Monday, October 10, 2016

Truly Madly Guilty

Truly Madly Guilty
By Liane Moriarty
Flatiron Books, 2016. Fiction 418 pgs

It started at a neighborhood barbecue, a seemingly inconsequential gathering of a few friends.  But then something happened which would change the three couples involved irreparably.

First you have Sam and Clementine, parents of two adorable daughters who, while not necessarily solid financial footing, have seemingly fulfilling careers and a comfortable life in the suburbs.  Next, we meet Clementine’s oldest friend Erika and her husband Oliver who both come from broken homes but find comfort in each other and their successful jobs and ordered life together.  And finally, there is Tiffany and Vid, Erika’s wealthy neighbors whose last minute invitation to dinner start the whole thing.

Slowly, Moriarty uncovers what really happened that evening and why it has so traumatized the participants.  What she excels most at is writing the perspectives of her characters.  Narration switches form one to the other and the reader is swept up in Clementine and Erika’s emotions as consequences are faced and dealt with.  I love Liane Moriarty’s writing, characters, and stories.  She has recently become a favorite and I’m so glad she has a healthy back list I can dive into including Big Little Lies, What Alice Forgot, and The Husband’s Secret!



CKN said...

I have to confess, half way through reading this book I cheated. I couldn’t stand it anymore, and I used Google to find out what happened at the barbecue. Now having finished the book, I wish I would have had the patience to let the author unveil events as she meant them to be. I completely agree with this review, Moriarty is a master of writing from the different perspectives of her characters, and seeing what happened from their different points of view is the key to understanding why it affected each of them so deeply. Truly Madly Guilty was my first Moriarty novel, and I enjoyed it so much that I already have two others on hold at the library!

AL said...

This novel follows Moriarty's normal format of revealing the story one little snippet at a time through different points of view. I really like seeing the events through different characters. It adds depth to the story and makes me realize how differently we each react to events depending on what we may have encountered in our lives. I also love how she tackles tough subjects. That being said, this was not my favorite Moriarty novel. I just didn't connect to the story or the characters, but that won't stop me from reading more of her books. Readers also need to be aware that her books do contain some language. It is usually character or situation specific and I don't feel like it is excessive, until my 3 year old walked into the room while I was listening to the audio and I had to turn it off before she could pick up some new vocabulary words I would rather her not repeat.

Liz said...

Based on reviews and recommendations I thought I would like this book a lot more than I actually did. At first I really liked all the different character's perspectives and it definitely helps you read it faster, but it got tiring to keep switching people. It also jumps around with the chronology of the events, which I found to be a turn off because I had to keep tract of characters AND timing with all the switching. It's written with engaging and interesting prose and with deeply developed personalities. Perhaps because I have an overdeveloped imagination, I was disappointed by the big thing that happens at the fateful BBQ. Overall, I didn't really connect with the novel but I'm hopeful that I can like other Moriarty books.