Wow, I’ve just finished watching Big Little Lies and I’m floored.
I read the book back in 2015 (although I never wrote a review and can’t remember why I didn’t) and loved it. Seeing that David E. Kelley adapted it for television should have prepared me for its greatness. I’m still floored.
But, in praising Kelley’s work I don’t want to forget Liane Moriarty, the book’s author. I discovered her writing with Big Little Lies, which remains my favorite so far, although I haven’t yet read her latest Truly Madly Guilty. I plan to remedy that as soon as I finish writing this post.
After reading The Husband’s Secret (soon after reading Big Little Lies), I wrote “I have never read a writer who packs so many thought-provoking hard truths, in such a light breezy package. Although not quite fitting, I’m reminded of the ‘iron fist in a velvet glove’ analogy”. I also included an editorial comment by USA Today which I found brilliant and which bears repeating: “Reading one [of Liane Moriarty’s novels] is a bit like drinking a pink cosmo laced with arsenic…”
However, Moriarty’s genius should not, does not, take away from Kelley’s. If anything, the creative union of Moriarty’s insightful writing talent about society, especially the women in it, and Kelley’s own talent in writing and producing is a match made in Hollywood heaven. I’m not sure if Kelley’s adaptation of Moriarty’s book is darker or if the process of watching vs. reading makes the experience more intense.
What I do know is that knowing exactly what the story was about, how it ended, didn’t make it less powerful. On the contrary, it made it more real. That’s also thanks to the level of acting, most notably Kidman’s in her challenging role.
Watching Big Little Lies made me think about friendships, relationships, about how much we show and how much we keep inside. It made me once again realize how important it is to have good, authentic friends, and how sometimes we can’t share our truths with them because it would mean admitting them to ourselves.
I could go on and on, but I don’t want to risk spoiling it for you. Read the book, then watch the miniseries. You’ll be glad, and that’s no lie.