Truly Madly Guilty by Liane Moriarty

When it comes to Liane Moriarty books, you know there’s going to be one hell of a shocking ending. Truly Madly Guilty certainly achieved that “say what?!” punch I was looking for, but, it took forever to get there.

The story is really about an incident that took place at a barbecue, where three couples and three children attended. This incident, the secret that Moriarty is trying to hide throughout the book, is something that changes all of their lives. It’s the evolution of what is really one mistake that grows into a festering memory that eats at each of the characters throughout the book.

While the ending made this book decent, the beginning was rather dull, and it took a while, quite a while actually, to get into. With the chapters changing between ‘now’ and ‘the day of the barbecue’ it was difficult at times to keep up with the pace. But once you got to the plot twist (no spoils from me) I essentially couldn’t put the book down. But that was about a little more than halfway through the book.

The dysfunctional and sad relationship between the two main characters, who are supposedly ‘friends’, Erika and Clementine, is what really made this book creep to a snail’s pace. The back-and-forth about Erika and Oliver wanting to have children, and Erika’s hoarding mother, and don’t even get me started on Clementine’s struggle as a cellist. These characters were severely flawed.

Let’s fast forward through the snooze-fest and get to the part that essentially was the secret Moriarty disappointingly tries to hide until a quarter of the way to the end. (Without spoiling it) When I reached  the secret, essentially what had happened at the barbecue, tarring the three-families apart, I had to ask myself, “Is that it?” Well, I’m not, not, going to finish the book, duh. Knowing the other books by Moriarty, I hoped, rather, prayed, for the sake of this book, that there’d be more.

Now, as I’ve said, I’m not going to spoil anything here, but I will be quite frank, the last and final plot twist that you normally get from her books was there. But, it was so quick and it was wrapped up so neatly, that it really didn’t make for the suspenseful, thriller type of ending you want and normally get from Moriarty books.

And can I just state the one character who truly deserved a better ending, who also had the most pathetic character development anyone could have asked for, and was essentially the hero of this book; it was Harry. He deserved better.

Overall, I would not recommend this book if you’re looking for a suspenseful, keeping you on the edge of your seat, can’t put it down type of book. This was definitely not one of Moriarty’s bests. While the title is called Truly Madly Guilty, it really does deserve the proper title of Truly Madly Boring.


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