Is anyone reading or watching Big Little Lies? If you’re not, start immediately. The book is a quick, easy read and the show is only about seven episodes long.
When I looked up the show on internet, I saw that HBO classifies it as a dark American comedy/drama and IMDB classifies it as crime. Okay, fine. In my opinion, this is a women’s drama with women’s issues that occur in every country and told from their point-of-view. It’s about their friendships, their loyalties, their pettiness, their real problems, and, ultimately, their strength.
The author addresses many issues that face modern women today which immediately draws me in. Since most of the drama centers around the childrens’ school and school events, there are no women without children in the story, but I forgive the writer her oversight since she can’t be expected to address every woman’s issue. What she does do well is address a select important issues and peel back the problems inherent in them.
The story centers around three mothers: Madeline, Celeste, and Jane. They are all very different women and mothers whose struggles are as diverse as their lives. Despite their differences, they become close friends, learn from one another and support one another as they form a strong bond. But even the women on the fringes of the story are vivid characters who play vital roles in the overall story line.
In the very beginning, the reader/viewer immediately sees the cliques the mothers form mostly based on working moms and stay-at-home moms, and the judgments that fly around for both. There is envy from both sides which creates this division. Stay-at-home moms are envious of the success and sense of identity in the working moms; the working moms envy that the stay-at-home moms get to be a greater presence in their children’s lives. This is a modern day, developed country issue that should bring women together but often divides.
Divorce and co-parenting is a topic – with two big challenges. The challenges inherent in ending a relationship with someone, worse when it was a bad ending, then having to see that person move on and create a happy life for themselves. It’s hard to completely get over a person when it’s in your face all the time. Ugh. I can only imagine.
Then, of course, there are the challenges in parenting with a partner who has different parenting styles and different ideas of how the child should be raised. If you’re divorced, you have less, maybe even no, say is how your child is being raised in the other house. It’s amazing how different people can become after you end a relationship and to have that person be an influential part of your child’s life would be difficult if you grew in different directions.
Divorce and co-parenting is an individual and highly personal issue. If you are lucky enough to get a co-parent like the character in the story, Nathan, then being the bigger person and finding peace with the fact that your child is getting the best of two different worlds is the only way to do this, but it’s certainly not easy. Being a bit of a control freak like Madeline, I would have similar struggles to her with letting go.
The biggest issues, however, revolve around the male/female relationships. Since I think these are the hardest relationships we have in life, it makes sense. Abuse, the price of abuse to those around you, and betrayal are the ones that ultimately lead to the final act of murder that is present throughout the novel but the person murdered is only revealed at the end. I will not give it away, but I will say that I cheered. I kind of loved the ending.
If you have watched it or read it or do so after reading this, I’d love to hear what you think!