Study Guide

Big Little Lies Chapter 78

By Liane Moriarty

Chapter 78

  • It's now the morning after the Trivia Night, and Ed is visiting Madeline in the hospital. 
  • It turns out that, at the same time Jane snapped her collarbone, Madeline broke her ankle. 
  • More than anything, Madeline is freaking out about the fact that this means she can't wear stilettos for a loooong time. 
  • Ed's also freaking out, but he's more concerned about the fact that everyone, all at once, decided that lying to the cops about seeing Bonnie push Perry is a good idea. 
  • Madeline can't really understand or explain it, but she knows that she has to perjure herself. And she wants Ed to lie as well. 
  • It's about protecting Bonnie from the law for doing something that all the women there wished they could have done. 
  • It's about protecting Skye. 
  • It's about justice. 
  • Just then, Nathan comes in. 
  • Madeline is not so thrilled about her ex and her husband being in the same room as her. 
  • Especially not the same hospital room. 
  • Nathan is being really sweet because, you know, Madeline is helping keep his wife from going to jail. 
  • He tells her that Abigail is moving home to help take care of Madeline. Oh, and she's just moving back home for good. It seems like the time at Nathan and Bonnie's was just an experiment. 
  • He also lets Madeline in on a little secret: Bonnie's father was abusive toward Bonnie's mother. 
  • She spent her childhood with a violent man who thought that his kids were totally oblivious to that fact. 
  • Bonnie has had to do a lot of work—like, for example, becoming all zen-like and yoga-y—to help herself deal with this past trauma. 
  • Huh, thinks Madeline. I will totally protect Nathan and Bonnie because, even though I hate their guts, they're family. 
  • And family is weird like that.

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