Big Little Lies
Liane Moriarty
Contributed by Greta Venegas
Chapter 5
Summary

Celeste pushes the glass door of Blue Blues and sees Madeline. She does not recognize Jane, who is wearing a blue denim skirt and a plain white V-necked t-shirt. Because Celeste has been friends with Madeline for so long, she always felt comfortable around her (Moriarty 34). As for Jane, Celeste thinks she looks too young to be a school mom and mistakes her for a nanny or a foreign domestic assistant. Madeline introduces Jane to Celeste, informing her that Jane had saved her from the side of the road after twisting her ankle. Celeste presents Madeline with her birthday gift, being a set of Waterford crystal champagne glasses.

The three women dives into the topic of school politics. Madeline takes the lead, since she has been a parent at Pirriwee Public the longest, and therefore knows more about the school. Jane and Celeste indicate that they will not get involved with any school politics (Moriarty 35). 

Celeste remembers that she had forgotten to give Madeline the accompanying champagne, to which Madeline cannot seem to wait to have — and suggests that they should have an early champagne breakfast (Moriarty 38). Although Celeste thinks it is too early to drink, Madeline persuades her by saying that it was her birthday; after all, she was injured too. Celeste and Jane give in to temptation and join Madeline.

In another scene, some parents, such as Bonnie, are discussing Celeste, Madeline, and Jane’s appearance at the school orientation. Madeline decides to tag along with Jane and Celeste to fetch Chloe. Despite not being drunk, the smell of alcohol suggests — to the other parents — that the three had been partying. 

Analysis

The discussion in this chapter seems to be making the suggestion that Jane, Madeline, and Celeste will be very good friends. Madeline and Celeste are not bothered by the fact that they know so little about Jane, instead, the three women chat like old friends and even share a glass of champagne. In addition, the author appears to show the readers that Pirriwee Public School is full of politics; this is despite Jane and Celeste’s efforts in avoiding it, which — despite being inevitable — shifts the focus or narrative to the wrong decisions people make, such as Madeline persuading Jane and Celeste to join her in an early champagne breakfast. It is apparent that Madeleine’s decision culminated to misinterpretation, by other parents, that the three were — seemingly inappropriately — having an early party.

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