Big Little Lies
by: Liane Moriarty
I needed to come back to this review even though I read this a few months ago. Originally I wrote: "Great book! A couple of twists I did not see coming, which always makes me happy. This is my second Liane Moriarty book and I enjoyed this one more than "Truly Madly Guilty" even though that one was good, too. Now I'm looking forward to watching the HBO series because I ALWAYS have to read the book first."
I was short because I had a lot percolating but didn't know how to communicate it. After reading more books that used rape as a plot point it's given me some clarity on what it was that was nagging at me after finishing it.
My update is all about the use of rape as a plot device in this novel. This is something I've been noticing more of in novels and I am tired of it. Mainly because number 1) I'm saddened by the fact that it appears we as a society are so desensitized to rape that it doesn't even affect us and we almost just expect it on tv shows and movies and books and 2) it's lazy. And this book is the perfect example of number 2.
Does Jane need to be raped by Perry in order to prove that he is a bad guy?
No. I think it's pretty obvious that Perry is the devil.
Was the rape needed to develop Jane's character more?
No. No. No.
And that's the crux of this. Rape is so often used as a way to show that a woman is at her weakest. And then we see her rise up. Which is great but omg aren't there almost a million other ways we can show that? Let's say, for example, that Jane and Perry meet up. Have a one-night stand. The next morning Jane wants to connect but he is distant and cold. He leaves abruptly. She tries to get in touch with him but doesn't have his number and has a fake name. Dead end. You can even still have all the concerns about Ziggy because the fact of the matter is: she doesn't know anything about this man! NOTHING in the book needs to change. Her coming more into herself, feeling more confident, sexual--it all works. Everything works--even without the rape.
Rape as a plot point is lazy. You can display the same emotions, get to the same end, without using this constantly. I'm so tired of seeing it. So, as I said in a previous review that used rape as a central plot point --> The use of rape is lazy. It's cheap, it's unoriginal, and I'm just done with it.
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