Big Little Lies....When You Need a Break

Photo Courtesy: Cocktails & Soirees

By Tabitha Makumi, 
 I have this habit, call it sort of a deliberate reading routine that I engage in. When I am done reading a rather serious or gloomy novel, my next read is always something cheerily, “Don’t stress much kind of books.” This is just my way of balancing my brain. I can’t have too much of the gloomy stuff because it will be like putting a dark cloud on my view of the world and I can’t always read the “happy, almost brainless stuff” all the time because last time I checked,  life is not all that groovy after all. Make sense?

A month ago I was reading “The Diary of a Young Girl” by Anne Frank. I know! I am always late to the darn party. I have heard quite a load about this sad novel and that’s why I never had this huge appetite of devouring the misery of a 13 year old caught up in a reprehensible, shameful and selfish world. I knew how it ends but not quite the nitty-gritties of it all. So, what’s a girl to do?

I had to buy it…plus there was a huge discount on almost all books on Text Book Centre, Sarit Centre on this particular weekend.  So instead of treating myself to a cup of Frozen Yoghurt, dear me bought a book. Can I get a Hallelujah!  But seriously though, my fear of missing out or what the cool kids call F.O.M.O is never instantaneous. It takes me months to years before I give in to something trendy, or do something everyone and their mother seem to swear by, or watch a movie that has everyone going “Best movie I ever watched!” …. But eventually, I do give in, and applaud myself for holding out on my curiosity.

This however is not a review about The Diary of a Young Girl,” probably because enough has already been written about it. Plus let’s be real, if you are looking for an in-depth credible review of Anne’s journey during the World War 2, “” is not where you go. Hahaha.  You go to Goodreads or BookLikes.

“Big Little Lies,” is what you read when you need a break. I know we are literally and figuratively not supposed to judge books by their covers, but sometimes I do. Okay, most times. You are standing in a row stacked with endless books and what do you do? You reach out for the one that captures your eye. Something with a bright cover. Something flamboyant looking which promises a happy escape. And what do you know, you read the synopsis and realize it’s not too shabby. If anyone asks (not like anyone would but what the heck), you can defend the book by its storyline. The colorful cover is just happenstance.

Moving on! Big Little Lies is nothing to scoff at. First time reading Liane Moriarty’s work and wondering why I have never picked more of her books in the past. Firstly, she gives you a wide range of characters to fall in love with and a bunch of them to hate on as well. Secondly, it’s a book about new beginnings, friendships, loyalty, humour, gossip, and all the intricacies of real life.

It’s also a book about money and the lengths people go to project a “perfect life” to their friends, 'frienemies', acquaintances and what have you. They become a symbol of perfection to the outside world while they are slowly dying inside. Homes riddled with domestic violence but no one would believe it because no one talks about it or they think they deserve the violence because “they asked for it,” or “I started it, so I deserve it,” kind of mentality. All the while, you want to scream at the characters, shake them, stare them in the eye and ask, “What the hell are you waiting for?!”

For the major part of the book, “Big Little Lies” also delves on bullying. The kind of bullying that would make you throw the book against the wall and say, “Fuck it, I am not reading this anymore.” This is especially when it happens to a helpless child, Ziggy. You’ve got to love this little boy, if for nothing else, his name. He is subjected to the kind of bullying that will make you grit your teeth so hard and wonder why the author would go on a journey of taunting your mind with such cruelty, albeit fictional.

Sure, at the beginning, the book is a bit gossipy and stalling on details and you start to wonder where the author is going with the storyline. But that’s just a build up to something bigger. When the Uh-Oh moments start to happen, everything begins to fall in place. Not forgetting the sharp, humorous dialogues the characters engage in. If you are a sucker for witty dialogue, you are in for a treat with “Big Little Lies.” Also on the plus side, the book was recently adapted into a tv series by the same name. This should tell you something about my taste. My taste is dope…Just in case you weren’t following this blather.

I am a generous lady, so on a scale of 1-10, I will give Big Little Lies a good old 8. Should have been an 8 and ½ but only because the author held all the juicy details/uh-oh moments until the very last chapters of the book.