My friend has been telling me for ages I should read Liane Moriarty’s books. She is a fan and has read them all. Truly Madly Guilty is the first Liane Moriarty I have read.
I enjoyed it a lot. The storytelling is very, very good. As I read, I felt I really got to know the characters although it is a slow reveal. We are fed little bits of information all the way through the book.
At the heart of this novel is something that happened at a barbeque attended by three couples; childless Erika and Oliver, Clementine and Sam (two young daughters), Vid and Tiffany (one daughter) and a dog. Apparently something huge. We have to stay with the story in order to find out what actually happened at the barbeque and the consequences for each of the characters. I found the format quite intriguing. The story starts some time after the barbeque but returns to the day of the barbeque frequently, at different times of the day and telling the story from each couples’ perspective.
The book begins with ‘Erika’ attending a talk given by ‘Clementine’ in a suburban library. The talk is about the incident at the barbeque. The opening chapter gives us snippets of the talk and Erika’s contradictory thoughts on what Clementine is saying. I immediately got the feeling that they knew each other well but something had happened and Erika was kind of sneaking in to listen to Clementine’s talk. After a couple of chapters I really felt I was getting a handle on the characters but no …. I soon realised there was so much more to be revealed as the book progressed. The story goes back and forward in time, always anchored to the day of the barbeque.
There is real depth to the characters, and their various relationships with their spouses, the children, parents, colleagues, is woven into the fabric of the story very naturally and not contrived.
When I was looking briefly at the story again, just before writing this review, I realised there were little bits of information in the story that hadn’t really registered with me at the time but made sense once I got to the end. I think this is a book I will want to re-read at some point.
I’m not sure if this is typical of the author’s style since this is the first time I have read one of her books but I can now add Liane Moriarty’s name to my list of authors that I want to read more of.
I found it a very enjoyable, entertaining and satisfying novel.
Available in the UK from 28 July 2016.
Author’s website: lianemoriarty.com.au