Truly Madly Guilty
Flatiron Books, 2016
432 pages (hardcover)
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.
–Description from publisher
I liked it, but I think I read it too soon after Big Little Lies. There are strong similarities in the story structure that occasionally made it hard to focus on this new set of characters.
The structure of the book is separated by a Before and an After. By the time the event occurred that caused the separation, the impact was diminished because I felt I already knew the outcome. Listening to this can’t help but remind me of Big Little Lies since the structure is essentially the same. It’s not a bad structure as most of our lives are made up of Before and Afters.
One of the elements I liked the most that could be missed is the connection between Harry and Clementine. It’s a reminder that the world is smaller than we sometimes believe.
It was very long. There were a few times I thought it was going to end, and the chapters just kept coming. It could have ended a bit earlier without wrapping up every little detail. Stories and lives don’t end neatly, and, unless it’s a romance, a book doesn’t need to either.
The writing and storytelling are excellent. I also loved the narrator. Excellently drawn and engaging characters add to the believable storyline. It’s definitely worth the read.