All good things must come to an end, and it looks as if fans of the HBO series Big Little Lies might have to be content with two seasons. Based on Liane Moriarty’s bestselling novel of the same name, Big Little Lies season one was so good, it was hard to imagine how HBO could create a second season that wouldn’t feel a bit like chasing a high. Moriarty wrote only one Big Little Lies book, after all…. That is, until she wrote a novella specifically for HBO’s second season. (Said novella remains unpublished thus far.)
So now what? Well, fans of Big Little Lies, it’s time to start checking out other books that you just might love. All the books below have something in common with Moriarty’s bestseller--and it probably goes without saying (but I'll say it anyway) don’t forget to check out Moriarty’s other books, (particularly The Husband’s Secret).
Chances Are . . . by Richard Russo
Like the women in Big Little Lies, the men in Chances Are… are dear friends who have faced difficult times together, including the draft for the Vietnam War. Teddy, Mickey, and Lincoln met in college, and though all came from very different backgrounds, they found kindred spirits in one another and a shared love for a girl named Jacy, who became their fourth Musketeer. After graduation, life takes each man in a different direction, and the girl they all loved disappeared without a trace. Everyone in this story is holding something back, and when the trio reconnect decades later, questions are answered and secrets revealed.
The Last Mrs. Parrish by Liv Constantine
In Big Little Lies the ladies of Monterey (or the Northern Beaches in the book) seem to be glamorous wives and mothers with enviable lives, but of course things are not always what they seem. So it is in Liv Constantine’s novel, The Last Mrs. Parrish, a tricky thriller about a woman who has it all and the woman who wants to take it from her. If you want a story with a big twist, The Last Mrs. Parrish is what to read next.
Sunburn: A Novel by Laura Lippman
Dark secrets, forbidden desires, and an unexpected death. Sound familiar? This psychological thriller from author Laura Lippman contains parallels that should intrigue Big Little Lies fans. Adam and Polly meet by chance, and from then on neither can seem to pull away. The pair are totally wrapped up in each other, and also caught up in the lies and deception that is happening on both sides. So who will give up the truth, and where will it lead? A suspenseful cat-and-mouse read.
The Lying Game: A Novel by Ruth Ware
Any of Ruth Ware’s thrillers would be a worthy next read after Big Little Lies, but I think The Lying Game is a particularly good one to sink into. The story centers around four friends who were once an inseparable teenage clique infamous at their boarding school for what the girls called the “Lying Game”: telling lies to students and faculty alike. Some lies were harmless, while others seemed harmless but in fact had dangerous, unintended consequences. When a body is found, Isa, Kate, Thea, and Fatima, now adults, have to face the past they thought was long buried.
Lying in Wait: A Novel by Liz Nugent
In Liz Nugent’s thriller, Lying in Wait, readers meet a very protective mother. In fact, one might call her obsessed. There is also a murder, committed by the child’s father. And, of course, a big, fat secret. Their young son, Laurence, suspects his parents of keeping something very disturbing from him and he is quite correct. Darker than Big Little Lies, perhaps, but absolutely riveting.