My friend Stephanie, author of Kissing Frogs and Fish In The Sea, devours books. I think she reads two or three books per week (at least that's how it feels to me). When she recommended I try a book called Big Little Lies, I was skeptical. Not because I don't trust her taste (she never steers me wrong) but because the cover art looked kind of juvenile and I'm totally a "shop by cover" person.
Well, pass me a slice of humble pie. I couldn't put down this book!
Big Little Lies is the story of a group of parents whose children are all in the same kindergarten class. On page seven we learn there was a murder at the elementary's school trivia night. From the very first chapter you are intrigued and constantly trying to guess who the murder victim might be.
The parents of Pirriwee Public School are an eclectic bunch. Much of the story centers around Jane, a young, single mother who has just moved to town. Jane is twenty four years old, a good decade younger than most of the other mothers. Jane's son Ziggy is accused of bullying a classmate on the very first day of school, setting into motion of wave of gossip amongst the mothers and resulting in a petition to have her son expelled (yes, from kindergarten).
Thankfully, Jane makes fast friends with Madeline, a well known parent at the school. Madeline was married to a man named Nathan and together they have a fourteen year old daughter, Abigail. When Abigail was just three months old, Nathan walked out on them. Several years later Nathan remarried (a hippie named Bonnie) and had a second daughter, Skye, who is now in the same kindergarten class as Madeline's youngest daughter (with her new husband, Ed). Are you following all that?
Jane and Madeline are also quite close to another school mom named Celeste. Celeste is breathtakingly gorgeous and married to an equally attractive man, Perry. Perry travels the world for work and is often gone for long stretches, leaving Celeste alone to care for their twin boys, Josh and Max.
I don't want to give too much away because you really should read the book, but I will say this - Big Little Lies is like Tom Perrotta's book Little Children mixed with Freeform's TV show Pretty Little Liars. There are secrets and cover ups and very devious characters, all keeping you hooked and tearing through all 486 pages.
The best part? The book is being made into a limited series for HBO. David E. Kelley of Ally McBeal, The Practice and Boston Legal fame is adapting the script and Reese Witherspoon and Nicole Kidman are producing.
Reese Witherspoon will play Madeline, Nicole Kidman will play Celeste and Shailene Woodley will play Jane. Alexander Skarsgard (Eric from True Blood) will play Celeste's seemingly perfect husband, Perry. Zoe Kravitz will play Madeline's ex's new wife, Bonnie. The cast also includes James Tupper (as Madeline's ex, Nathan), Laura Dern and Adam Scott.
Right now the show is slated for 2017. A premiere date has not yet been released, which means you definitely have at least six months to get your hands on this book and read it before the show airs.
I read the book on a plane ride, a train ride and finally finished it at the beach this weekend. If you have a vacation coming up, definitely order Big Little Lies for the trip. You'll feel like a super sleuth without ever having to leave your beach chair.
Also, if you'd like to read Stephanie's review of the book, you can do so here.
*Book cover image courtesy of Collider.com.