Well, tonight’s club was rather smokey!! We were out on the patio with a pit fire and damp wood!! You must try smoked scones. Quite delicious! I don’t think the tears in our eyes came from the discussion of the book. Despite this, we had a very pleasant evening outdoors with the most beautiful sunset over the town at the end of the night, as you can see!
We had a great discussion about the book. Great turn out with eight of us present and all contributing passionately to the discussion. There was a bit of musical chairs going on to avoid the smoke but this did not deter the discussion.
We all loved the book but agreed that it had its weaknesses. Marie especially spoke quite strongly about the predictability of the story; how come Jane didn’t Google Saxon herself to find out where he was; how did Ziggy keep secrets so well at his very young age; would a headteacher allow parents to present a petition to remove a 5 year old? But they were nitpicking bits and bobs. Generally we all loved it!
Throughout the book we agreed that Liane Moriarty weaves together the lives of the women in a prosperous suburb of Perriwee in SW Australia with humour and compassion, There’s stylish Madeline who is fiercely protective of her friends and family. The shoot-from-the-hip playground mother who takes action on unfairness! She seems to have a strong second marriage to Ed but is frustrated by the way in which her teenage daughter, Abigail, has suddenly become obsessed with hippie-like Bonny, her father’s second wife, and wants to break the umbilical cord by leaving the mother who brought her up single handedly, and go and live with the newly-returned-into-her-life dad! Then there is beautiful, wealthy, perfect on the outside Celeste. She is a good friend of Madeline but unable to share her very dark and disturbing secrets with her or anyone else. Jane is a single parent and new to the area. She also has a dark secret. She is taken under Madeline’s wing. Her little boy Ziggy is the result of a one-night stand but she is unwilling to reveal any more. Ziggy is accused of being a bully and a petition, started by the vile Harper, is passed around to have him removed from the school
As we read from the outset we know that there has been a death at the school fundraising quiz. A murder, no less! The novel introduces us to a myriad of characters involved with the school, recounting their version of things leading up to the denouement! Liane Moriarty’s style of writing here is brilliant. It is fascinating to read how a simple conversation or act can be misinterpreted and distorted as the information is passed from person to person just like Chinese whispers.
We were hooked from the start! We all agreed that the book was compelling – and at times very funny but with some very dark and serious moments. For me, the ending was a bit too ‘tidy’ for my liking. The book had dark moments and I would have preferred more of a dark ending! We also thought that some of the moral questions raised by the book were maybe made light of.
And then there were two!!
Listen to Liane Moriarty talk about how she came up with the idea for the novel.
Looking forward to hearing from you. Please leave a comment with your thoughts on this book. Thank you.