Study Guide

Big Little Lies Family

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Big Little Lies is about the many, many different kinds of families. There are single moms, like Jane, who stays in close contact with her own mom and dad. There are traditional nuclear families, like Celeste's, whose twins are the product of a whole lot of trying, wishing, and hoping. And there are sprawling blended families, like Madeline's, where stepdads clash with stepdaughters and ex-husband's new wives are viewed as enemies…before being accepted as part of the fam.

The only thing that these families have in common? They're all complicated and drama-filled. Tolstoy was right: unhappy families are unhappy in their own, distinct ways.

Questions About Family

  1. Why does Madeline envy Jane's family? 
  2. Why is Celeste so shocked about the revelation about Saxon Banks?
  3. How does Madeline's family unit become stronger over the course of the novel?
  4. What led to Jane's decision to move away from her own mother and father?

Chew on This

Friends are portrayed as a kind of family in Big Little Lies. 

Big Little Lies makes one thing clear: no bond is as strong as that between family members.

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