Big Little Lies
Liane Moriarty
Contributed by Greta Venegas
Chapter 4
Summary

Jane assisted Madeline to her own car and drove both mother and daughter (Chloe) to the orientation in her own little Honda. On the way, Chloe explained everything Ziggy needed to know about the new school — from who the teachers will be, to where they will sit to have their lunch (Moriarty 27). Although Jane was mildly nervous about Ziggy’s orientation, the welcoming parents and teachers at the school made her feel both happy and at ease. 

Sitting next to Madeline in Blue Blues (the local café) waiting for Celeste (one of Madeline’s friends) to show up, Madeline leans forward and asks whether Jane is new to the peninsula (Moriarty 28). Jane tells Madeline that Ziggy and her are currently living in Newtown, but will be moving to the peninsula in December. Instead of stating that she had been taking six-month leases in various rental apartments across Sydney since her son was a baby, Jane tells Madeline about their decision to move to the peninsula after their lease in Newtown was up. She also mentions that she is only 24 years old and a single mom who conceived her son, Ziggy, after a one night stand. Madeline then states that she was once a single mother after her ex-husband, Nathan, walked out on her when Abigail, her fourteen-year-old daughter, was a baby. Furthermore, he is currently married to Bonnie, a charming and calm woman who not only is adored by her husband, but also Madeline’s children — particularly Abigail. While chatting, Celeste, Madeline’s friend arrives, and whose beautiful appearance makes Jane shudder. 

Analysis

 The author seems to suggest that the three women — Jane, Madeline, and Celeste — are getting acquainted with each other. Jane seems to be concealing painful personal information from her past concerning Ziggy’s father and her reason to move to the peninsula. The author states that every time Jane looked at her beautiful, extraordinary son, her heart ached (Moriarty 29) — possibly indicating a painful and hidden meaning behind those terms. Furthermore, although Jane instantly liked Madeline, her beauty and charisma leads Jane to belittle herself in the presence of both Madeline and Celeste. 

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