Book Reviews

Truly Madly Guilty by Liane Moriarty

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(Photo Depiction from Amazon.com)

Title: Truly Madly Guilty

Author: Liane Moriarty

Publisher: Flatiron Books; Reprint edition (July 25, 2017)

Paperback: 544 pages

Audiobook: Published by Macmillan Audio; Unabridged edition (July 26, 2016)

(This post contains affiliate links)

Brief synopsis from Amazon.com: http://amzn.to/2ppWwLp

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.

Trigger Warning: Drowning

Initial Musings

This story was dynamic and unexpected. It contained mystery and suspense which I expected, coming from Moriarty, but the dynamics of the characters and the psychological factors that they carried was so engaging and complex that I was constantly analyzing and reviewing and analyzing and freaking out. I loved it.

The story delved deeply into the complexities of marriage and illustrated it through the different (waaay different) personality types of the characters. The narration is from about 10 different perspectives centered on one traumatic event and jumps back and forth through time surrounding the event. From the very beginning the reader is asking questions, and you are receiving new information up until the very end.

Because the story jumps right into time after the event and the reader does not have much to go on since they are still learning the key players, it may feel as though it starts off a little bit slow. Keep reading (or listening) because it is worth it!!

What’s with all the rain?

So one motif throughout the narrative was the unrelenting rain. There was a constant deluge drenching the characters whenever they ventured outside, it weighed heavily on their moods, and sometimes, their clothes. The sheer amount of rain was almost tangible to me and helped me feel the repressed emotions of the characters (which there was a lot of repressed everything). Each character fights the rain in one way or another, and they are all drowning in the noise from it, the mess it causes, and the way it keeps them from accomplishing simple tasks like cleaning up a lawn. The rain is a personification of the event that the narrative circles—their guilt over it and the repressed thoughts and feelings are drowning them—figuratively. But then the rain stops….

Marriage & Parenthood

Other themes central to the story are marriage and parenthood. There are three very different and complex marriages (really five if you count Harry and Clementine’s parents) that are depicted in the narrative and different versions of parenthood. One marriage struggles with control and blame between the parents, one struggles to become parents (and the true motivations behind that desire), another couple struggles with relating to their child, and another character dwells in the unbearable loss of a child. The layers of psychological and social factors that force these characters to grow are so endless that I was thinking about them long after I finished the book.

Recommendations

Uh hells yeah. You won’t want to put it down. You’ll be begging for the narrator to go back to that damn barbecue! It’s not just for the mystery/suspense fans. It is for the character lovers and psycho-social analysts, and for the readers that just want something that will make them feel something. This book is a little bit sexy too which is always fun. 5 out of 5 shots of espresso from this Review Mama.

To purchase Truly Madly Guilty by Liane Moriarty from Amazon just follow this wonderfully convienent link: http://amzn.to/2ppWwLp

Happy Reading!!!

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