I am a binge reader. When I find a book that I like, I usually try to read several books by the same author (usually within a one-week period).
My most recent book binge featured the work of Liane Moriarty (of What Alice Forgot fame). I really enjoyed What Alice Forgot, so I definitely wanted to read more by her! She is also from Australia, which means that her stories help meet my criteria this year of wanting to read a greater number of books by foreign authors.
So far, I have read What Alice Forgot, The Husband’s Secret, and Big Little Lies. I would have read more, but my budget stopped me. 🙂
I like to read several books by the same author at once because you get a feel for their writing patterns and style. I found that Liane Moriarty, just like other famous authors like Jodi Picoult or Brian Jacques, sort of writes in a formulaic style. It works great for authors to write like this because they become known for that particular style.
Liane Moriarty’s Writing Style
In general, LM seems to focus on upper-class suburban life. The communities are small-minded and tend to focus on somewhat silly issues, like making sure a five-year-old has an amazing birthday party.
However, the characters in the stories are interesting and rich. Everyone has a point of view and a fleshed out character. You don’t see this in every book. Most of the characters may be shallow, but they all have a purpose.
My biggest complaint with her stories is that they all wrap up a little too neatly and unrealistically. All bad people end up punished and all good people get rewarded. I can’t go into too many specifics without revealing spoilers, but I often found myself saying “really?” when the big reveals occurred.
I was able to figure out most of the endings and plot twists ahead of time, but the stories were fun to read for the most part.
I would place anything my Liane Moriarty firmly in the “beach read” category, but for all that, her stories are fleshed out and fun! I don’t like a huge focus on romance/sex in the books that I read, and LM manages to include those topics without making them seem over-the-top.
One of my favorite parts about Liane Moriarty’s writing style is how she brings in quotes from non-essential characters in the story. It makes her worlds come alive.
Liane Moriarty Book Reviews
When I read What Alice Forgot, I loved it. What Alice Forgot is the story of what might happen if a woman suddenly forgets the last 10 years of her life and thinks she is just starting out again. What Alice Forgot explores the idea of what a woman might think to see that her relationships have changed and that she has also changed into something she never expected to be at age 29.
What Alice Forgot is my favorite book from Liane Moriarty so far. It seems the most innovative and creative.
Big Little Lies tells the story of a crime that happened at an elementary school trivia night. Big Little Lies is told from the prospective of several different neighbors and friends. This story was a bit more lighthearted than What Alice Forgot, even though it dealt with heavier things. I had trouble identifying with the characters in Big Little Lies because their problems seemed so trivial for the most part. Even the real problems were told in a trivial way.
The Husband’s Secret was my second-favorite book by Liane Moriarty. The Husband’s Secret deals with a woman who uncovers a hidden secret of her husband’s from his past (naturally). However, at the same time, it also tells the story of a few members in the community, which was also interesting.
On the whole, if you are looking for a light, fun, easy read where you know nothing too bad will happen to good people, then you can’t go wrong with Liane Moriarty!
More Light and Fun Reads