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Spoiler Alert! What Happens at the End of the Big Little Lies Book

It’s been weeks since the Big Little Lies miniseries premiered on HBO, and we’re still buzzing about the show’s central mystery: who died, and who’s the killer? The show stays mostly faithful to Liane Moriarty’s novel of the same name, but there are still a few big differences to both the general plot and the characters. Could the ending be one of them? The final episode airs on Sunday, and we have a feeling that the characters at the heart of the novel’s mystery will be the same ones in the TV adaptation as well. If you’ve yet to finish Moriarty’s suspenseful novel, you might want to turn back now, because spoilers abound.

MAJOR SPOILERS for the end of the Big Little Lies novel below!

Let’s get to the basics first, shall we? The book begins by introducing its first mystery right off the bat. Various parents of students at Pirriwee Public School are giving statements to detectives about an incident that occurred during a trivia night fundraiser at the school; someone died, but no one seems to know who did it or how it really happened (although they have plenty of catty ideas about who might have committed the crime). Then, we go back in time to six months before the trivia night to meet young, mild-mannered single mom Jane, who moves to the small, charming town of Pirriwee on the Australian coast with her son, Ziggy. She enrolls him at Pirriwee Public, which is where she’s befriended by fellow kindergarten moms Madeline and Celeste. On orientation day Ziggy is accused of trying to strangle a little girl in his class, Amabella, which Ziggy adamantly denies, setting into motion another big mystery: if it’s not Ziggy, who is the true culprit behind Amabella’s bullying?

The third mystery also concerns Ziggy. In a vulnerable moment, Jane reveals to Madeline that her son was conceived years earlier during a drunken, violent one-night stand that went incredibly awry. The man was charming at first and introduced himself as Saxon Banks. When they got to the hotel room, however, he began calling her awful names while they had sex, and the situation quickly devolved into something much more abusive. Jane later admits that the reason she uprooted her life to Pirriwee was because on the night she met him, he told her he might be moving there soon. She’d hoped that one day she could confront him for what he’d done in person, but unfortunately she was never able to find a man by the name of Saxon Banks living there.

Meanwhile, Celeste, a former-lawyer-turned-stay-at-home-mom, is married to successful businessman Perry and they have a seemingly perfect life. They’re both Hollywood levels of attractive, rich beyond belief, and parents to rambunctious twin boys, Max and Josh (who go to school with Ziggy). Although they’re the envy of everyone in Pirriwee, Celeste is hiding an awful secret: Perry physically abuses her (but never in the face, so she can hide the bruises). The night of the trivia fundraiser, Josh comes to his mother and tells her that Max, not Ziggy, is the one who’s been bullying Amabella (and another little girl, Skye) at school, because he picked up on what his father was doing. Celeste, crippled with guilt, vows to tell Jane as soon as she and Perry arrive at the fundraiser. Just before they walk inside the school, Perry discovers that Celeste is planning to leave him and take the twins with her and starts to seethe with anger.

Inside the trivia night, the parents are all drunk because the event’s food never arrived and begin fighting among each other. Madeline, Ed (her husband), Jane, Renata, Bonnie, and Nathan (Nathan is Madeline’s ex-husband, and Bonnie is his new wife) all step outside on the school’s balcony for a breather, when Celeste and Perry join them. Jane, laying eyes on Celeste’s husband for the first time, realizes that he is Saxon Banks (Perry used his cousin’s name on the night he assaulted her). She confronts him and he brushes her off, prompting Celeste to yell at him. He immediately smacks Celeste hard across the face in front of everyone, much to their horror. Bonnie, who grew up with an extremely abusive father, starts screaming about how Perry is the reason why Max has been bullying Amabella and Skye (her daughter) and pushes him backward out of anger. Because of the slippery floor on the balcony and the height of the railing behind him, Perry tumbles backward and falls to his death.

Right as this happens, a fight between a few dads in the other room comes crashing out onto the balcony, knocking into Jane and Madeline, leaving them with badly broken bones. Celeste begins to scream, and that’s when the police are called to come handle the situation at Pirriwee Public. Madeline, Jane, Renata, Celeste, and Nathan initially agree to cover for Bonnie, saying that were all looking the other way and didn’t see her push Perry, but eventually she confesses to the police herself and is given a few hundred hours of community service as punishment. Celeste moves away from Pirriwee with her boys, but sets up a generous trust fund for Ziggy with Perry’s money.

Pretty dramatic, huh? Although the show has gone in a few different directions than the book, we have a feeling it will totally live up to its source material’s ending.


Source: Pop Sugar

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