Jane hasn’t lived anywhere longer than six months since her son was born five years ago. She keeps moving in an attempt to escape her past. Now the idyllic seaside town of Pirriwee has pulled her to its shores and Jane finally feels like she belongs. She has friends in the feisty Madeline and the incredibly beautiful Celeste – two women with seemingly perfect lives . . . and their own secrets behind closed doors.
But then a small incident involving the children of all three women occurs in the playground causing a rift between them and the other parents of the school. Minor at first but escalating fast, until whispers and rumours become vicious and spiteful. It was always going to end in tears, but no one thought it would end in murder . . .
Set in a suburban town in Australia, Little Lies tells the story of a group of mothers with children all at Pirriwee Public School. We meet single mother, Jane, who has moved to the area with her son, Ziggy. She’s set on a fresh start and desperate to move on from the events of her past. After a chance meeting she ends up being taken under the wing of Madeline, the outgoing, feisty mother of Fred and Chloe, who then introduces her to the gorgeous Celeste, who also has twin boys starting at the school too.
However, things don’t get off to a good start for Jane when Ziggy is accused of hurting another child on Orientation Day, and after some serious ‘playground politics’ things go from bad to worse. Mothers are divided and Jane starts to question whether her own five year old son is telling the truth as events spiral out of control.
It turns out that looks can be deceptive as the seemingly perfect town of Pirriwee is revealed to be a town full of secrets…
After enjoying The Husband’s Secret so much I knew that I was in for a treat with Little Lies, only I didn’t know just how much of a treat…
It was simply amazing! I was addicted to this story right from the start where you are told that something happens to someone on Pirriwee Public School Trivia Night. The story then goes back in time to six months before the Trivia Night and builds up to a thrilling crescendo as things finally come to a head. I loved that the story was told in this way, it’s hugely effective at keeping you guessing whilst keeping you firmly glued to the page! I was desperate to know what happened at that trivia night… Yet at the same time I was enjoying this story so much that I didn’t want to know so I could carry on reading in a breathless state of anticipation (yes, really…!)
Little Lies is written in such a clever way that it’s not at all obvious what’s going to happen either. It will keep you guessing right up until the last second and I love that in a novel. There are various clues dotted around the story which you’ll pick up as you go along, but nothing blindingly obvious. It’s not until you slot all of the pieces together that everything suddenly makes sense.
I loved the way that we are introduced to the three main mothers, Jane, Madeline and Celeste. Their stories build slowly but you’ll soon find yourself liking these brave, loyal women and reading about their friendship. Madeline was probably my favourite of the three; she’s humorous and you can’t help but like her. But Jane and Celeste are also hugely strong characters too, only it’s not until later that you find out just how strong they are.
There is so much to this novel; friendship, secrets, love, parenting, bullying (both mental and physical), the extent of the ‘Mommy Mafia’, and one or two little lies, but some pretty big whoppers as well.
Liane Moriarty is fantastic, and her writing is so impressive. I was completely enthralled by The Husband’s Secret, but I was blown-away by this clever, tense, thrilling page-turner of a novel. Liane weaves the story in such a captivating way, slowly teasing you with bits of information as more and more is revealed about the characters involved, whilst all the time never giving anything away.
This review is extremely tricky to write because I so badly want to do this amazing book justice, yet I’m not sure anything that I can say will convey just how BRILLIANT it is. My advice to anyone reading this is get yourself a copy of this novel, NOW! It will live up to all of your expectations and more.
You’ll never realise just how scary life at the school gates could be…
I’d like to say a huge thank you to Katie at Penguin for very kindly sending me a copy of Little Lies to read and review. ♥
Liane Moriarty is the Australian author of five internationally best-selling novels, Three Wishes, The Last Anniversary, What Alice Forgot, The Hypnotist’s Love Story and most recently the global bestseller, The Husband’s Secret which to date has sold over 1 million copies in the US alone and is set to be translated into over 35 languages. CBS Films has acquired the film rights.
Writing as L.M.Moriarty, she is also the author of the Space Brigade books for children, (published in the US as the Nicola Berry, Earthling Ambassador series).