Study Guide

Big Little Lies Chapter 4

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Chapter 4

  • Madeline insists on taking Jane to a coffee shop called Blues Blues.
  • And when Madeline insists on something, she usually gets her way.
  • Jane's a little disoriented by how totally adorable the coffee shop is.
  • She gets flustered when things are too good, and so does her son, it seems.
  • Chloe chattered on at Ziggy the entire ride to the kindergarten, and then showed him around school once they got there.
  • Jane's reaction to Pirriwee Public was kind of like her reaction to the coffee shop: it was almost too good to be true. Too cute, too clean, too orderly.
  • We learn a bit about Jane's past. She has decided to move to Pirriwee on a whim, simply because it has one the best beaches in the world.
  • In fact, Jane and Ziggy have moved around a lot. They've moved every six months for the last five years.
  • Jane doesn’t tell Madeline this part, but she does let on that she's a single mom.
  • But Madeline isn't judgmental about this at all. In fact, she seems thrilled.
  • Turns out, Madeline used to be a single mom as well. Her first hubby left her when her oldest was just a baby.
  • Now the ex-hubby has remarried and had a new kid. He's now "father of the year," according to Madeline. You can tell she hasn't completely forgiven him for walking out on the family fourteen years ago.
  • Madeline's openness about her ex allows Jane to open up about Ziggy's dad. He was a one-night stand.
  • And, judging from how awkward Jane is being about the whole subject, it was not an enjoyable one-night stand.
  • We learn a bit more, thanks to Madeline's persistent questioning. Jane is 24. She works as a freelance bookkeeper.
  • Madeline is excited about Jane's youth. She'll be one of the youngest moms at school—even younger than Madeline's ex-husband's new wife.
  • The wife is named Bonnie, and she sounds really crunchy and hippy-dippy.
  • (Aha! One of the voices in the chorus of gossips belongs to the same Bonnie.)
  • A woman named Celeste shows up to join Jane and Madeline.
  • The gossipy chorus is chatting again. Bonnie is talking about how nice of a person she is. A woman named Thea is gossiping about Bonnie and Madeline's relationship, and someone named Gabrielle is complaining about school cliques.

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