Big Little Lies was my book club’s pick. (I am beginning to hate being in a book club.) Truthfully, I haven’t liked a book by Laine Moriarty since The Hypnotist’s Love Story, which I loved! My issue with her novels is that there is no discernible plot. I get frustrated because I can’t figure out why the actions are important, what I should be looking for, or who should I be rooting for. I suppose the lawyer in me needs this direction to enjoy a book. Here there was a murder… yeah that was pretty much the extent of the hook for this one. The author specifically doesn’t tell the reader who is murdered, but it clearly must be one of the characters.
The book began with chapters heavy with dialog between mothers mostly talking about their kids. The conversations were not that entertaining or original and none of them shed any light on the big murder mystery. I’ve read many books with kids as main characters, sometimes even the protagonist, and they have been great! But the children here were bland and couldn’t carry the story.
The mothers were each given very stock character traits: the single mom, the abused spouse, the rich housewife… I wasn’t that entertained with them or their back stories, which were light to begin with. The current issues that consumed their time were mind numbing events tied to their kids’ school.
For so much of this novel, there wasn’t even a hint at the events surrounding the murder or who it could be. This was not a mystery novel at all. I think it was intended to be a heavier chic lit novel, but it just didn’t work for me. I’m still wondering why this was such a hit with readers.