Truly Madly Guilty – Liane Moriarty

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One of the really great things about NetGalley is the chance to read books that I would have read already. I’m a fan of Liane Moriarty, and thoroughly enjoyed her last book. I’ve read three others from before that, and I really think she’s getting better as she goes along, so when I was offered the chance to review this, I jumped at the chance.

Truly Madly Guilty – Liane Moriarty

Six responsible adults. Three cute kids. One small dog. It’s just a normal weekend. What could possibly go wrong?

Sam and Clementine have a wonderful, albeit, busy life: they have two little girls, Sam has just started a new dream job, and Clementine, a cellist, is busy preparing for the audition of a lifetime. If there’s anything they can count on, it’s each other.

Clementine and Erika are each other’s oldest friends. A single look between them can convey an entire conversation. But theirs is a complicated relationship, so when Erika mentions a last minute invitation to a barbecue with her neighbors, Tiffany and Vid, Clementine and Sam don’t hesitate. Having Tiffany and Vid’s larger than life personalities there will be a welcome respite.

Two months later, it won’t stop raining, and Clementine and Sam can’t stop asking themselves the question: What if we hadn’t gone?

In Truly Madly Guilty, Liane Moriarty takes on the foundations of our lives: marriage, sex, parenthood, and friendship. She shows how guilt can expose the fault lines in the most seemingly strong relationships, how what we don’t say can be more powerful than what we do, and how sometimes it is the most innocent of moments that can do the greatest harm.

I really enjoyed this book, another of Liane Moriarty’s mummy lit crossed with moral dilemma. One summer day, six adults and three children got together for a barbecue, a seemingly normal event which had lasting repercussions for all involved.
One of the things I love about Moriarty’s fiction is that you’re left guessing the whole way through – this was present in Big Little Lies and is similarly so here. What happened at the BBQ? Who did what? Why is everyone so stressed about it, six weeks later?
The three marriages depicted in this book are masterfully drawn, with three very different couples each struggling to come to terms with the events of that fateful summer bbq. I loved Moriarty’s depiction of complex, nuanced relationships, from Sam and Clementine’s awkward dance around each other to Erika’s strained and damaged relationship with her mother, each link felt totally real and believable.
I’m a big fan of Moriarty’s work. and this is as strong as anything I’ve read by her before. Tense and gloomy at times, sunny and loving at others, the contrasts between the glorious summer day of the barbecue and the heavy rain of the following two months perfectly illustrates how one quiet afternoon can strain even the oldest and strongest of relationships. Investigating guilt, love, obligation, familial ties, and the strange, awkward feeling of obligation, this masterful book was hugely enjoyable as a slice of life which felt like peering into the heads of my neighbours and being immensely satisfied by what I found there.

As this was a digital ARC, there were some formatting issues. Perspectives changed mid-paragraph, there were lots of typos which hadn’t been corrected, and chapter divisions weren’t at all clear. But I would assume that these will all be sorted by publication day, and thus I wouldn’t let that put me off at all – it’s just part of the ARC experience.

Thoroughly enjoyed this book, I will be recommending it to my sisters, who I know enjoyed her previous works.

Four Stars
****

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3 Comments

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3 responses to “Truly Madly Guilty – Liane Moriarty

  1. Pingback: July Round-Up | Much Ado About Books

  2. Pingback: The Fifth Letter – Nicola Moriarty | Much Ado About Books

  3. Pingback: Three Wishes – Liane Moriarty | Much Ado About Books

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