Sunday, February 19 at 9 p.m. on HBO. New episodes air every Sunday.

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“Big Little Lies” Season 2, Reviewed: Meryl, Meryl, Meryl

big little lies book review nytimes

On June 22, 1949, Mary Wilkinson and Harry William Streep, of New Jersey, welcomed a baby girl, whom they named Mary Louise. But, as the child’s personality emerged, Harry decided that the nickname Meryl better flattered her, and Meryl is the name that stuck. Seven decades later, the same Meryl Streep has reassumed her legal name in the role of Mary Louise Wright, the grief-addled mother who comes to Monterey, California, in the second season of the glossy HBO drama “Big Little Lies.” She is there following the death of her son, Perry Wright (Alexander Skarsgård), the abusive husband of Celeste (Nicole Kidman), at the Otter Bay Elementary spring gala. The demise of Perry hasn’t freed Celeste; she and Madeline (Reese Witherspoon), Bonnie (Zoë Kravitz), Renata (Laura Dern), and Jane (Shailene Woodley)—the Monterey Five, as the gossips in town call them—are now bonded in an awful and obsessive grief, and Mary Louise’s arrival curdles whatever shaky peace they’ve achieved. Streep sharing a name with her character is a fourth-wall-breaking genuflection to her demigoddess presence, which might alone persuade us that it was appropriate to revive this story.

Streep reportedly so adored “Big Little Lies” that she signed onto the second season of the show without so much as glimpsing a script. But the eruption of hosannas in response to her casting did not completely silence a note of nagging concern. Why mess with such a delicious thing? When the show premièred, in 2017, “Big Little Lies,” adapted from Liane Moriarty’s novel, set in Australia, was presented as a miniseries, not a serialized drama. The depiction of upper-middle-class malaise and sororal suffering earned eight Emmys and four Golden Globes, and status as one of the last monocultural phenomena in an increasingly fragmented, niche entertainment landscape. I am not ill-mannered enough to complain about the heavyweight reunion of Kidman, Witherspoon, Dern, Kravitz, and Woodley. If anything, I’m simply weary. No one in the movies or on TV knows when to end a project anymore. “Big Little Lies” ’s graceful economy and narrative containment had seemed like such a wise decision. Beginning Season 2, I was worried that I’d have to see my beloved, bitchy, balletic “Big Little Lies” become lurching or distended. I hated to think that, once again, greed—of both the financial and the postmodern fan-service sort—had overridden a rare exercise of artistic restraint.

Integral to the anatomy of some ballets and operas is the coda: a last gathering and recapitulation of themes, a pulling of the viewer back into her chair to hear an echo of the story’s conclusion. The beginning of “Big Little Lies” Season 2 (I’ve seen three episodes so far) seems to me that way, as an extended finale of the first season, though drawing on a differently calibrated momentum. In Season 1, a Greek chorus of nosy parents and snide school administrators guided our attentions. In this installment, we tread in the artfully stilled waters of psychological aftermath. Summer is over, when the show opens, and the parents swarm Otter Bay for the first day of second grade. The parents are exhorted to sing a cloying song, but Bonnie, broken by her involvement in Perry’s death, sits stone-faced. Everyone except for Bonnie—who was the one to push Perry to his death—has experienced the action as a communal defense, a unanimous exhale. And yet each of them is still suffocating. The police cannot disprove that Perry succumbed by someone’s hand. In the detectives’ glitching interview tapes, which are spliced in to disturb the opening scenes at school, the women, their faces stained with mascara, insist that he slipped and fell. Immediately, this season’s director, Andrea Arnold, who takes the baton from Jean-Marc Vallée (who stayed on as executive producer), submerges us in an atmosphere of guilt, enhanced by a plague of involuntary flashbacks. At Otter Bay today, the colors are vividly sun-bleached; in dreamy flashback sequences, the palette is ink-gray, and dazed women walk barefoot to a turbulent ocean.

The truth about Celeste’s marriage is out to the group. We also now know that it was Perry who raped Jane years ago, and that he is the father of her son, Ziggy. But the women are still caught in so many lies: to their husbands, their children, and themselves. Free-floating despair conforms to each woman’s temper and the beats of her everyday routine. As Madeline, Witherspoon sprints from a coffee shop to a real-estate open house, selling handsome white couples the dream of professional and romantic achievement that is slipping underneath her own feet like sand. Renata pumps a low-pound exercise weight as she poses for the cover of a magazine’s “Women in Power” issue; later, a selfish choice made by her husband, Gordon, proves that she doesn’t warrant the title. “We’re creatures of want,” he tells her, accusingly. Bonnie drifts, mentally and literally; she goes for runs constantly, in these episodes, while her husband struggles to match her pace. Her mother has arrived in Monterey, too. We still don’t know enough about the trauma Bonnie apparently experienced as a child, and whether that trauma matches what happens in Moriarty’s book, and I’m not sure how I feel about the dragging out of the backstory of the show’s only black star. Hippieish Jane, who doesn’t have wealth as an additional burden, seems the most well adjusted. She flirts with a wild-haired co-worker at her job at the aquarium, a philosophical surfer, asking him if he might be on the spectrum.

“Big Little Lies” is a fairly apportioned ensemble vehicle, giving each actor room to shriek, to cackle, to clutch a glass of wine nervously as she stares at the surf. I especially like the space given to the child actors, who, this season, are reproachful and inquisitive. But no character propels scenes quite like Kidman’s Celeste. This season she is haunted. Her eyes are an electrified, inhuman blue. She takes sleeping pills and wakes up behind the wheel of her car. She struggles to discipline her twin boys, who are growing, frighteningly, more and more like the father they grieve each day. Kidman’s nonjudgmental inhabiting of Celeste’s oscillations continues to be exceptional. Sometimes, Celeste sees herself as a victim, sometimes as a co-conspirator, sometimes as the true monster. Her memories of Perry’s beatings blur with memories of their rough sex, mingling in her mind now as they once did in life. Perry controls her, and has warped her definitions of consent, even from beyond the grave. “As dead as he is, sometimes I think maybe I’m deader,” she tells Madeline. Her therapist (Robin Weigert) compares her to a soldier suffering from P.T.S.D., acculturated to brutality. “You miss the war,” she says flatly.

This capsule summary might lead you to believe that the tone of this season is ponderous, or, worse, pandering and dutiful on the subject of women’s trauma. But “Big Little Lies” resists ideals of “responsible media” in the age of #MeToo. The second season is a little rude, and a little raw, and openly indebted to Andy Cohen and his army of Real Housewives. On one level, “Big Little Lies” is like that reality franchise, a social satire driven by a humiliating exposure of the divas of the nouveau riche. “I don’t fucking care about homeless people!” Madeline shouts at her daughter Abigail, who has decided she will skip college in order to work at a socially conscious startup. “I will not not be rich!” Renata wails, as she slams a glass jail divider. There is a boisterous story line about Otter Bay’s bratty parents being inconvenienced by the second-grade climate-change curriculum. The stooge humor of rich women behaving selfishly pleasurably reflects certain recent stories in the news, including the élite-college-admissions scandal. A show that asks us to watch mothers explain to their sons what assault is, and what it has to do with their fathers, demands some freebie levity, and “Big Little Lies” delivers. Our laughter is a relief.

Stalking through all of this is Mary Louise, an unnecessary character elevated to an indispensable role because, simply, she is played by Meryl Streep . Ostensibly, Streep has come to Monterey to help her daughter-in-law take care of the children. Really, she is suspicious, and intent on solving the lingering “mystery” of Perry’s death. She wears a prosthetic overbite and a portentous crucifix necklace, long coats and cardigans swishing behind her like a modern Miss Marple. The character introduces a sociological tension to the show, bringing a fresh conservatism to the sometimes rote liberal politics of “Big Little Lies.” Mary Louise believes her son to have been cherubic. When Celeste and Jane beg to differ, she accuses them of misinterpreting his actions. She is the older woman who thinks that some men may be rapists, but also that some women are temptresses. There are scenes between Mary Louise and the younger women that play like dramatizations of the generational debates that have been taking place in living rooms, on op-ed pages, and on Twitter in recent years. But “Big Little Lies” is too smart to use Streep simply as a proxy for plot development and feminist infighting. Socially awkward and wholly unhinged, Mary Louise pops up behind building walls to gaze lovingly at Ziggy, the grandson she has never known, and picks fights with her natural nemesis, Madeline, who reminds her of a girl who bullied her in school. Streep gives Mary Louise a vicious and eerily hilarious maternal edge. She is clearly having a ball. I can’t wait to see how her story line expands.

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The Cathartic Finale of “Big Little Lies”

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The 1 00 Best Books of the 21st Century

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As voted on by 503 novelists, nonfiction writers, poets, critics and other book lovers — with a little help from the staff of The New York Times Book Review.

Many of us find joy in looking back and taking stock of our reading lives, which is why we here at The New York Times Book Review decided to mark the first 25 years of this century with an ambitious project: to take a first swing at determining the most important, influential books of the era. In collaboration with the Upshot, we sent a survey to hundreds of literary luminaries , asking them to name the 10 best books published since Jan. 1, 2000.

Stephen King took part. So did Bonnie Garmus, Claudia Rankine, James Patterson, Sarah Jessica Parker, Karl Ove Knausgaard, Elin Hilderbrand, Thomas Chatterton Williams, Roxane Gay, Marlon James, Sarah MacLean, Min Jin Lee, Jonathan Lethem and Jenna Bush Hager, to name just a few .

As we publish the list over the course of this week ( today: 80-61! ), we hope you’ll discover a book you’ve always meant to read, or encounter a beloved favorite you’d like to pick up again. Above all, we hope you’re as inspired and dazzled as we are by the breadth of subjects, voices, opinions, experiences and imagination represented here.

Be first to see what’s new. Every day this week, the Book Review will unveil 20 more books on our Best Books of the 21st Century list. You can get notified when they’re up — and hear about book reviews, news and features each week — when you receive the Book Review’s newsletter. Sign up here.

Book cover for Tree of Smoke

Tree of Smoke

Denis Johnson 2007

Like the project of the title — an intelligence report that the newly minted C.I.A. operative William “Skip” Sands comes to find both quixotic and useless — the Vietnam-era warfare of Johnson’s rueful, soulful novel lives in shadows, diversions and half-truths. There are no heroes here among the lawless colonels, assassinated priests and faith-stricken NGO nurses; only villainy and vast indifference.

Liked it? Try “ Missionaries ,” by Phil Klay or “ Hystopia ,” by David Means.

Interested? Read our review . Then reserve it at your local library or buy it from Amazon , Apple , Barnes & Noble or Bookshop .

Book cover for How to Be Both

How to Be Both

Ali Smith 2014

This elegant double helix of a novel entwines the stories of a fictional modern-day British girl and a real-life 15th-century Italian painter. A more conventional book might have explored the ways the past and present mirror each other, but Smith is after something much more radical. “How to Be Both” is a passionate, dialectical critique of the binaries that define and confine us. Not only male and female, but also real and imaginary, poetry and prose, living and dead. The way to be “both” is to recognize the extent to which everything already is. — A.O. Scott, critic at large for The Times

Liked it? Try “ Jeff in Venice, Death in Varanasi ,” by Geoff Dyer or “ The Argonauts ,” by Maggie Nelson.

Book cover for Bel Canto

Ann Patchett 2001

A famed opera singer performs for a Japanese executive’s birthday at a luxe private home in South America; it’s that kind of party. But when a group of young guerrillas swoops in and takes everyone in the house hostage, Patchett’s exquisitely calibrated novel — inspired by a real incident — becomes a piano wire of tension, vibrating on high.

My wife and I share books we love with our kids, and after I raved about “Bel Canto” — the voice, the setting, the way romance and suspense are so perfectly braided — I gave copies to my kids, and they all loved it, too. My son was in high school then, and he became a kind of lit-pusher, pressing his beloved copy into friends’ hands. We used to call him the Keeper of the Bel Canto. — Jess Walter, author of “Beautiful Ruins”

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Book cover for Men We Reaped

Men We Reaped

Jesmyn Ward 2013

Sandwiched between her two National Book Award-winning novels, Ward’s memoir carries more than fiction’s force in its aching elegy for five young Black men (a brother, a cousin, three friends) whose untimely exits from her life came violently and without warning. Their deaths — from suicide and homicide, addiction and accident — place the hidden contours of race, justice and cruel circumstance in stark relief.

Liked it? Try “ Breathe: A Letter to My Sons ,” by Imani Perry or “ Memorial Drive: A Daughter’s Memoir ,” by Natasha Trethewey.

big little lies book review nytimes

Wayward Lives, Beautiful Experiments

Saidiya Hartman 2019

A beautiful, meticulously researched exploration of the lives of Black girls whom early-20th-century laws designated as “wayward” for such crimes as having serial lovers, or an excess of desire, or a style of comportment that was outside white norms. Hartman grapples with “the power and authority of the archive and the limits it sets on what can be known” about poor Black women, but from the few traces she uncovers in the historical record, she manages to sketch moving portraits, restoring joy and freedom and movement to what, in other hands, might have been mere statistics. — Laila Lalami, author of “The Other Americans”

Liked it? Try “In the Wake: On Blackness and Being,” by Christina Sharpe or “ All That She Carried: The Journey of Ashley’s Sack, A Black Family Keepsake ,” by Tiya Miles.

Book cover for Bring Up the Bodies

Bring Up the Bodies

Hilary Mantel 2012

The title comes from an old English legal phrase for summoning men who have been accused of treason to trial; in the court’s eyes, effectively, they are already dead. But Mantel’s tour-de-force portrait of Thomas Cromwell, the second installment in her vaunted “Wolf Hall” series, thrums with thrilling, obstinate life: a lowborn statesman on the rise; a king in love (and out of love, and in love again); a mad roundelay of power plays, poisoned loyalties and fateful realignments. It’s only empires, after all.

Liked it? Try “ This Is Happiness ,” by Niall Williams or “ The Western Wind ,” by Samantha Harvey.

Book cover for On Beauty

Zadie Smith 2005

Consider it a bold reinvention of “Howards End,” or take Smith’s sprawling third novel as its own golden thing: a tale of two professors — one proudly liberal, the other staunchly right-wing — whose respective families’ rivalries and friendships unspool over nearly 450 provocative, subplot-mad pages.

Book cover for On Beauty

“You don’t have favorites among your children, but you do have allies.”

Let’s admit it: Family is often a kind of war, even if telepathically conducted. — Alexandra Jacobs, book critic for The Times

Liked it? Try “ Crossroads ,” by Jonathan Franzen.

Book cover for Station Eleven

Station Eleven

Emily St. John Mandel 2014

Increasingly, and for obvious reasons, end-times novels are not hard to find. But few have conjured the strange luck of surviving an apocalypse — civilization preserved via the ad hoc Shakespeare of a traveling theater troupe; entire human ecosystems contained in an abandoned airport — with as much spooky melancholic beauty as Mandel does in her beguiling fourth novel.

stack of books facing backward

Liked it? Try “ Severance ,” by Ling Ma or “ The Passage ,” by Justin Cronin.

Book cover for The Days of Abandonment

The Days of Abandonment

Elena Ferrante; translated by Ann Goldstein 2005

There is something scandalous about this picture of a sensible, adult woman almost deranged by the breakup of her marriage, to the point of neglecting her children. The psychodrama is naked — sometimes hard to read, at other moments approaching farce. Just as Ferrante drew an indelible portrait of female friendship in her quartet of Neapolitan novels, here, she brings her all-seeing eye to female solitude.

Book cover for The Days of Abandonment

“The circle of an empty day is brutal, and at night it tightens around your neck like a noose.”

It so simply encapsulates how solitude can, with the inexorable passage of time, calcify into loneliness and then despair. — Alexandra Jacobs

Liked it? Try “ Eileen ,” by Ottessa Moshfegh or “ Aftermath: On Marriage and Separation ,” by Rachel Cusk.

Book cover for The Human Stain

The Human Stain

Philip Roth 2000

Set during the Clinton impeachment imbroglio, this is partly a furious indictment of what would later be called cancel culture, partly an inquiry into the paradoxes of class, sex and race in America. A college professor named Coleman Silk is persecuted for making supposedly racist remarks in class. Nathan Zuckerman, his neighbor (and Roth’s trusty alter ego), learns that Silk, a fellow son of Newark, is a Black man who has spent most of his adult life passing for white. Of all the Zuckerman novels, this one may be the most incendiary, and the most unsettling. — A.O. Scott

Liked it? Try “ Vladimir ,” by Julia May Jonas or “ Blue Angel ,” by Francine Prose.

Book cover for The Sympathizer

The Sympathizer

Viet Thanh Nguyen 2015

Penned as a book-length confession from a nameless North Vietnamese spy as Saigon falls and new duties in America beckon, Nguyen’s richly faceted novel seems to swallow multiple genres whole, like a satisfied python: political thriller and personal history, cracked metafiction and tar-black comedy.

Liked it? Try “ Man of My Time ,” by Dalia Sofer or “ Tomás Nevinson ,” by Javier Marías; translated by Margaret Jull Costa.

Book cover for The Return: Fathers, Sons and the Land in Between

Hisham Matar 2016

Though its Pulitzer Prize was bestowed in the category of biography, Matar’s account of searching for the father he lost to a 1990 kidnapping in Cairo functions equally as absorbing detective story, personal elegy and acute portrait of doomed geopolitics — all merged, somehow, with the discipline and cinematic verve of a novel.

Liked it? Try “ A Day in the Life of Abed Salama: Anatomy of a Jerusalem Tragedy ,” by Nathan Thrall, “ House of Stone: A Memoir of Home, Family, and a Lost Middle East ,” by Anthony Shadid or “ My Father’s Fortune ,” by Michael Frayn.

big little lies book review nytimes

The Collected Stories of Lydia Davis

Brevity, thy name is Lydia Davis. If her work has become a byword for short (nay, microdose) fiction, this collection proves why it is also hard to shake; a conflagration of odd little umami bombs — sometimes several pages, sometimes no more than a sentence — whose casual, almost careless wordsmithery defies their deadpan resonance.

Liked it? Try “ Ninety-Nine Stories of God ,” by Joy Williams or “ Tell Me: Thirty Stories ,” by Mary Robison.

Book cover for Detransition, Baby

Detransition, Baby

Torrey Peters 2021

Love is lost, found and reconfigured in Peters’s penetrating, darkly humorous debut novel. But when the novel’s messy triangular romance — between two trans characters and a cis-gendered woman — becomes an unlikely story about parenthood, the plot deepens, and so does its emotional resonance: a poignant and gratifyingly cleareyed portrait of found family.

Peters’s sly wit and observational genius, her ability to balance so many intimate realities, cultural forces and zeitgeisty happenings made my head spin. It got me hot, cracked me up, punched my heart with grief and understanding. I’m in awe of her abilities, and will re-read this book periodically just to remember how it’s done. — Michelle Tea, author of “Against Memoir”

Liked it? Try “ I Heard Her Call My Name: A Memoir of Transition ,” by Lucy Sante or “ Didn’t Nobody Give a Shit What Happened to Carlotta ,” by James Hannaham.

Book cover for Frederick Douglass: Prophet of Freedom

Frederick Douglass

David W. Blight 2018

It is not hard to throw a rock and hit a Great Man biography; Blight’s earns its stripes by smartly and judiciously excavating the flesh-and-bone man beneath the myth. Though Douglass famously wrote three autobiographies of his own, there turned out to be much between the lines that is illuminated here with rigor, flair and refreshing candor.

Liked it? Try “ The Grimkes: The Legacy of Slavery in an American Family ,” by Kerri K. Greenidge or “Freedom National: The Destruction of Slavery in the United States, 1861-1865,” by James Oakes.

Book cover for Pastoralia

George Saunders 2000

An ersatz caveman languishes at a theme park; a dead maiden aunt comes back to screaming, scatological life; a bachelor barber born with no toes dreams of true love, or at least of getting his toe-nubs licked. The stories in Saunders’s second collection are profane, unsettling and patently absurd. They’re also freighted with bittersweet humanity, and rendered in language so strange and wonderful, it sings.

Liked it? Try “ Swamplandia! ,” by Karen Russell or “ Friday Black ,” by Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah.

Book cover for The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer

The Emperor of All Maladies

Siddhartha Mukherjee 2010

The subtitle, “A Biography of Cancer,” provides some helpful context for what lies between the covers of Mukherjee’s Pulitzer Prize-winning book, though it hardly conveys the extraordinary ambition and empathy of his telling, as the trained oncologist weaves together disparate strands of large-scale history, biology and devastating personal anecdote.

Liked it? Try “ Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End ,” by Atul Gawande, “ Do No Harm: Stories of Life, Death, and Brain Surgery ,” by Henry Marsh or “ I Contain Multitudes: The Microbes Within Us and a Grander View of Life ,” by Ed Yong.

Book cover for When We Cease to Understand the World

When We Cease to Understand the World

Benjamín Labatut; translated by Adrian Nathan West 2021

You don’t have to know anything about quantum theory to start reading this book, a deeply researched, exquisitely imagined group portrait of tormented geniuses. By the end, you’ll know enough to be terrified. Labatut is interested in how the pursuit of scientific certainty can lead to, or arise from, states of extreme psychological and spiritual upheaval. His characters — Niels Bohr, Werner Heisenberg and Erwin Schrödinger, among others — discover a universe that defies rational comprehension. After them, “scientific method and its object could no longer be prised apart.” That may sound abstract, but in Labatut’s hands the story of quantum physics is violent, suspenseful and finally heartbreaking. — A.O. Scott

Liked it? Try “ The Rigor of Angels: Borges, Heisenberg, Kant, and the Ultimate Nature of Reality ,” by William Egginton, “ The Noise of Time ,” by Julian Barnes or “The End of Days,” by Jenny Erpenbeck; translated by Susan Bernofsky.

Book cover for Hurricane Season

Hurricane Season

Fernanda Melchor; translated by Sophie Hughes 2020

Her sentences are sloping hills; her paragraphs, whole mountains. It’s no wonder that Melchor was dubbed a sort of south-of-the-border Faulkner for her baroque and often brutally harrowing tale of poverty, paranoia and murder (also: witches, or at least the idea of them) in a fictional Mexican village. When a young girl impregnated by her pedophile stepfather unwittingly lands there, her arrival is the spark that lights a tinderbox.

Liked it? Try “ Liliana’s Invincible Summer: A Sister’s Search for Justice ,” by Cristina Rivera Garza or “ Fever Dream ,” by Samanta Schweblin; translated by Megan McDowell.

Book cover for Pulphead

John Jeremiah Sullivan 2011

When this book of essays came out, it bookended a fading genre: collected pieces written on deadline by “pulpheads,” or magazine writers. Whether it’s Sullivan’s visit to a Christian rock festival, his profile of Axl Rose or a tribute to an early American botanist, he brings to his subjects not just depth, but an open-hearted curiosity. Indeed, if this book feels as if it’s from a different time, perhaps that’s because of its generous receptivity to other ways of being, which offers both reader and subject a kind of grace.

Liked it? Try “ Sunshine State ,” by Sarah Gerard, “ Consider the Lobster ,” by David Foster Wallace or “ Yoga for People Who Can’t Be Bothered to Do It ,” by Geoff Dyer.

Book cover for The Story of the Lost Child

The Story of the Lost Child

Elena Ferrante; translated by Ann Goldstein 2015

All things, even modern literature’s most fraught female friendship, must come to an end. As the now middle-aged Elena and Lila continue the dance of envy and devotion forged in their scrappy Neapolitan youth, the conclusion of Ferrante’s four-book saga defies the laws of diminishing returns, illuminating the twined psychologies of its central pair — intractable, indelible, inseparable — in one last blast of X-ray prose.

Liked it? Try “The Years That Followed,” by Catherine Dunne or “From the Land of the Moon,” by Milena Agus; translated by Ann Goldstein.

big little lies book review nytimes

A Manual for Cleaning Women

Lucia Berlin 2015

Berlin began writing in the 1960s, and collections of her careworn, haunted, messily alluring yet casually droll short stories were published in the 1980s and ’90s. But it wasn’t until 2015, when the best were collected into a volume called “A Manual for Cleaning Women,” that her prodigious talent was recognized. Berlin writes about harried and divorced single women, many of them in working-class jobs, with uncanny grace. She is the real deal. — Dwight Garner, book critic for The Times

big little lies book review nytimes

“I hate to see anything lovely by myself.”

It’s so true, to me at least, and I have heard no other writer express it. — Dwight Garner

Liked it? Try “ The Flamethrowers ,” by Rachel Kushner or “ The Complete Stories ,” by Clarice Lispector; translated by Katrina Dodson.

Book cover for Septology

Jon Fosse; translated by Damion Searls 2022

You may not be champing at the bit to read a seven-part, nearly 700-page novel written in a single stream-of-consciousness sentence with few paragraph breaks and two central characters with the same name. But this Norwegian masterpiece, by the winner of the 2023 Nobel Prize in Literature, is the kind of soul-cleansing work that seems to silence the cacophony of the modern world — a pair of noise-canceling headphones in book form. The narrator, a painter named Asle, drives out to visit his doppelgänger, Asle, an ailing alcoholic. Then the narrator takes a boat ride to have Christmas dinner with some friends. That, more or less, is the plot. But throughout, Fosse’s searching reflections on God, art and death are at once haunting and deeply comforting.

Book cover for Septology

I had not read Fosse before he won the Nobel Prize, and I wanted to catch up. Luckily for me, the critic Merve Emre (who has championed his work) is my colleague at Wesleyan, so I asked her where to start. I was hoping for a shortcut, but she sternly told me that there was nothing to do but to read the seven-volume “Septology” translated by Damion Searls. Luckily for me, I had 30 hours of plane travel in the next week or so, and I had a Kindle.

Reading “Septology” in the cocoon of a plane was one of the great aesthetic experiences of my life. The hypnotic effects of the book were amplified by my confinement, and the paucity of distractions helped me settle into its exquisite rhythms. The repetitive patterns of Fosse’s prose made its emotional waves, when they came, so much more powerful. — Michael Roth, president of Wesleyan University

Liked it? Try “ Armand V ,” by Dag Solstad; translated by Steven T. Murray.

Book cover for An American Marriage

An American Marriage

Tayari Jones 2018

Life changes in an instant for Celestial and Roy, the young Black newlyweds at the beating, uncomfortably realistic heart of Jones’s fourth novel. On a mostly ordinary night, during a hotel stay near his Louisiana hometown, Roy is accused of rape. He is then swiftly and wrongfully convicted and sentenced to 12 years in prison. The couple’s complicated future unfolds, often in letters, across two worlds. The stain of racism covers both places.

Liked it? Try “ Hello Beautiful ,” by Ann Napolitano or “ Stay with Me ,” by Ayọ̀bámi Adébáyọ̀.

Book cover for Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow

Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow

Gabrielle Zevin 2022

The title is Shakespeare; the terrain, more or less, is video games. Neither of those bare facts telegraphs the emotional and narrative breadth of Zevin’s breakout novel, her fifth for adults. As the childhood friendship between two future game-makers blooms into a rich creative collaboration and, later, alienation, the book becomes a dazzling disquisition on art, ambition and the endurance of platonic love.

Liked it? Try “ Normal People ,” by Sally Rooney or “ Super Sad True Love Story ,” by Gary Shteyngart.

Book cover for Exit West

Mohsin Hamid 2017

The modern world and all its issues can feel heavy — too heavy for the fancies of fiction. Hamid’s quietly luminous novel, about a pair of lovers in a war-ravaged Middle Eastern country who find that certain doors can open portals, literally, to other lands, works in a kind of minor-key magical realism that bears its weight beautifully.

Liked it? Try “ The Seven Moons of Maali Almeida ,” by Shehan Karunatilaka or “ A Burning ,” by Megha Majumdar.

Book cover for Olive Kitteridge

Olive Kitteridge

Elizabeth Strout 2008

When this novel-in-stories won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction in 2009, it was a victory for crotchety, unapologetic women everywhere, especially ones who weren’t, as Olive herself might have put it, spring chickens. The patron saint of plain-spokenness — and the titular character of Strout’s 13 tales — is a long-married Mainer with regrets, hopes and a lobster boat’s worth of quiet empathy. Her small-town travails instantly became stand-ins for something much bigger, even universal.

Liked it? Try “ Tom Lake ,” by Ann Patchett or “ Hateship, Friendship, Courtship, Loveship, Marriage ,” by Alice Munro.

Book cover for The Passage of Power

The Passage of Power

Robert Caro 2012

The fourth volume of Caro’s epic chronicle of Lyndon Johnson’s life and times is a political biography elevated to the level of great literature. His L.B.J. is a figure of Shakespearean magnitude, whose sudden ascension from the abject humiliations of the vice presidency to the summit of political power is a turn of fortune worthy of a Greek myth. Caro makes you feel the shock of J.F.K.’s assassination, and brings you inside Johnson’s head on the blood-drenched day when his lifelong dream finally comes true. It’s an astonishing and unforgettable book. — Tom Perrotta, author of “The Leftovers”

Liked it? Try “ G-Man: J. Edgar Hoover and the Making of the American Century ,” by Beverly Gage, “ King: A Life ,” by Jonathan Eig or “ American Prometheus: The Triumph and Tragedy of J. Robert Oppenheimer ,” by Kai Bird and Martin J. Sherwin.

Book cover for Secondhand Time: The Last of the Soviets

Secondhand Time

Svetlana Alexievich; translated by Bela Shayevich 2016

Of all the 20th century’s grand failed experiments, few came to more inglorious ends than the aspiring empire known, for a scant seven decades, as the U.S.S.R. The death of the dream of Communism reverberates through the Nobel-winning Alexievich’s oral history, and her unflinching portrait of the people who survived the Soviet state (or didn’t) — ex-prisoners, Communist Party officials, ordinary citizens of all stripes — makes for an excoriating, eye-opening read.

Liked it? Try “ Gulag ,” by Anne Applebaum or “ Is Journalism Worth Dying For? Final Dispatches ,” by Anna Politkovskaya; translated by Arch Tait.

Book cover for The Copenhagen Trilogy: Childhood, Youth, Dependency

The Copenhagen Trilogy

Tove Ditlevsen; translated by Tiina Nunnally and Michael Favala Goldman 2021

Ditlevsen’s memoirs were first published in Denmark in the 1960s and ’70s, but most English-language readers didn’t encounter them until they appeared in a single translated volume more than five decades later. The books detail Ditlevsen’s hardscrabble childhood, her flourishing early career as a poet and her catastrophic addictions, which left her wedded to a psychotic doctor and hopelessly dependent on opioids by her 30s. But her writing, however dire her circumstances, projects a breathtaking clarity and candidness, and it nails what is so inexplicable about human nature.

Liked it? Try “ The End of Eddy ,” by Édouard Louis; translated by Michael Lucey.

Book cover for All Aunt Hagar’s Children

All Aunt Hagar’s Children

Edward P. Jones 2006

Jones’s follow-up to his Pulitzer-anointed historical novel, “The Known World,” forsakes a single narrative for 14 interconnected stories, disparate in both direction and tone. His tales of 20th-century Black life in and around Washington, D.C., are haunted by cumulative loss and touched, at times, by dark magical realism — one character meets the Devil himself in a Safeway parking lot — but girded too by loveliness, and something like hope.

Book cover for All Aunt Hagar’s Children

“It was, I later learned about myself, as if my heart, on the path that was my life, had come to a puddle in the road and had faltered, hesitated, trying to decide whether to walk over the puddle or around it, or even to go back.”

The metaphor is right at the edge of corniness, but it's rendered with such specificity that it catches you off guard, and the temporal complexity — the way the perspective moves forward, backward and sideways in time — captures an essential truth about memory and regret. — A.O. Scott

Liked it? Try “ The Office of Historical Corrections ,” by Danielle Evans or “ Perish ,” by LaToya Watkins.

Book cover for The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness

The New Jim Crow

Michelle Alexander 2010

One year into Barack Obama’s first presidential term, Alexander, a civil rights attorney and former Supreme Court clerk, peeled back the hopey-changey scrim of early-aughts America to reveal the systematic legal prejudice that still endures in a country whose biggest lie might be “with liberty and justice for all.” In doing so, her book managed to do what the most urgent nonfiction aims for but rarely achieves: change hearts, minds and even public policy.

Liked it? Try “ Locking Up Our Own: Crime and Punishment in Black America ,” by James Forman Jr., “ America on Fire: The Untold History of Police Violence and Black Rebellion Since the 1960s ,” by Elizabeth Hinton or “ Caste: The Origins of Our Discontent ,” by Isabel Wilkerson.

Interested? Reserve it at your local library or buy it from Amazon , Apple , Barnes & Noble or Bookshop .

Book cover for The Friend

Sigrid Nunez 2018

After suffering the loss of an old friend and adopting his Great Dane, the book’s heroine muses on death, friendship, and the gifts and burdens of a literary life. Out of these fragments a philosophy of grief springs like a rabbit out of a hat; Nunez is a magician. — Ada Calhoun, author of “Also a Poet: Frank O’Hara, My Father, and Me”

“The Friend” is a perfect novel about the size of grief and love, and like the dog at the book’s center, the book takes up more space than you expect. It’s my favorite kind of masterpiece — one you can put into anyone’s hand. — Emma Straub, author of “This Time Tomorrow”

Liked it? Try “ Autumn ,” by Ali Smith or “ Stay True: A Memoir ,” by Hua Hsu.

Book cover for Far From the Tree: Parents, Children, and the Search for Identity

Far From the Tree

Andrew Solomon 2012

In this extraordinary book — a combination of masterly reporting and vivid storytelling — Solomon examines the experience of parents raising exceptional children. I have often returned to it over the years, reading it for its depth of understanding and its illumination of the particulars that make up the fabric of family. — Meg Wolitzer, author of “The Interestings”

Liked it? Try “ Strangers to Ourselves: Unsettled Minds and the Stories That Make Us ,” by Rachel Aviv or “ NeuroTribes: The Legacy of Autism and the Future of Neurodiversity ,” by Steven Silberman.

Book cover for We the Animals

We the Animals

Justin Torres 2011

The hummingbird weight of this novella — it barely tops 130 pages — belies the cherry-bomb impact of its prose. Tracing the coming-of-age of three mixed-race brothers in a derelict upstate New York town, Torres writes in the incantatory royal we of a sort of sibling wolfpack, each boy buffeted by their parents’ obscure grown-up traumas and their own enduring (if not quite unshakable) bonds.

Liked it? Try “ Shuggie Bain ,” by Douglas Stuart, “ Fire Shut Up in My Bones ,” by Charles Blow or “ On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous ,” by Ocean Vuong.

Book cover for The Plot Against America

The Plot Against America

Philip Roth 2004

What if, in the 1940 presidential election, Charles Lindbergh — aviation hero, America-firster and Nazi sympathizer — had defeated Franklin Roosevelt? Specifically, what would have happened to Philip Roth, the younger son of a middle-class Jewish family in Newark, N.J.? From those counterfactual questions, the adult Roth spun a tour de force of memory and history. Ever since the 2016 election his imaginary American past has pulled closer and closer to present-day reality. — A.O. Scott

Liked it? Try “ Biography of X ,” by Catherine Lacey or “ The Netanyahus: An Account of a Minor and Ultimately Even Negligible Episode in the History of a Very Famous Family ,” by Joshua Cohen.

Book cover for The Great Believers

The Great Believers

Rebecca Makkai 2018

It’s mid-1980s Chicago, and young men — beautiful, recalcitrant boys, full of promise and pure life force — are dying, felled by a strange virus. Makkai’s recounting of a circle of friends who die one by one, interspersed with a circa-2015 Parisian subplot, is indubitably an AIDS story, but one that skirts po-faced solemnity and cliché at nearly every turn: a bighearted, deeply generous book whose resonance echoes across decades of loss and liberation.

Liked it? Try “ The Interestings ,” by Meg Wolitzer, “ A Little Life ,” by Hanya Yanagihara or “ The Emperor’s Children ,” by Claire Messud.

Book cover for Veronica

Mary Gaitskill 2005

Set primarily in a 1980s New York crackling with brittle glamour and real menace, “Veronica” is, on the face of it, the story of two very different women — the fragile former model Alison and the older, harder Veronica, fueled by fury and frustrated intelligence. It's a fearless, lacerating book, scornful of pieties and with innate respect for the reader’s intelligence and adult judgment.

Liked it? Try “ The Quick and the Dead ,” by Joy Williams, “ Look at Me ,” by Jennifer Egan or “ Lightning Field ,” by Dana Spiotta.

Book cover for 10:04

Ben Lerner 2014

How closely does Ben Lerner, the very clever author of “10:04,” overlap with its unnamed narrator, himself a poet-novelist who bears a remarkable resemblance to the man pictured on its biography page? Definitive answers are scant in this metaphysical turducken of a novel, which is nominally about the attempts of a Brooklyn author, burdened with a hefty publishing advance, to finish his second book. But the delights of Lerner’s shimmering self-reflexive prose, lightly dusted with photographs and illustrations, are endless.

Book cover for 10:04

“Shaving is a way to start the workday by ritually not cutting your throat when you’ve the chance.”

“10:04” is filled with sentences that cut this close to the bone. Comedy blends with intimations of the darkest aspects of our natures, and of everyday life. Who can shave anymore without recalling this “Sweeney Todd”-like observation? — Dwight Garner

Liked it? Try “ The Love Affairs of Nathaniel P. ,” by Adelle Waldman, “ Open City ,” by Teju Cole or “ How Should a Person Be? ,” by Sheila Heti.

Book cover for Demon Copperhead

Demon Copperhead

Barbara Kingsolver 2022

In transplanting “David Copperfield” from Victorian England to modern-day Appalachia, Kingsolver gives the old Dickensian magic her own spin. She reminds us that a novel can be wildly entertaining — funny, profane, sentimental, suspenseful — and still have a social conscience. And also that the injustices Dickens railed against are still very much with us: old poison in new bottles. — A.O. Scott

Liked it? Try “ James ,” by Percival Everett or “ The Heaven & Earth Grocery Store ,” by James McBride.

See you tomorrow for books 60 -41 . Every day this week, the Book Review will unveil 20 more books on our Best Books of the 21st Century list. You can get notified when they’re up — and hear about book reviews, news and features each week — when you receive the Book Review’s newsletter. Sign up here.

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In collaboration with the Upshot — the department at The Times focused on data and analytical journalism — the Book Review sent a survey to hundreds of novelists, nonfiction writers, academics, book editors, journalists, critics, publishers, poets, translators, booksellers, librarians and other literary luminaries, asking them to pick their 10 best books of the 21st century.

We let them each define “best” in their own way. For some, this simply meant “favorite.” For others, it meant books that would endure for generations.

The only rules: Any book chosen had to be published in the United States, in English, on or after Jan. 1, 2000. (Yes, translations counted!)

After casting their ballots, respondents were given the option to answer a series of prompts where they chose their preferred book between two randomly selected titles. We combined data from these prompts with the vote tallies to create the list of the top 100 books.

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  1. Big Little Lies

    big little lies book review nytimes

  2. Big Little Lies Book Summary

    big little lies book review nytimes

  3. 6 Books to Read if You Loved Big Little Lies (With images)

    big little lies book review nytimes


    big little lies book review nytimes

  5. Big Little Lies Book Review

    big little lies book review nytimes

  6. Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty Book Review

    big little lies book review nytimes


  1. In 'Big Little Lies,' Liane Moriarty Finds New ...

    At the end of orientation day, a hotshot mother with a high-powered job accuses Jane's son, Ziggy, of having tried to hurt her daughter. Ziggy becomes a pariah, and Jane becomes a victim. Liane ...

  2. Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty

    Liane Moriarty is the author of the #1 New York Times bestsellers Big Little Lies, The Husband's Secret, and Truly Madly Guilty; the New York Times bestsellers Apples Never Fall, Nine Perfect Strangers, What Alice Forgot, and The Last Anniversary; The Hypnotist's Love Story; and Three Wishes.She lives in Sydney, Australia, with her husband and two children.

  3. Review: In 'Big Little Lies,' Monterey Moms and Their Clichés

    Speaking of "Big Little Lies," HBO's glossy new melodrama starring Reese Witherspoon, Nicole Kidman and Laura Dern, an HBO executive has said, "We're not doing 'Desperate Housewives ...


    Eventually, the tone darkens and the story narrows to focus on Jude as the pain of his past cuts deep into his carefully constructed life. The phrase "tour de force" could have been invented for this audacious novel. 65. Pub Date: March 10, 2015. ISBN: 978--385-53925-8.

  5. Review: 'Big Little Lies' Adjusts to Big Little Truths

    Review: 'Big Little Lies' Adjusts to Big Little Truths. Meryl Streep is as stellar as you would expect. But Season 2, while still sharp, feels more like a curtain call than a continuation ...

  6. Big Little Lies

    "—The New York Times "Funny and thrilling, page-turning but with emotional depth, Big Little Lies is a terrific follow-up to The Husband's Secret."—Booklist (starred review) "Big Little Lies tolls a warning bell about the big little lies we tell in order to survive. It takes a powerful stand against domestic violence even as it ...

  7. Big Little Lies (novel)

    978--399-16706-5. Preceded by. The Husband's Secret. Followed by. Truly Madly Guilty. Big Little Lies is a 2014 novel written by Liane Moriarty. It was published in July 2014 by Penguin Publishing. [1] The novel made the New York Times Best Seller list. [2] In 2015, it was a recipient of the Davitt Award .

  8. Big Little Lies

    The principal is mortified. And one parent is dead. Was it a murder, a tragic accident or just good parents gone bad? As the parents at Pirriwee Public are about to discover, sometimes it's the little lies that turn out to be the most lethal…. Big Little Lies is a brilliant take on ex-husbands and second wives, mothers and daughters, school ...

  9. Book Marks reviews of Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty

    Big Little Lies...has hefty issues on its mind, among them bullying (including the adult kind), spousal abuse and consensual sex that feels a lot like rape.It's even more concerned with the smaller, noxious events of modern life, like the indignities of an ex-husband marrying someone both younger and into yoga, and the off-putting cliques helicopter moms can form …

  10. Liane Moriarty (Author of Big Little Lies)

    Liane Moriarty is the author of the #1 New York Times bestsellers Big Little Lies, The Husband's Secret, and Truly Madly Guilty; the New York Times bestsellers Apples Never Fall, Nine Perfect Strangers, What Alice Forgot, and The Last Anniversary; The Hypnotist's Love Story; and Three Wishes.She lives in Sydney, Australia, with her husband and two children.

  11. Big Little Lies: The 100 Best Mystery and Thriller Books

    Moriarty, writing thoughtfully about the impacts of heavy topics like domestic violence and sexual assault, makes the characters feel real. As the mothers' secrets grow increasingly tangled, the ...

  12. Book Review : Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty

    What an outrageously crazy book Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty is - and I'm saying that in a good way. Hot tempered Mother's who become too involved in their child's disputes (and I'm talking about children aged 4-5yrs), to the point of seeking out revenge; threatening other parents, twisting the truth and even signing partitions to have a child expelled. It's complete madness ...

  13. Big Little Lies

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  14. Big Little Lies

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  17. Book Review: Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty

    It spent over a year on the New York Times bestseller list. CBS Films has acquired the film rights. With the launch of Big Little Lies, Liane became the first Australian author to have a novel debut at number one on the New York Times bestseller list. An HBO series by the same name is based on Big Little Lies, starring Nicole Kidman and Reese ...

  18. Achona

    What I really like about 'Big Little Lies' is how it reflects on past stories and brings them into the present, and I really like the plot twists," says Aspen Hunter ('23). And of course, I cannot forget the sensational performances of Reese Witherspoon, Nicole Kidman, Shailene Woodley, and Laura Dern who play Madeline, Celeste, Jane ...

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  20. Big Little Lies Review: Reese Witherspoon in HBO Mystery ...

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  21. "Big Little Lies" Season 2, Reviewed: Meryl, Meryl, Meryl

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  22. Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty

    Our Book Club page for Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty includes Book Club Discussion Questions, Author Website, Book Summary, Talking Points, Review, Reader Comments & more ... #1 New York Times Best Seller Pirriwee Public is a beautiful little beachside primary school where children are taught that 'sharing is caring.' So how has the annual ...

  23. Big Little Lies

    The newly minted "Monterey Five" reckon with the fallout of last season's fall down the stairs — and with a quietly terrifying visitor. By Ali Trachta. Weekly recaps of the HBO series.

  24. 100 Best Books of the 21st Century

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