Review: Truly Madly Guilty

Truly Madly Guilty

Truly Madly Guilty
By Liane Moriarty
Flatiron Books, 9781250069801, 2017, 560pp.

The Short of It:

What could go wrong at a barbecue? Plenty.

The Rest of It:

This is the second Moriarty book I’ve read, the first being Big Little Lies. As much as I liked Big Little Lies, I think I enjoyed Truly Madly Guilty a bit more.

Both books open with the knowledge that something bad has happened. In this book, this “incident” takes place at a neighborhood barbecue. Just your everyday, neighborhood barbecue with a few neighbors and a couple of mutual friends. As the story unfolds, the chapters count the reader down to the event itself. This method of storytelling creates a lot of tension in the best way possible. I could not turn those pages fast enough and the book stands at 560 pages so that’s telling you something.

The story mostly focuses on three couples, Erika and Oliver, Clementine and Sam, and Tiffany and Vid. These couples are vastly different from one another. Their views on marriage, children and social gatherings are flaunted for all to see as the tension builds between them. All presented in the most delicious, dishy way. Erika and Clementine were tossed together as kids but do they even like one another? Vid and Tiffany are over-the-top with their lifestyle and a bit flashy but what harm could a little barbecue cause? It’s just a meal among friends. Clementine and Sam have their own issues to deal with so why are they always roped into other people’s problems?

The storytelling feels so personal. Almost voyeuristic. When the details of the incident are finally revealed to the reader, you immediately wonder how they will survive it. How will each couple deal with the information they have in front of them? The not-knowing makes it even more of a page-turner.

Friends, this was a good one. Plenty of tension, good story, suspenseful without being unrealistic and characters who come full circle. This is one of those complete package reads. For me, a perfect read.

Source: Purchased
Disclosure: This post contains Indiebound affiliate links.

12 thoughts on “Review: Truly Madly Guilty”

    1. This is my second book by Moriarty and I am wondering if her other books all have that thread… the something happens thread and then slowly over time it’s revealed to the reader. Even though it’s a bit formulaic I do enjoy it.

    1. It was a little long but because I was enjoying the “what happened?” aspect, I didn’t mind the anticipation at all. It’s nearly halfway through before you know.

  1. I know I read this one, but I remember very little of it. I did go back and read my review of NINE PERFECT STRANGERS, the book that this author wrote after TRULY, MADLY, GUILTY. And in that review, I stated that I didn’t like TMG nearly as much as BIG LITTLE LIES and THE HUSBAND’S SECRET. Hmmm…I think I need to reread it. I’ve been thinking about including Moriarty’s books in my ‘reread on audio’ project that I seem to have started a few months ago. I didn’t really mean to start a project, but that’s what I’m listening to lately. Ha! Glad you liked this one. If you haven’t read THE HUSBAND’S SECRET, I would recommend that one for sure. On to the next, right?

    1. I just looked and I have both The Husband’s Secret and Nine Perfect Strangers on my Kindle so I will definitely keep the Moriarty bus going.

      I loved Big Little Lies but I liked Truly Madly Guilty more. I think I liked it more because of the suburban family drama aspect of the story. BLL reminded me of my PTO days which were not pleasant but those women were so accurately portrayed.

  2. Wow you read this one quickly. It sounds perfect for the beach. I could use a page-turner. I did read B.L.L. but now you have me convinced that this could be better!

    1. I feel like the characters really came full circle in this one although Big Little Lies and this one have the same tone. And for a nearly 600 page book I flew through it.

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