Big Little Lies Summary,Themes,Characters & Synopsis [Liane Moriarty]

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TitleBig Little Lies
AuthorLiane Moriarty
Publication DateJuly 29, 2014
No. of Pages496
GenreFiction, Mystery, Contemporary
SettingMonterey, California, USA


The main characters of novel “Big Little Lies” by Liane Moriarty are:

  1. Madeline Martha Mackenzie – A bold and outspoken woman, known for her strong personality and close friendships.
  2. Celeste Wright – A seemingly perfect woman hiding a dark secret about her husband. She’s a friend of Madeline and Jane.
  3. Jane Chapman – A young single mother with a mysterious past who forms bonds with Madeline and Celeste.


The themes of novel “Big Little Lies” by Liane Moriarty are:

  1. Secrets and Lies The characters hide truths that eventually unravel, showing the consequences of deception.
  2. Friendship and Support The bond between women as they navigate challenges and stand up for each other.
  3. Domestic Violence The impact and complexities of abusive relationships are explored.
  4. Parenting and Motherhood – Different approaches and struggles of being a parent are highlighted.
  5. Appearances vs Reality The contrast between outward appearances and inner realities.
  6. Power and Control Examines how power dynamics affect relationships and behaviors.
  7. Social Pressures The influence of societal norms and expectations on characters’ lives.
  8. Guilt and Regret Characters confront their past decisions and the emotions tied to them.
  9. Identity and Self-Discovery Characters search for their true selves amidst personal and social challenges.


Big Little Lies follows the lives of three women – Madeline, Celeste, and Jane – in a coastal town.

As they grapple with motherhood, secrets, and relationships, a tragedy occurs at a school event.

The story unfolds through the perspectives of various characters, gradually revealing the truth behind the event and the web of lies that surround it. The novel explores themes of friendship, domestic violence, and the masks people wear.

The book was adapted into a successful TV series that delves deeper into the lives of the characters.


“Big Little Lies” by Liane Moriarty is a fascinating novel released in 2014 that digs into the lives of a group of women in the wealthy seaside town of Pirriwee, Australia. The plot delves into the complexity of their relationships, secrets & the sad tragedy that eventually unites them together.

Celeste Wright, Madeline Mackenzie & Jane Chapman are the novel’s primary protagonists. Madeline is a fiery and opinionated woman recognized for her strong personality and everlasting devotion to her friends. Celeste is a stunningly gorgeous & seemingly perfect mother of twin boys, whereas Jane is a young single mother who has recently relocated to Pirriwee with her son, Ziggy.

The story alternates between present-day occurrences and bits of police interviews done following a mystery murder at a school quiz night. The author builds tension by tantalizing readers with glimpses of the sad event and gradually revealing it.

The plot delves into the complexities of parenthood, marriage, and the relationships of a close-knit society. As the ladies go about their regular lives, they confront a variety of hurdles, including personal disputes, marital problems, and parental difficulties. The concept of appearances vs. truth is central to everything.

Madeline, tormented by a horrific experience from her past, builds a profound relationship with Jane, who is battling hatred against her ex-husband and his new wife. They become friends with Celeste, who looks to have it all but is locked in an abusive relationship with her husband, Perry.

As the school year advances, parental tensions rise, resulting in gossip and disputes, and antagonism develops between Madeline & Renata Klein, a strong and authoritative lady in the neighborhood. Renata accuses Ziggy, Jane’s son, of tormenting her daughter, which escalates the feud.

The work skilfully mixes snatches of gossip & witness statements, which create suspense and move the tale along. The reader obtains insight into the deep social dynamics and increasing tensions inside the community due to these interjections.

The plot picks up steam as the big trivia night approaches. Flashbacks and disclosures illuminate the characters’ pasts, revealing buried tragedies and long-held secrets. The tension builds as the tragic night approaches, and the reader is increasingly eager to learn the real story behind the death.

The exact circumstances of that night are exposed in a spectacular turn of events. Perry, Celeste’s violent spouse, is revealed to be the victim of the deadly incident. The ladies plotted his death to shield Celeste from his violent inclinations, motivated by their deep loyalty & a desperate act of self-defense.

Following the catastrophe, the women take consolation in their friendship and the relationships they formed through their shared experiences. They face the repercussions of their acts while contemplating the power of secrets, lies & the complexities of human relationships.

“Big Little Lies” is a fascinating look at the intricacies that lurk behind the surface of seemingly ideal lives. Moriarty expertly weaves numerous narratives, allowing readers to identify with the characters’ flaws, anxieties, and wants. The story shines awareness on the consequences of such situations and the resilience of women who stand up to them through its honest portrayal of domestic violence.

The book also addresses more significant issues, such as the stresses of parenthood, cultural expectations, and the effects of stereotyping. It encourages readers to consider the value of empathy, understanding & the strength of female solidarity.

“Big Little Lies” attracts readers from beginning to end with its well-developed characters, exciting story twists, and thought-provoking ideas. It serves as a reminder that, beyond the façade of a picture-perfect existence, there may lie a treasure trove of secrets, problems & opportunities for development.


Who bit the girl in Big Little Lies?

The girl was bitten by Max, the son of Renata Klein. It led to conflicts among parents and played a role in the story’s unfolding drama.

Did Big Little Lies have a good ending?

Yes, Big Little Lies have a satisfying ending that revealed the truth behind the mystery while addressing the characters’ personal growth and struggles.

What did Bonnie’s mother do to her in Big Little Lies?

Bonnie’s mother abused her emotionally and physically, pressuring her to excel. This upbringing influenced Bonnie’s actions in adulthood

Did Ed cheat on Madeline in Big Little Lies?

No, Ed does not cheat on Madeline in “Big Little Lies.” Their relationship faces challenges but remains faithful.

About the Author-Liane Moriarty

Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty
Full NameLiane Moriarty
Birth DateNovember 15, 1966
GenreFiction, Contemporary, Mystery
Notable Works“Big Little Lies”, “The Husband’s Secret”, “Nine Perfect Strangers”
Writing StyleEngaging, character-driven plots with a blend of drama and humor.
Themes of relationships and secrets.
BackgroundFormer advertising and marketing professional.
Began writing as a hobby before achieving literary success.
AwardsWinner of various awards, including the Australian Book Industry Awards
and Goodreads Choice Awards.
ImpactKnown for her gripping storytelling and relatable characters,
Moriarty’s books have achieved international popularity.

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