Jaw-dropping! Review: Truly Madly Guilty

WOW. Just wow. Seriously. I will be honest – the first hundred and fifty pages were sluggish, but once the story kicked in, I was committed. I stayed up way past my bedtime last night reading Truly Madly Guilty by Liane Moriarty. The reason I requested it from the local library is because it was chosen as best fiction for Goodreads Choice Awards 2016. I’m definitely interested in reading her other books, Three Wishes, The Last Anniversary, The Hypnotist’s Love Story, What Alice Forgot, The Husband’s Secret, and Big Little Lies.


Truly Madly Guilty, set in Sydney, Australia, was published in 2016 by Flatiron Books.Here’s the cover blurb:

“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 have been friends since they were little. 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’s 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 too often we don’t appreciate how extraordinary our ordinary lives are until it’s too late.”

The quote at the beginning of the story is perfect: “Music is the silence between the notes” – Claude Debussy

While reading you will ask yourself, “What happened at the barbecue? what happened? Just TELL ME what happened!” At first I was annoyed. I just wanted to know what the hell happened at the barbecue. Gradually, I became consumed by each character’s life before the barbecue, almost forgetting about “the day of the barbecue”, then WHAM! In your face emotion. I cried. I cried quite a few times throughout this story. I cried tears of happiness, frustration, anger, and sadness. This book has it all my friend.

We hear this story from many different perspectives: Erika, Clementine (Erika’s best friend), Sam (Clementine’s husband), Tiffany (Erika’s neighbour), Oliver (Erika’s husband), Dakota (Tiffany’s daughter), Vid (Tiffany’s husband), Harry (Erika’s neighbour), and Pam (Clementine’s mom). Each and every character has their own strengths and flaws, which created a natural love/hate relationship with each one for me. I’m not sure I can choose a favourite character, I could see pieces of myself in each one (well except perhaps Vid, sorry Vid, we don’t have much common ground buddy, but you seem like someone who I can have a good laugh with at a party).

Page 233. Jolt. Shock. Surprise. Whammy. Yup all those kinds of words.

The chapters flip back and forth in time – before the barbecue, after the barbecue, the day of the barbecue, making “the day of the barbecue” the focal point, however I felt that it was slightly disorientating at times.

Truly Madly Guilty dug up lots of powerful emotions and themes, such as desolation. Desolation: ruin, dreariness, sorrow, grief. I love that word, desolation.

What can happen in one moment? Just one moment can change your entire life. One, small, little moment can create guilt – guilt which could truly make you go mad. 😉

Have you read this book yet? I’d love to hear what you think!

For more info about Liane Moriarty visit www.lianemoriarty.com


One thought on “Jaw-dropping! Review: Truly Madly Guilty

  1. Pingback: Book Recommendations for May 2017: Contemporary | Amanda's Words

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