This is a complex book on many levels, dealing with many topics, including the challenges of single motherhood, the politics of parents’ activities at school, healing from sexual trauma, and school bullying.  I’d like to mention just one aspect, though: the way in which  behavior difficulties can be passed from generation to generation.  I’ve known at an intellectual level that children who witness domestic violence are more likely to be aggressive themselves by becoming bullies at school.  But I never appreciated it at an emotional level, and ‘Big Little Lies’ truly brought this home to me.  Liane Moriarty also speculates that being bullied as a child leads to causing domestic violence as an adult.  My reading is that this is less clear in long-term studies.  Children who are bullied tend to grow up with depression and anxiety, and even physical markers of stress such as higher levels of C Reactive Protein, but also with a great deal of anger, which could potentially be expressed in unfortunate ways.  But there is plenty of data that witnessing violence in the home is associated with bullying, which is expressed here in the way that a novel can reach deeply inside us more vividly than the most rigorous scientific study.


Be the first to post a comment.

Previously published:

All 21 blog entries