I’ve been reading Liane Moriarty’s Big Little Lies. Liane wasn’t really on my radar and then I read an article about her in the Good Weekend about how she was one of Australia’s best-selling, littlest known authors. She’s been on the New York Times bestseller list – a lot. She’s got wealthy from writing! And she writes funny, insightful, literary chic-lit.
As you know, it’s a bit of a big move for me. Reading an adult novel and all. But the thing that I’m loving about this book is this…you get to see the face the characters present to the world and then what they’re like behind closed doors. The gulf is huge. There is one character, Celeste, who is beautiful and wealthy and yet her husband beats her. There’s another who’s a seemingly together single mother whose child was conceived by a thinly disguised rape. Yes, sorry, there are adult themes – it’s an adult book – but it manages to cover them with a lightness of touch that makes it so immensely readable without feeling heavy. Oh, there’s also a murder mystery thrown in for good measure and that keeps things interesting. She manages to structure the novel so you don’t know who the victim is and it’s quite interesting reading and trying to guess.
But this is something that I find fascinating. That idea that people are one way out in the world and another when you get past the surface. And if I might impart a little parental wisdom, I think this is a good thing to remind ourselves about from time to time. One of the best things about going to a recent meditation class was the teacher going around the room and getting everyone to say what had brought them there. People spoke in veiled terms about depression and a couple of folks with shiny eyes were evidently on the edge of a nervous breakdown. Oh God, is it horrible that I find this so wonderfully reassuring? Yes, my girl – even the cool kids have issues! Never forget!