Sometimes you watch something because you read the book. Other times, you read a book because you watched something. And then there are the times where you see an adaptation is coming and it intrigues you, so you find the source material. That’s how I decided to read Big Little Lies.
While watching Westworld (and reruns of Game of Thrones) on HBO, I saw the trailer.
I wasn’t paying attention to it because I was doing some other ridiculous thing in my attempt to multi-task. But I heard the words “Welcome to Monterey” and my attention was peaked. I watched the trailer, intrigued by the casting and the premise. And I decided to read the book.
I picked up Big Little Lies from the Sacramento Library just before the New Year started. I started reading and I was hooked, even if it was set in a beach town in Australia rather than Monterey, California. I was struck by the characters and also how perfect the casting was for each of them. I loved the format of the story with the police interviews distributed throughout. I also loved that you had no idea who died until just about the very end of the book (or at least I didn’t. At one point I thought I knew who died, but then I realized it had to be someone else).
The book reminded me of Broadchurch (the British version of course because I didn’t watch the American version). The book gives you a slow build in which every character seems to have reason to be a suspect, each with their own secrets. And secrets run rampant from the little ones to the big ones. It’s an accurate portrayal into the psyche of those who keep such secrets and justify keeping those secrets.
As the book progressed closer to the infamous trivia night, I found it harder and harder to put down and ended up staying up way too late to finish the book (mostly because I was so engrossed I had no idea how long I’d actually spent reading). This was one of those books were I was scared the payoff wouldn’t live up to the slow build. But it did.
I loved Big Little Lies and I’m even more excited to watch the adaptation now. I think the casting is perfect and I hope it gives me the same delicious anticipation that the book did. And I’m dying to know how that gun in the trailer fits into things!
If you’re a fan of Broadchurch or The Girl on the Train and similar types of mysteries, I think you will really enjoy Liane Moriarty’s Big Little Lies.