Truly Madly Guilty (Unabridged)
by Liane Moriarty
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“Here’s the best news you’ve heard all year: Not a single page disappoints....The only difficulty with Truly Madly Guilty? Putting it down." (Miami Herald) The new novel from Liane Moriarty, the #1 New York Times best-selling author of The Husband’s Secret, Big Little Lies, and What Alice Forgot, about how sometimes we don’t appreciate how extraordinary our ordinary lives are until it’s too late. Six responsible adults. Three cute kids. One small dog. It’s just a normal weekend. What could possibly go wrong? In Truly Madly Guilty, Liane Moriarty turns her unique, razor-sharp eye towards three seemingly happy families. 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.
It was just ok. There were moment where I was thinking - "oh this is about to get really good." But then it never really did. I felt like the characters were a little bland. It was not horrible. I have to say I feel horrible writing this because I could never write a novel...
How much would you sacrifice for a friend in need?
Clementine and Erika have been friends since childhood. Clementine grew up in a somewhat well-to-do environment, whereas Erika grew up with a hoarder as a mother. Clementine’s family took Erika under their wing, and Erika has always felt like somewhat of a burden in Clementine’s life. On the other hand, Clementine has always been taught to do the right thing, and always help out others less fortunate.
Fast forward to the girls’ adulthood. Clementine and her husband, Sam, have two young daughters. They are unaware that Erika and her husband, Oliver, have been unsuccessful in their attempts to get pregnant, and must a use donated egg in order to have any chance at having children. So they ask Clementine, who tries very hard to hide the fact that she is repulsed by the idea of donating her eggs to Erika, even as she is shocked at her own reaction. Yet, due to Clementine’s nature of feeling like she is obligated to help those in need, she agrees to consider donating her eggs.
Immediately after the request is made, the two couples head to a neighbor’s house for a BBQ. Things are already tense, then Erika overhears Clementine expressing her revulsion behind closed doors to Sam. After that, a terrible accident takes place that shifts the tone and direction of the novel. I will not spoil any of this for you, as the impact is more efficient if you go in not knowing what happens at the BBQ.
Alright, so first of all, I love Liane Moriarity. Seriously. I have read all but one of the books she has written. She is one of my favorite authors. When I heard she had a new book coming out months ago, I was so excited I couldn’t hardly wait. At 3am the date of the release, I downloaded the audiobook, and listened pretty much nonstop until I had finished, late the next evening.
My first reaction was that this was definitely a slow burn novel. You don’t even find out what event took place at the BBQ until about halfway through the book. I don’t normally mind this, when it’s done really well, but in this particular novel I kept thinking, “Come on already, get to the point!” The second half of the book was better than the first, as connections are made and storylines pulled together.
And then, the last few scenes happen. I was so distraught when one last puzzle piece was revealed, that I almost cried. Again, I’m being intentionally vague, as I don’t want to spoil it, but one character seemed to have very little to do with the events at the BBQ, but at the end, was more involved than anyone knew, and it was heartbreaking.
I recommend this to anyone who loves Liane Moriarty, but with the warning that it is not her best book. In my opinion her best book is probably Big Little Lies, but all of her other books are very well written, and I highly recommend any of them.
Love, love, love Liane Moriarty
Complex, and moving story. Interesting characters. Fantastic narration. I was truly engaged from beginning to end! One of Moriarty's best.