ASK Musings

No matter where you go, there you are.

Daily Archive: June 1, 2015

Monday

1

June 2015

0

COMMENTS

The Husband’s Secret by Liane Moriarty

Written by , Posted in Reviews

Four Stars

Yeah, this is another Liane Moriarty book review. Third in a row. And in a few days, you’ll probably have the fourth in a row. Because I am sucking these books down like they are water and I’m a hiker lost in the desert.

I didn’t enjoy it as much as Big Little Lies, but that’s okay. As with Big Little Lies, we follow three main characters who are clearly going to end up connected in some way. There is something hanging over everyone’s head. It’s sort of a mystery, but not necessary a mystery we (the readers) need to be concerned about solving, because much of what is interesting is how the characters react to the mystery, and how actions have unintended consequences. Do I care about the secret (or secrets)? Absolutely. But I care more about how the characters are handling it. I think Ms. Moriarty creates interesting characters, ones that I become invested in over the course of these novels.

Now that I’ve read three, however, I am a bit concerned. Is everyone in Australia straight? Because that seems … unlikely. Considering all of these books are set with a focus on parents of young children, you’d think there would be at least a couple of families with two mothers, or two fathers. And I’m not so sure about the ethnic diversity of her characters. I recall a few described as blond, or redheaded with light skin and freckles.

If these three books I’ve read are an indication, Ms. Moriarity has a bit of a formula. We get to know characters, and there is a THING hanging over them, and some might know, and some might not, but we the readers definitely don’t. Or at least, I don’t. For the most part. Perhaps it should be more obvious? I don’t know. All of the twists have pretty much caught me off guard. Maybe I’m just behind on my novel reading, and it will become more obvious later. Whatever, don’t care. I’m enjoying the hell out of these books, and this one was no different.

Monday

1

June 2015

0

COMMENTS

Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty

Written by , Posted in Reviews

Five Stars

lies

I downloaded this pretty much the moment I finished ‘What Alice Forgot.’ And thanks to Ms. Moriarty I didn’t get nearly as much sleep as I planned to on this trip home because I couldn’t put THIS book down, either.

The book is told from the perspectives of three different women, all parents of kindergartners at a school that has much economic diversity. At the end (and sometimes beginning) of each chapter, there are quotes from what turn out to be statements to the police, because someone gets murdered at trivia night. But, thanks to Ms. Moriarty’s clever story-telling, we don’t know WHO gets murdered until very near to the end of the book. And why they do, depending on who it is, could be one of many reasons.

I really, really enjoyed this style of storytelling. It was compelling as hell. The characters were interesting. The women weren’t all one-note, or all the same. The men were probably a bit less complex, but eh. I’ve read loads of stories over the years where the women (if they were even in the books much) were very generic and the men complex, so I’m fine with this.

I don’t know if I should have enjoyed this book as much as I did. In some respects it did seem to be making fun of some parents and their concerns, at least a little bit. But who knows, maybe that’s appropriate. I’m super excited to learn that it’s being made into a short-term series for HBO. I will watch the hell out of that.

Monday

1

June 2015

0

COMMENTS

What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty

Written by , Posted in Reviews

Four Stars

Amnesia

Yes. More please.

Seriously, I loved this book. I know some folks have reviewed it on here, but I can’t recall if they liked it or not. I hope they did. I was in the midst of reading an exceedingly boring book on Camus (shocking, I know) when I got to the airport Thursday night. I saw this at Hudson News and bought it. I started reading at the gate, put it down when I got off the plane, stayed up way too late reading it that night, and finished it tonight after dinner. It’s 450 pages long. It’s just that easy to read.

It’s fun and interesting. The main plot point is that Alice Love is 39, has three kids, and is going through a divorce. But the book opens with her waking up from hitting her head on the floor of the gym, thinking she is 29, expecting her first child, and madly in love with her husband. Yikes.

I love the ideas explored in this book. Are the little hurts people cause us, when put together over time, enough to make us want to not be with them? Should they be? If you woke up tomorrow in the same predicament, would 10-years-younger you approve of current you? Is that a good thing or a bad thing? And, most importantly, how freaky would it be to go home to three kids you don’t know and be expected to parent them?

There are a lot of relationships explored in this book – Alice and her sister, her mom, her grandmother, her (soon-to-be-ex) husband. Her and other mothers. Her and old friends. It’s mostly told from Alice’s perspective, but her sister and grandmother contribute in interesting ways that (usually) work. I was satisfied by the end, but mostly because I think the journey to get there was, for me, believable. A bit complicated and interesting, but believable. And it makes me want to read more by this author, for sure.