Study Guide

Big Little Lies Chapter 33

By Liane Moriarty

Chapter 33

  • Celeste goes to a counselor that specializes in domestic violence. 
  • She specifically picks a counselor that lives a long way away so no one will recognize her going into the counselor's office. 
  • When she's preparing to go inside, the woman leaving is covered in tattoos and smoking. She looks cheap, thinks Celeste. 
  • Celeste, to make a point about how not-cheap she is, has worn an expensive dress and a full face of makeup. 
  • The counselor asks her a lot of questions. 
  • Are there weapons in the house? No. 
  • Did Celeste ever think she was going to die? Only once, when Perry almost smothered her with a couch cushion. 
  • Does Perry ever hurt the boys? No, says Celeste. He loves the boys. And it was so hard to get pregnant—they had multiple miscarriages and the boys were preemies.  
  • She explains to the counselor that the power balance shifts after Perry assaults her. She gets the power, at least until the bruises fade. And it's…almost worth it. 
  • He will hit you again, the counselor says. And Celeste needs to make a plan for that eventuality.

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