I was very skeptical about this book. I am usually leery of ridiculously popular books having been burned a number of times because I have higher expectations in books than a lot of people. I’m not a big fan of chick lit, silly plots, etc. There is absolutely a place for those books, but just not for me. I needed a book from a celebrity book club, and this may or may not actually be in Reece Witherspoon’s book club, but I’m going to fudge it and say that it is. And I actually listened to this book over the course of two months. the chapters are short, which makes for a perfect book to read in small chunks.
The main plot of the book is just one of friendship. There’s a murder that appears at the beginning of the book through clues, but you don’t find out what actually happens until the very end. The friendship between the female characters is completely relatable. The woman are flawed and real and just doing the best they can for their children. Having young children myself, I was really able to relate to these women and their situations. One of the major themes of the book is abuse. One of the female characters is being abused by her husband, and there’s a parallel theme of a bully in the kindergarten class.
I thought this book handled such difficult topics very well. The abused woman, Celeste, is the quintessential victim. Every thought she has was very familiar, from what I have read from actual women dealing with abuse. She is a victim, but always takes responsibility for the abuse, as if she deserved it, or earned it somehow. I think having the book written by a female makes a big difference. Liane Moriarty did an excellent job handling a sensitive topic with grace.
I would absolutely recommend this book. Having the murder revealed slowly, letting the reader try to solve it was really clever. But the best part of the book was simply the friendship of the women. They could have been any set of friends, entirely recognizable and very true to life.