Truly Madly Guilty- Liane Moriarty

Thank you to Booksparks and Flatiron books for sending us a copy of TMG in exchange for an honest review!

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.

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At first glance, the thick 517 pages of this book scared me you-know-what outta me! It was extremely intimidating and I crossed my fingers, I would enjoy this book seeing as I was devoting so much time to finishing it. There are so many times that because a book is so long, it gets boring and redundant, or begins to stray from the main storyline. Well, Booksparks- you nailed it again! I’m happy to report, I enjoyed TMG very much.

The plot was setup perfectly, flipping from multiple character viewpoints in the present, back to the day of the barbecue, which you’ll find is very important. Moriarty did a great job of fleshing it that day little by little. She’d give us enough information to keep us intrigued and start manipulating what we believed to be the truth in our minds as we read. I think this setup was critical to maintaining the suspenseful feeling throughout.

The characters were so different from each other and well described. Erika and Oliver, Sam and Clementine (and their girls), Tiffany and Vid, Sylvia and Pam, and of course, Harry- he was my favorite. I can picture my husband being the grumpy old neighbor, yelling at kids for being on his lawn! Ha! With all of these characters and relationships, you knew their struggles, their inner feelings, their thoughts. Moriarty ultimately nailed her characters. I never once felt as if she missed the mark- that I needed more to comprehend why something happened or felt lost or confused.

Overall, I very much enjoyed Truly Madly Guilty and would recommend it to anyone wanting a well-written, suspenseful, relationship centered drama. Put it on your TBR list! -Kris

From Amy:

Wow! Liane Moriarty gets me hooked every time. I swear I just get so wrapped up in her character development and story line. Some details are shocking, while others are just eerily realistic and relatable.

We meet Erika and Clementine; reluctant friends whose lives are more intertwined than they even realize. The story revolves around these characters and the pivotal day of an ordinary BBQ, a true example of Newton’s Third Law: “For every action there is an equal reaction.” I found myself reflecting on life choices I’ve made how different my life would’ve been if I would’ve decided differently.

I listened to this book on audible.com, so I have to mention that Caroline Lee is one of my favorite voice actors. Additionally, she does an amazing Q&A session with Moriarty at the end, and it was amazing to listen to.

Truly Madly Guilty is a page-turner that kept me intrigued the entire time.

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