Big Little Lies

Liane Moriarty’s Big Little Lies is a fantastic mystery. Not only do we not know who the murderer is, Moriarty keeps the victim a secret until the end. In this novel we meet a variety of parents when their kids go off to kindergarten, and just like when attending school, Moriarty shows the different cliques of the parents.

The style of this novel also contributed to the mystery. At first, we know something happens on the first day, but it isn’t until a few chapters in that we learn what happens. And there are teasers at the ends of chapters hinting about the murder, but again we don’t even know who the victim is.

The kindergarten drama is exasperated by the parents reaction. Instead of letting things go, the parents inevitably make everything worse. While this kid-drama happens, we slowly learn more about some of the characters, several of whom have gone through horrible experiences. This should show how trivial the kid-drama is, but of course, people being people, the minuscule problems carry more weight.

By the end of the novel, I couldn’t put the book down until I found out who did what and why. A great story told in a great style!

Read August 2015.

Lucia, Lucia

Kit, an aspiring playwright, befriends her upstairs neighbor in their Greenwich Village apartment. Aunt Lu invites Kit to her upstairs apartment filled with memorabilia and knickknacks from her life. Adriana Trigiani’s Lucia, Lucia is the story of how Aunt Lu, Lucia, ended up living alone in her family’s former home which was turned into an apartment building and owned by her brother’s family.

Lucia came of age in the 1950’s when young woman entered the work force en masse with the expectation that they would resign once married or at the latest when they became pregnant. Lucia worked for an up and coming designer and could put together his designs beautifully. Her first engagement ends when she learns that her mother-in-law and family expect her to resign her career immediately upon marriage, but that she would also be expected to take care of her in-laws home and would be completely under her mother-in-laws rule. Her second engagement doesn’t fare much better and as hard as she tries, Lucia cannot escape from her family obligations.

Adriana Trigiani’s characters are rich and deep, but overall this novel made me sad for Lucia. She has a full life, but the things that were the most important to her as a young woman are slowly taken away from her until she’s left alone on the top floor apartment with her gifts from a bygone era.

Enjoyable, light read.

Read August 2015.

Vanishing Girl

Lauren Oliver’s Vanishing Girl starts as a teen drama and finishes with a psychological mystery. Two sisters, very different from one another, are dealing with their parents separation in their own way. Nick, the perfect sister, of course, never causes the problems that Dara, the problem child causes. When Dara starts dating Nick’s childhood best friend, their sisterhood becomes troubled and its worsened when Nick crashes a car that both girls were in.

After the accident, the break in the sister’s relationship grows deeper. When Nick returns to her mother’s home a couple of months after the accident, she’s no longer the “good” sister. Returning to her old life without her sister by her side is hard at first, but she soon gets a job and things start to feel somewhat normal again, except that Dara refuses to talk to her.

Nick tries to investigate what Dara is up to and why they were on the specific stretch of road when she crashed, she ends up uncovering more than she bargained for in their little peaceful coastal town.

This was an enjoyable read. I’m not positive this was a Young Adult book even though I categorized it as such, and I think many age groups would enjoy it. It was a pretty quick, easy read too. Perfect for the summertime.

Read August 2015