Friday, February 16, 2018

are they talking about me?!

I've just read 'Big Little Lies' by Liane Moriarty.  Gobbled it up in one weekend, not because I'm four years behind the rest of the world in discovering it's a cracking story, but because it really is a cracking story.  Filled with so many little observations of life that are just spot on.  Insightful about human nature and what makes us tick. And as I said, a cracking story.  I was bleary eyed for work on Monday because I had to know who did it.  Heck, I couldn't put it down because I didn't even know who had died, leave alone who did it!

Anyway, I began to wonder if Liane Moriarty modelled Madeline on me.  From the moment she jumped out of her car at the traffic lights to give the teenagers in front what for over texting while driving to her indignation over... everything.  Madeline is me.  I am Madeline. (OK, I've never actually got out of the car to tell someone off for using their phones, but I've been mad about it inside my car.  And I have stalked up to a group of teenagers who threw litter on the ground in City Park, snatched up the rubbish and told them tartly that littering is not OK, it's just not OK).

Page 239 was the clincher.  The whole page.  Change the name, and it is me.

"She didn't know how to be around Abigail anymore.  It reminded her of trying to be friends with an ex-boyfriend.  That studied casualness of your interactions.  The fragility of your feelings, the awareness that the little quirks of your personality were no longer so adorable; they might even be just plain annoying.

"Madeline had always played up to her role in the family as the comically crazy mother.  She got overly excited and overly angry about things.  When the children wouldn't do as they were told she huffed and she puffed.  She sang silly songs while she stood at the pantry door, 'Where oh where, are the tinned tomatoes?  Tomatoes, wherefore art thou?'  The kids and Ed loved making fun of her, teasing her about everything from her celebrity obsessions to her glittery eye-shadow.

"But now, when Abigail was visiting, Madeline felt like a parody of herself.  She was determined not to present to be someone she wasn't.  She was forty!  It was too late to be changing her personality.  But she kept seeing herself through Abigail's eyes and assuming that she was being compared unfavourably to Bonnie.  Because Abigail had chosen Bonnie, hadn't she?  Bonnie was the mother Abigail would prefer.  It actually had nothing to do with Nathan.  The mother set the tone of the household.  Every secret fear that Madeline had ever had about her own flaws (she was obviously too quick to anger, often too quick to judge, overly interested in clothes, spent far too much money on shoes, she thought she was cute and funny when perhaps she was just annoying and tacky {emphasis is mine}) was now at the forefront of her mind.  Grow up, she told herself.  Don't take this so personally.  Your daughter still loves you.  She's just chosen to live with her father.  It's no big deal.  But every interaction with Abigail was a constant battle between 'This is who I am, Abigail, take it or leave it' and 'Be better, Madeline, be calmer, be kinder, be more like Bonnie'."
Inside my head, I tell you. It was a bit of a worry actually, thinking that if Madeline was the murderer, perhaps that said something about me.  No spoilers here - if you haven't read it, I recommend the book.  And it may well have been Madeline who knocked another school parent off.  Or it may not have been.  Ha.

[In other news, I'm feeling good about reading a book last weekend, because I've set myself a goal of reading a book a month this year... I wasn't meaning novels when I set the goal, but I'll take it.  Got myself off Facebook enough to take in some dubious literature.  And now I've blogged about it.  Two goals ticked off.  Winning.  Kind of.  Now I'm off to find the TV series somewhere.]


At 9:48 pm, February 16, 2018, Blogger 2paw said...

I have not read that book yet, so I am”behinder” than you! I love a good book that I can’t put down. I still wait to feel “grown up”in a way I imagine other people feel. Perhaps we all feel that way? Good luck with your tv search.


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