Synopsis: Clementine and Erica have been friends since childhood. One day, they and their husbands attend a barbecue at Erika’s neighbors house. What happens there is shrouded in mystery, and Truly Madly Guilty weaves different point of views and timelines together to make sense of what happened that day.
Review: I enjoyed the first half of the book very much, but the book drags on for far too long.
Truly Madly Guilty by Liane Moriarty is a good book. I really loved the first half of the book, I was caught up in the mystery of what happened that day at the barbecue, and I was interested in the characters. But then what happened was revealed, and the story just took too long to come to a conclusion.
Our main characters are Clementine and Erica. They have been best friends since childhood, and have an interesting relationship. Are they really friends, or do they secretly hate and resent each other? Erica had a troubled childhood, and Clementine has seemingly had the perfect life. This comes into play here, and I found their relationship refreshing to read about.
Clementine and Erika are each married, with Clementine having children and Erika having none, and this book tackles the issue of having kids vs not having kids, and brings up infertility. Besides infertility, hoarding is also a focus here, and these were both interesting side plots to this story.
Besides Clementine and Erika and their spouses, the scene of the barbecue is at Vid and Tiffany’s house, Erika’s neighbors, who happen to like Clementine and her husband more than they like Erika and her husband. Vid is a larger-than-life character, always happy and talking and inviting everyone over. I know a lot of people like Vid, so I enjoyed him. Vid’s wife, Tiffany, is that annoyingly beautiful and perfect looking friend, who also happens to be nice and smart.
You get a peek into all of these different character’s heads before, during, and after the barbecue, and it’s great to see inside all the different characters.
I liked all of the characters; there wasn’t anyone who was annoying or unlikeable. No one whose narration I wanted to skip through.
The lead up to the events of the barbecue was well done, and had just the right amount of drama and tension. The event itself was spellbinding, but then the aftermath just fell flat for me. It lasted a bit too long, and everything dragged on and on and on. So, I think that the ending could’ve been written tighter, and perhaps edited down about 45 pages or so.
Sorry for the deliberately vague review, it’s best to go into this book without knowing anything about it, and I’ve deliberately not said anything specific here.
Bottom Line: Spellbinding in parts, but the ending drags on for a bit too long.
You might like to read:
- Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty: This is the better book and is one of my favorite reads so far this year! Read my review here. Links to Amazon and Goodreads
- Coming Clean by Kimberly Rae Miller: A memoir that talks about what it is like to grow up with a hoarder. We read this in my book club and had a great discussion about it! Links to Amazon and Goodreads
- A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman: There is one character in Truly Madly Guilty that really reminds me of Ove. This is another book club pick, and an excellent read! Read my review here and links to Amazon and Goodreads
Have you read Truly Madly Guilty? What is your favorite Liane Moriarty book?