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Mystery Book Club - Past Titles: Sept. 2023

Titles from the Mystery Book Club at the Islington Branch *No longer an active club*

"Big Little Lies" by Liane Moriarty

Themes and Motifs:

What themes did you notice throughout the book? How do issues like domestic violence, friendship, and parenting play a role in the story?

How does the author use the motif of secrets and lies to drive the narrative? How do these elements impact the characters' lives?


Who did you find to be the most relatable character? Why?

Discuss the complexities of the main characters' relationships: Madeline, Celeste, and Jane. How do their backgrounds and personalities influence their interactions with each other?

Which character's perspective did you find most compelling, and why?

Parenting and Social Pressures:

The book highlights the challenges of parenting and the societal pressures that come with it. How do various characters approach the concept of parenting, and how do these approaches differ?

How do the kindergarten orientation and school events mirror the larger dynamics of the parents' lives and relationships?

Narrative Structure:

The story is structured around interviews with witnesses and snippets of public opinion. How does this narrative style affect your reading experience? How does it build suspense and intrigue?

Domestic Violence and Abuse:

How does the novel handle the topic of domestic violence and abuse? How does it shed light on the complexity of abusive relationships?

Discuss the portrayal of Celeste's struggle with her abusive marriage. How does the story handle this delicate and often sensitive subject matter?

Friendships and Loyalties:

Examine the friendships among the main characters. How do their friendships evolve throughout the story?

How do the characters' loyalties to each other intersect with the theme of secrets? How do friendships help the characters cope with their personal challenges?

Plot Twists and Suspense:

Were you surprised by the various plot twists and revelations? Which moments stood out to you the most?

How does the author use the device of the impending Trivia Night incident to build tension and suspense?

Empowerment and Redemption:

Discuss the moments of empowerment and redemption for the characters. How do they find strength and reclaim their lives?

How does the ending of the novel reflect growth and change in the characters' lives?

Adaptation to Television:

If you've watched the television adaptation of "Big Little Lies," how does the book compare to the series? How did the adaptation handle the characters and themes?

Personal Connection:

Did any particular aspect of the story resonate with your own experiences or observations?

How did reading this book make you reflect on your own relationships, secrets, and personal challenges?

Liane Moriarty was born on November 15, 1966, in Sydney, Australia. She grew up in a family of readers and writers, which likely influenced her passion for storytelling. She attended Macquarie University in Sydney, where she studied English and Law. Moriarty began her career in advertising and marketing before deciding to pursue writing full-time. Her early attempts at writing were not successful, but her breakthrough came with the release of her debut novel, "Three Wishes," in 2003. However, she gained widespread recognition and popularity with her later novels. One of Moriarty's most famous works is "Big Little Lies," published in 2014. This novel was adapted into a highly successful television series of the same name, starring Reese Witherspoon, Nicole Kidman, and Shailene Woodley. The story revolves around a group of women in a coastal town and delves into themes of domestic violence, friendship, and secrets. Many of Moriarty's novels explore the intricacies of relationships, family dynamics, and personal secrets in a relatable and engaging manner. Her writing style often combines humor with deeper emotional themes, making her books resonate with a wide audience.

Big Little Lies

Based on Liane Moriarty's bestselling book, this subversive, darkly comedic drama series tells the tale of three mothers of first-graders whose seemingly perfect lives unravel to the point of murder. The stellar cast includes Reese Witherspoon, Nicole Kidman, Shailene Woodley, Alexander Skarsgard, Laura Dern, Adam Scott, Zoe Kravitz, James Tupper and Jeffrey Nordling.


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Islington Branch

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Westwood, MA 02090
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