"OH CALAMITY...." - Liane Moriarty
Let me begin with saying that if you haven't read the book or watch the series. This review is probably not for you because for one the HBO series for this book was very well received and a lot of people either watched it or read about the series enough to have a good understanding of what the book is about and how it ends. I will however keep the first part of this review spoiler free and will warn when the spoilers begin.
Big Little Lies is a very well rounded book and although at times thrillers have you clinging to what is going to happen in the end because of the pending twist or or dramatic ending , this book didn't. It kept you entertained and hooked because the characters are all interesting and intriguing. It keeps you wanting more. This book had it all drama, gossip, friendships and one of the things I love reading about , Strong Women!! I love women that are strong, but also women that stand up for each other. That is empowering.
The location of this book is in a Beach front town called Pirriwee in Australia. The neighborhood is rich and inviting . It follows three women who become friends over an incident that happens on orientation day for Kindergarten. Liane Moriarty gets right to it. Chapter 1 takes place at Trivia Night for the Pirriwee Public School all the parents are drinking and maybe a little too much and it immediately establishes that there will be a death ,but not who, why and how. The book then goes back and traces all the moments that eventually led to that faithful night.
Who caused it ?
The Main Characters:
Jane Chapman - Single Mom , Mother of Ziggy who is accused of bullying . Mysterious past.
Madeline M Mackenzie - Married , mother of three, previously divorced and her ex lives in the same town with a new wife and children who attend the same school and same grade.
Celeste Wright- Beautiful, Lawyer, Twins, Handsome Husband and a beautiful home. Perfect right? Maybe not....
They are all lovable and become friends although they are all quite different.
The entire time as I was reading this novel, I kept thinking who is going to turn on who? Which one of them is capable of murder? Another thing that I really enjoyed about this book is that each chapter contained sections of the interviews that were conducted after the murder. Giving us an insight to what others were thinking about what was happening and all the gossip that they think might lead officers to the murderer. This was a very unique way of reading, I truly enjoyed it. If you have not read this book I encourage you to read it, and if you watched the series but did not read the book I think you will enjoy this read either way.
If you have read this book or watched the series and do not plan on reading the book. Keep reading if not please do not continue as it will ruin the experience of this book.
Now onto the series.
Lets start with the changes.
1. The ending wasn't really how it happened. Although the person that died is the same...The ending contains different people and a different way of death.
2. Madeline does not have an affair in the book or an accident.
3. Celeste does not retake her duties as a lawyer in the book.
4. The full description of Jane and her past are not all there. They talk about her abuse but not exactly how it happened. Its more vague.
5. Madeline has a son named Fred who is excluded from the series.
6. Celeste and Perry actually visit a marriage counselor during the series. In the book, Celeste visits a counselor alone without the knowledge of Perry although they did attend once before the setting of the book and its briefly mentioned.
7. The book has a confession and the series does not.
8. Celeste and Jane are better friends in the book.
9. Ziggy doesn't kiss Renata's daughter.
10. Renata is a much more developed character in the series.
11. The setting is changed from Australia, to Big Sur, California.
12. Saxon Banks is a relative of Celeste's Husband.
13. Madeline's Husband Ed & her Ex-Husband don't have as much drama in the book.
That is all I can think of at the moment.
Some of the changes I agree with. For example Madeline's son Fred not being included is okay because he is not mentioned much in the book. The setting is not a problem especially since Big Sur & Monterrey, CA is stunning and the book describes Pirriwee as a beautiful location and it's also a fictional location. What I didn't like was the affair that Madeline had, I read that they added it because although Madeline had struggles they weren't as trying as the other characters. They added it supposedly to give more dimension to her story. But I feel this was left unanswered like does Ed ever find out?? I hear there are rumors for a Season 2 so this may be one of the things that is addressed.
I really loved the ending scene of the show when all the women are hanging out at the beach with their children and they are all bonded by this sad experience, this isn't exactly how the book ended but it was a great way to end the series. It shows how strong friendships can defy difficult situations and that is one of the things I enjoyed about the book as well.
The book and the series are both great, although not entirely the same they are both rated A++ in my book.
I hope you enjoyed my review and stay tuned for more.
P.S am I the only one that thinks better at night? It's 11:54pm and this is usually when I feel most expressive to write. Good night... :)