Book Reviews: Big Little Lies, Friendship & Supreme Macaroni Company

bllBig Little Lies by Liane Moriarty

Goodreads blurb: Sometimes it’s the little lies that turn out to be the most lethal. . . .  A murder… . . . a tragic accident… . . . or just parents behaving badly? What’s indisputable is that someone is dead.   But who did what? Big Little Lies follows three women, each at a crossroads:   Madeline is a force to be reckoned with. She’s funny and biting, passionate, she remembers everything and forgives no one. Her ex-husband and his yogi new wife have moved into her beloved beachside community, and their daughter is in the same kindergarten class as Madeline’s youngest And to top it all off, Madeline’s teenage daughter seems to be choosing Madeline’s ex-husband over her. Celeste is the kind of beautiful woman who makes the world stop and stare. While she may seem a bit flustered at times, who wouldn’t be, with those rambunctious twin boys? Now that the boys are starting school, Celeste and her husband look set to become the king and queen of the school parent body. But royalty often comes at a price, and Celeste is grappling with how much more she is willing to pay. New to town, single mom Jane is so young that another mother mistakes her for the nanny. Jane is sad beyond her years and harbors secret doubts about her son. But why? While Madeline and Celeste soon take Jane under their wing, none of them realizes how the arrival of Jane and her inscrutable little boy will affect them all. Big Little Lie is a brilliant take on ex-husbands and second wives, mothers and daughters, schoolyard scandal, and the dangerous little lies we tell ourselves just to survive

My Take: 4.5 out of 5.  This was a thoroughly enjoyable book, as well as an extremely well executed mystery. I really enjoyed Liane Moriarty’s previous novel, the Husband’s Secret, but I think this is even better. I love how strong themes are presented, like abuse, bullying, rape etc.  yet there is a lot of humor in its dealing with them, very much like life. You know something big happened right from the first page, yet it takes the whole book to buildup to the moment presented at the beginning and it is done in a wonderful manner (I who tend to be disappointed in bad mystery plots was impressed).

My favorite quotes from the book: ‘they say its good to let your grudges go, but I don’t know, I’m quite fond of my grudge. I tend it like a little pet”

friendshipFriendship: A novel by Emily Gould

Goodreads blurb: A novel about two friends learning the difference between getting older and growing up. Bev Tunney and Amy Schein have been best friends for years; now, at thirty, they’re at a crossroads. Bev is a Midwestern striver still mourning a years-old romantic catastrophe. Amy is an East Coast princess whose luck and charm have too long allowed her to cruise through life. Bev is stuck in circumstances that would have barely passed for bohemian in her mid-twenties: temping, living with roommates, drowning in student-loan debt. Amy is still riding the tailwinds of her early success, but her habit of burning bridges is finally catching up to her. And now Bev is pregnant. As Bev and Amy are dragged, kicking and screaming, into real adulthood, they have to face the possibility that growing up might mean growing apart. Friendship, Emily Gould’s debut novel, traces the evolution of a friendship with humor and wry sympathy. Gould examines the relationship between two women who want to help each other but sometimes can’t help themselves; who want to make good decisions but sometimes fall prey to their own worst impulses; whose generous intentions are sometimes overwhelmed by petty concerns. This is a novel about the way we speak and live today; about the ways we disappoint and betray one another. At once a meditation on the modern meaning of maturity and a timeless portrait of the underexamined bond that exists between friends, this exacting and truthful novel is a revelation.

My Take: 3.5 out of 5. This was a weird book for me. Some things I really enjoyed and other parts of the book I was extremely annoyed by. I think I just found the characters very unrelatable. This however does not take away from the fact that it is a very well written book, and it touches on some great topics on friendship and relationships in general .It is also an extremely readable book, I got through it in a day. However, when I started to truly appreciate these characters, the book ended! If you like the TV show Girls you are going to love this book (my annoyances with the show, which is a very good show, are the same as with this book!) I also kind of want a sequel – I want to know what happened after!

tsmcThe Supreme Macaroni Company by Adriana Trigiani

Goodreads blurb: For over a hundred years, the Angelini Shoe Company in Greenwich Village has relied on the leather produced by Vechiarelli & Son in Tuscany. This historic business partnership provides the twist of fate for Valentine Roncalli, the school teacher turned shoemaker, to fall in love with Gianluca Vechiarelli, a tanner with a complex past . . . and a secret.  A piece of surprising news is revealed at The Feast of the Seven Fishes when Valentine and Gianluca join her extended family on a fateful Christmas Eve. Now faced with life altering choices, Valentine remembers the wise words that inspired her in the early days of her beloved Angelini Shoe Company: “A person who can build a pair of shoes can do just about anything.” The proud, passionate Valentine is going to fight for everything she wants and savor all she deserves — the bitter and the sweetness of life itself. Romantic and poignant, told with humor and warmth, and bursting with a cast of endearing characters, The Supreme Macaroni Company is a sumptuous feast of delights: a portrait of a woman and the man she loves, her passion for craftsmanship, and the sacrifices it takes to build and sustain a family business while keeping love and laughter at the center of everything

My Take: 3.5 out out 5. This is the third book on the Valentine series. It was great to get back to the stories of Very Valentine and Encore Valentine after 3 years, and I actually was surprised about how emotional this book was. It is not as good as her previous book I read, the Shoemaker’s wife which I really enjoyed, but if you have followed the Valentine series this is a great continuation and conclusion. It mixes the continuation of the story, with all that involves their new shoe business, but it also comments a lot of relationships, compromise and how to balance and have it all.

quote I enjoyed: ” Memories, it turns out, take up as much space in the human heart as feeling”

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