Book Review: Truly Madly Guilty

truly madly deeply

Truly Madly Deeply
Author: Liane Moriarty
Published: 2016
Publisher: Pan Macmillan Australia
Pages: 509
My Rating: 4/5

It would be an understatement to say that I was excited when my pre-ordered, signed, copy of Truly Madly Guilty arrived in my post box. Australian author Liane Moriarty is hands down one of my favourite authors with novels such as Big Little Lies, The Husband’s Secret and Three Wishes, some of my favourite books.

What I love about Liane’s writing is her characterisation, and her razor sharp analysis of every day people leading, seemingly every day lives. And Truly Madly Guilty certainly doesn’t disappoint.

The novel is centered around an incident at a backyard barbecue. Six adults, three children, a yappy dog and a grumpy neighbour. The book switches from the now timeline (after the incident), to the day of the barbecue, or day of the incident. And in traditional Moriarty style, she teases the reader. Drip feeding subtle clues along the way but keeping the actual incident a secret until almost half-way through the book.

If I’m honest, I did feel the front half of the book before we find out, a little tedious in places. Most likely due to my impatience and just wanting to know now already! But having said that, it was masterful how she leads you down many rabbit holes having you think you know what happened. When we do finally discover the details of the ‘incident’ it is quite a revelation, and certainly different to what you may have thought.

I found it particularly interesting analysing my emotions reading the book up to this point, and thereafter. Noticing how my perceptions of the characters, and my sympathies towards them changed once I knew what happened. This is something to be admired from the author. To twist and turn your reader’s emotions towards the characters, and intertwine those feelings with your own morals and judgments. Sheer brilliance. And there aren’t many authors who can do it as effectively with such simple, everyday subject matter.

Also interesting were the cast of characters. I found them not unlikable, but not totally likeable either.  As mentioned, my feelings towards them changed throughout the book. I came to understand them more so than like them. I would even go as far to say as I felt like I knew them. Like I could walk down the street and wave hello to Clementine and Sam, and nod to Erika and Oliver. And probably have a good old chinwag with Vid and Tiffany. What I particularly loved was seeing how the characters were changed, not only by the incident, but by the fallout and resolution. Again, a highlight of Moriarty’s superb writing

Although a little long compared to other titles by the author, Truly Madly Guilty was an enjoyable read. But Big Little Lies and The Husband’s Secret are still my favourites.

Are you a Liane Moriarty fan?