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23 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A very impressive novel
Just like her previous two novels, Little Lies is set in suburban Australia and centres on a community that is made up of upper middle-class families.

Jane is the newcomer; she's a young, single mother with a young son called Ziggy. Jane is very different to most of the other mothers at the school. She's not obsessed with her appearance, or by money, she...
Published 8 months ago by Lincs Reader

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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Those Little Lies
No Spoilers.

Attractive and bubbly Madeleine lives in the beautiful coastal town of Pirriwee, a suburb of Sydney, with her second husband, Ed, and her three children. Her first husband, Nathan, father to Madeleine's eldest child, is now married to yoga fanatic Bonnie, and they have a daughter who, along with Madeleine's youngest child, will soon be starting...
Published 8 months ago by Susie B


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23 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A very impressive novel, 31 July 2014
By 
Lincs Reader (Lincolnshire, England) - See all my reviews
(TOP 100 REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Little Lies (Hardcover)
Just like her previous two novels, Little Lies is set in suburban Australia and centres on a community that is made up of upper middle-class families.

Jane is the newcomer; she's a young, single mother with a young son called Ziggy. Jane is very different to most of the other mothers at the school. She's not obsessed with her appearance, or by money, she doesn't have a husband who earns a huge salary. She's desperate to be accepted though and is delighted to find friendship in two of the most powerful mothers in town. However, things begin to go very wrong for Jane and Ziggy after an incident in the school playground, and suddenly mothers are against mothers.

Little Lies is a very clever story. The reader knows from page one that something terrible happened at the School Trivia Night, we know that someone is dead, but we don't know who it is, or who the murderer is, or why.

Liane Moriarty expertly weaves this story. Hooking the reader from the start with the big whodunnit and then skipping back a few months to gradually build up both the plot and the characters. There is a real credibility to these characters and the development of their relationships are excellently done. The author expertly portrays what appears to be a perfect life on the outside whilst allowing the reader glimpses into the sordid and often violent secrets lying below the surface.

Little Lies is the sort of book that keeps me up way past my bedtime with it's compelling plotline and cleverly careless clues dotted around that hooked me and made me want to read 'just one more chapter'. There were a few gasps out loud along the way too - there is nothing I like better than to find that I'm wrong about what I think has happened, or will happen. To me, the sign of a great book and a very clever author is when I really do get a shock when something huge is revealed.

There are quite a few shocks along the way in Little Lies, there are also many secrets and lots of lies, not all of them are little either.

A very impressive novel, Liane Moriarty is quickly becoming one of my favourite authors. Great stuff
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding book, 1 Aug. 2014
This review is from: Little Lies (Hardcover)
Another outstanding book from Liane Moriarty The story opens 6 months before Trivia Night at the Kindergarten orientation morning
You are made aware from the beginning that a tragic death occurred at the trivia night but don’t know who it is. Police are investigating it and interviews with the parents are interspersed with the story building up a picture of life in this town.

Perriwee School, is set in an idyllic seaside resort.
The three main characters are Madeline, Celeste and Jane whose lives become intertwined when their young children start kindergarten together.

Moriarity’s descriptive talents leave you feeling you really get to know the main characters well and feel empathy for them all as the story grows.

I loved the way the author captures the bitchiness that occurs in PTA committees.

There are school politics, Bullying, Domestic abuse, problems with an ex-husband and what appears to be his perfect new wife, Chinese whispers, teenage angst, exaggerated stories and absolute lies.

However despite the serious subject matter there are laugh aloud moments that will captivate the reader. Most mothers will know characters like Madeline who is totally hilarious, fighting battles and fiercely protecting her friends.

This book is definitely a page turner. I couldn’t put the book down as I was desperate to know the ending!
Highly recommended, I loved this book. It is also a great holiday read you just won’t be able to put it down
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Those Little Lies, 31 July 2014
By 
Susie B - See all my reviews
(TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Little Lies (Hardcover)
No Spoilers.

Attractive and bubbly Madeleine lives in the beautiful coastal town of Pirriwee, a suburb of Sydney, with her second husband, Ed, and her three children. Her first husband, Nathan, father to Madeleine's eldest child, is now married to yoga fanatic Bonnie, and they have a daughter who, along with Madeleine's youngest child, will soon be starting kindergarten at the local primary school, where much of the action in the story takes place. Madeleine, who can be rather feisty, finds the serene Bonnie rather irritating, but she has a busy life and a good network of friends, her closest friend being the head-turningly beautiful Celeste, who is married to Perry and is the mother of twin boys. Celeste and hedge fund manager Perry seem to be the perfect couple, but before long we begin to see that Celeste is hiding a secret and that her life is nowhere near as wonderful as it might appear on the surface. Into their lives arrives Jane, a young single mother and her five-year-old son, Ziggy. Jane is struggling to move on from a traumatic incident in her past and when she moves to Pirriwee and makes friends with Madeleine and Celeste, she finally begins to feel that this is somewhere she could settle down. That is until Ziggy is accused of bullying a fellow schoolmate and the enraged mother and her fellow mummy mafia followers begin to make life extremely difficult for Jane and Ziggy. And then a disturbing incident occurs at the school 'Trivia Night' which ends in the death of one of the parents - but who dies and who causes the death? (No spoilers - we learn right at the beginning of the book that someone is killed).

Full of perceptive details of school politics, 'helicopter' parents boasting about their gifted children, malicious gossip at the school gates and pushy PTA members, Liane Moriarty's latest novel is written in a chatty tone and one that made for quite an entertaining read. This is not literary fiction (and not meant to be) and it's not really a murder mystery either - but it is a readable novel about parenthood, female friendship, bullying in its various guises and of the lies we tell ourselves and others. And although this novel tackles some rather unpleasant themes including domestic violence and physical and psychological intimidation, it does have its lighter moments too, and anyone who is a parent or who works in a school will recognise some of the characters who appear in this book and maybe have a few laughs at their expense - and the author's rather over the top descriptions of the alcohol fuelled 'Audrey and Elvis Trivia Night' where parents had to dress up as either Audrey Hepburn or Elvis Presley, were so silly that I had to smile. I will just comment that all of the intricate little details focusing on school and family life rather slowed the pace of the story in places and meant that the novel was not quite as pacy or gripping to read as I was expecting from the advance publicity; however that said, if you are looking for an easy and engaging summertime read, that is not all froth, then this could well fit the bill for you.

3 Stars.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great twists and turns and fantastic characters, 18 Feb. 2015
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This review is from: Big Little Lies (Kindle Edition)
This is a fantastic book from Liane Moriarty and up there with the Husband's Secret for story-telling, characterisation and gripping twists and turns. The format is an intriguing twist on a traditional who-dunnit, as you know from page one that something awful has happened but you're not aware who the victim or the perpetrator is. The story then rewinds to set the scene in the weeks leading upto the tragic night at the school party. Along the way there are several red herrings, gasp-out-loud revelations all which leave you gripped until the final dramatic unveiling of that tragic night which still is a shock and unexpected outcome.

What I absolutely love most about Moriarty is her ability to create realistic yet likeable characters. Madeleine, Celeste and Jane are completely different characters individually but their friendship is captured beautifully. All three are not without flaws but you find yourself rooting for them despite this, and any mother will relate to the struggles and challenges these three face in their family lives. My only criticism is that you find yourself so totally absorbed by their lives that you feel you know each and every one of them so well that you want to read on and continue to learn about their lives and evolving friendship once the tale comes to an end.

As usual Moriarty has mastered the art of blending light and shade, humour and darkness, and created a story that will have you reading into the night. This follows in the great footsteps of Husband's Secret and will not disappoint any Liane Moriarty fans.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Oh, calamity - I wish I were better at writing reviews of the books I love!, 5 Mar. 2015
By 
Lisbeth Davies (Kingsclere, Hampshire, England) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Big Little Lies (Kindle Edition)
On one level this is a wickedly funny tale of life at and beyond the schoolgate for a bunch of privileged white women (and a few men). But dig a little deeper and it's oh so much more than that. Every character, from the seemingly most peripheral (Mrs Ponder was a nurse in Singapore in WWII - more please!) to the more idiotic parents and step-parents to the main characters (Madeline, Celeste, Jane, et al) are treated with warmth and compassion even while the writing is slyly, wickedly funny and the growing unease at what you suspect is happening and will happen grows and grows to the (un)expected ending. It's a tour de force and is up there in my list of favourite novels of all time alongside Anita Shreve, Carol Shields and Paul Auster.

I gasped out loud a few times at the [spoilers] and at the outrageous gossip snippets after each chapter (those character assassinations are an absolute joy - I don't gossip in real life (I think I missed that gene) so they provide a perfect, no-harm-to-anyone outlet.

It's a luxuriously long book too, no way would I have finished this in one sitting as I normally do and unlike the psychological thrillers that are my normal fare, I found the storyline for these wonderful characters far more affecting and had to slow down and take time to absorb the impact and all the myriad of tiny details that Liane Moriarty is so good at providing as she builds up characters, relationships, places and times. Dammit, this is a good book!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Totally absorbing, 15 Aug. 2014
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This review is from: Big Little Lies (Kindle Edition)
Everyone should read this book. Women, men, teenagers, teachers. All human life in all its hilarious and ridiculous guises, is here. I laughed all the way through, and recognised so many of the characters and scenarios from my time at the school gates. And then I cried, when it all fell apart and the nasty lives that lay behind the veneer of respectability was exposed. Then I cheered for all the women who have come through and triumphed despite adversity. A wonderful, funny, sad and very very perceptive story of a small town and the secrets the inhabitants keep close, for fear of not being accepted.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Little Lies, 15 Aug. 2014
By 
Damaskcat (UK) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)    (TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Big Little Lies (Kindle Edition)
This has to be one of the best books I've read so far this year. I started it yesterday afternoon and just had to keep reading until I finished it late yesterday evening. From the start of the book the reader knows that a death has occurred at a school trivia quiz night but doesn't know who has died or the exact circumstances. The narrative takes us back to six months before the event when Jane has just moved into the area with her five year old son, Ziggy, and he is about to start school. We know Jane has secrets but we don't know exactly what those secrets are.

Gradually the tension builds up through the interactions of the parents and children at the local primary school and we get to know a few of the parentsI rather better. Madeleine - on her second marriage with two small children and an older girl - with her ex-husband living nearby with his second wife and family; Jane and Ziggy and Celeste and Perry with their apparently perfect marriage and twin boys, Max and Josh. As we see into all their lives, secrets and tensions are revealed and these scenes are interspersed with comments made by other parents to police investigating the death which overshadows the whole book.

I loved the characters and the interactions between the parents. The way there were cliques and feuds and the way someone can suddenly become an outcast just on the say so of one person who then influences their supporters. You don't need to have children to appreciate the relationships between the parents and the way certain people are regarded as influencing the thinking of others. Without giving away too many plot elements the way rumour and supposition can rapidly turn into proven facts can be seen at work in any part of life - not just at the school gate.

This is a cross genre book as there is a mystery - more than one mystery - at the heart of it but it is also about the day to day life of parents and children. I can see that it would be a good book club choice as there are plenty of things club members can discuss - the characters themselves, loyalty to friends and family, dealing with rumours and making up your own mind rather than running with the herd. I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys good writing and who wants to read about realistic characters. I received a free copy of this book from NetGalley for review purposes.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Little Lies, 31 July 2014
By 
S Riaz "S Riaz" (England) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 10 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Big Little Lies (Kindle Edition)
From the very beginning of this entertaining novel, we are aware that there has been a murder, when the ‘Audrey and Elvis’ trivia night at Pirriwee Public School spirals out of control.... Set in a small, beachside community, the novel revolves around a group of mothers, whose children attend the kindergarten at the school. There is forty year old Madeline Mackenzie, mother of Alice, Fred and five year old Chloe, single mother Jane Chapman and her son Ziggy, the beautiful Celeste, mother of twin boys, whose marriage is not as perfect as it seems, Bonnie, who is married to Madeline’s ex husband and Renata, who attends a support group for the parents of gifted children.

Although this novel is set in Australia, the school, parents, children, situations and playground politics will be all too familiar to any parent – accusations of bullying, cliques of mothers gossiping in the playground, children being excluded from parties or play dates, competitive parents, the ‘class toy’ and volunteering at the school are all covered in this book, which weaves its way through the six months leading up to the implosion of events at the trivia night.

As well as looking at life through events at the school, we also read of the lives of the women; especially the three main characters of Madeline, Jane and Celeste. Although there are very serious issues tackled in the storyline, much of this book is also extremely funny. I have to say that I was completely gripped and loved every page. The characters, the situations and feelings of the women were all authentic and it is sure to appeal to anyone who has found that taking your child to school is not always simply about their education. Highly recommended, often moving and darkly humorous, this would be a fantastic choice for book groups, with much to discuss. Lastly, I received a copy of this book from the publisher, via NetGalley, for review.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sad, funny and shocking in equal measure, 17 Aug. 2014
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This review is from: Big Little Lies (Kindle Edition)
I totally loved Liane Moriarty's previous novels, but 'Little Lies' exceeded all my expectations. The story evolves around a school in a nice sea-fronted neighbourhood near Sydney where an unspecified tragic event takes place at a parents' fund-raiser. The story is interspersed with police interviews, adding an intriguing teaser quality to the plot, which isn't really needed because the writing is so well crafted that the reader is completely under its thrall anyway.

The story is told from the point if view of three mothers: the single mother Jane, the confident Madeline, and the beautiful Celeste, whose five-year-olds are new to the Pirrewee Public School. Any mother of a school-age child will recognise the terror and delight of those first months when a child starts school told so well in Little Lies, but this novel is about so much more. It's about lies, as the title suggests, but it's also about secrets, friendship, sex, love and marriage.

I envy anyone who has yet to read this novel; I consumed it under a week because I just could not put the book down!
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Novel set in Australia ("Oh, calamity"), 29 Jan. 2015
This review is from: Little Lies (Hardcover)
Tell me, tell me, tell me lies/Tell me lies/Tell me sweet little lies/Tell me lies, tell me, tell me lies/Oh, no, no you can’t disguise/You can’t disguise, no you can’t disguise/Tell me lies/Tell me sweet little lies (Fleetwood Mac “Little Lies”)

Pirriwee Public is just a run of the mill school on the fictional Pirriwee Peninsula near Sydney, Australia. A cross section of the populace, their ups and downs, the inter-personal relationships laid bare and the exchanges between the parents brought to life. Dynamics at the ‘school gate’ are like a window onto the daily life of this otherwise reasonably affluent and engaged community. What could possibly go wrong?

The book starts out 6 months before the “Trivia Night” scheduled to take place at the school later in the year, to be attended by parents and staff to raise funds. This is the event on which the book hinges… And the countdown continues as the characters parade before us, parents, teachers, and the children. At the end of many of the chapters there are the comments and reflections from various individuals – and statements from the police protocol – about individual perceptions of how that particular evening actually panned out. Perception and fact are often polarised, interpretations of events and motive can be creative, judgement skewed. Prejudice can be injurious and doing nothing can in itself have dire consequences….

A swathe of people flurry across the pages at the beginning and it can at first be difficult to differentiate the real players. They are like a Greek Chorus observing a stage play, as life unfolds under the scrutiny of the reader. Yet it soon becomes clear who the characters are to follow and how they gradually build up relationships. There is Madeline who struggles with her blended family, together with second husband, Ed; Nathan is her former husband, now with Bonnie (who is clearly a seemingly virtuous and superior being to the rest of the characters); then there is Jane who is a single parent, who happened upon Pirriwee and chose to settle there with her son Ziggy; and Celeste who is married to Perry, the gorgeous couple who reep looks and admiration from other parents. And then there is Tom who runs the local beach café, Blue Blues (I am definitely getting a sense of musical inspiration, with the title and Ziggy – perhaps as in Stardust?).

Bullying at the school gradually becomes a hot topic and sides are taken. One child is being bullied by another and the author perceptively renders the different perspectives, the herd instinct seems to be to victimise and address the situation. In parallel there is also a very informed depiction of the abusive behaviour within an adult intimate relationship and how the insidious nature of such a dynamic gradually can unfold. The Jekyll and Hide character of the abuser is very realistically depicted.

The apotheosis comes with everyone turning up for the much hyped Trivia Night which starts off with consumption of heady alcoholic drinks, but no food to absorb the alcohol, as the caterer is late arriving. It is a true cocktail for disaster. Without giving anything away, it all goes downhill from there.

Locale isn’t central to the narrative, but as a reader living the UK, the notion of outdoor living is conveyed in a very appealing way! Imagine a school with a balcony for being outdoors, or surfing every now and then when the fancy takes you (I could live with that!).

It is leisurely paced book, very well written, that heads for the denouement in a measured and thought provoking way. Enjoy!
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