Truly Madly Guilty by Liane Moriarty

Truly Madly Guilty by Liane Moriarty

3.55  ·  Rating details ·  122,826 Ratings  ·  12,489 Reviews
Truly Madly Guilty by Liane Moriarty download or read it online for free
Truly Madly Guilty by Liane Moriarty
Six responsible adults. Three cute kids. One small dog. It’s just a normal weekend. What could possibly go wrong?

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.


4 stars... another enjoyable read by Liane Moriarty!


Edited 12/06 - Winner of GRCA for fiction!! I guess that even with the polarized reviews, readers overwhelmingly voted for it!!


First off -- the elephant in the room. Many readers didn't enjoy this book as much as others by the same author. I didn't think twice about rating it 4 stars - really enjoyed.

In considering my review, I noted many lower ratings and saw some disappointment expressed. One of the key themes (and I agree with !) is that patience is needed while reading. Yes, the story is about what happened at a barbecue to upset the lives of the 6 adults and 3 children involved. The story goes back and forth between "before" and "after" the barbecue and the reader is left hungry for details -- what did happen? The what happened unfolds painfully slowly. I tried to guess as I was reading and was not even in the ballpark.

Because patience isn't one of my virtues, I had to keep reading. I went so far as to be a bad Buddy Reader and not stick to the agreed schedule. Just had to keep reading to find out about the barbecue....

Why I liked this book

I love reading stories with well-developed characters. Sometimes a book may have a great plot, but if I hate all of the characters - I may struggle with enjoying it.

This book had an interesting plot (if slow to develop) -- and unique, colorful characters.

The adults are very different people at very different places in life. Some of the tidbits that come up are fascinating -- hoarding, exotic dancing, cello playing, seeking fertility treatment, whiling away the hours at a job (instead of working).... Some of the characters are likeable -- others, not so much. I didn't completely connect with any of the characters, but found their backgrounds fascinating -- and told with humor. A crotchety neighbor was also intriguing to read about....

" Everyone had another sort of life up their sleeve that might have made them happy."

I recommend Truly Madly Guilty to fans of Women's fiction -- especially readers of Liane Moriarty . As other reviewers have noted, some patience is needed as the story of the barbecue unravels. My suggestion is to read this book when you can consume it quickly ! I have enjoyed all of Moriarty's novels (some more than others) except for Three Wishes -- which I want to read soon!!

What do people want from their lives? What is important to them and what trade-offs are they prepared to accept to achieve their goals? And how do we deal with the surprising and sometimes shocking situations life throws at us? These questions seem to me to be at the centre of Moriarty’s stories of modern day suburban life, set in and around Sydney, Australia. There’s normally quite a bit of humour, a cast of colourful characters and a sting or two in the tale. I thought her last book Big Little Lies was sensational, her best yet – could she do it again with this one?

There’s a set in stone format to the author’s story telling. The reader is advised that something has happened that has thrown lives into turmoil. This can be via a series of conversations we overhear or by other means but one thing is for sure, we won’t know the full truth about the ‘incident’ or the ‘secret’ until the last knockings.

The cast this time around:

- Clementine, husband Sam and children Holly (5) and Ruby (2). Sam’s moved up the career ladder to a new job in advertising and Clementine is a cellist, longing for the opportunity to be a permanent member of an established orchestra.

- Erica and Oliver. Childless career types who are somewhat lacking in humour. God parents to Holly and Ruby. They both had challenging upbringings, courtesy of troubled parents.

- Vid, his wife Tiffany and daughter Dakota. Vid is a larger than life party animal, Tiffany is sexy and alluring and with a colourful past. They are neighbours of Erica and Oliver.

The scenario here is that the three couples and their children have recently attended a barbeque at Vid and Tiffany’s house. It’s caused a huge outfall and all three couples are ruminating over the ramifications and the potential damage to relationships and future plans. All sorts of emotions are on display. We initially pick up the period shortly after the event but as we move through the book these passages are interspersed with a fractured but detailed breakdown of the fateful day itself.

There is less humour here than in some of the author’s books, but the individual stories of the three couples keep the interest alive and the dialogue is as sharp and true as ever. There are some genuine surprises stored up too, though the ending itself didn’t exactly provide a bombshell moment. In fact, the main events of the barbeque are declared quite early on and it’s the ramifications and side-stories that maintain the interest thereafter.

It is an enjoyable tale and it does have some real depth to it. I read most of it perched on a beach bed in the Mediterranean and this helped establish, in my own mind at least, that it’s a pretty good holiday read. But this book doesn’t have the impact of her best work and I’m now wondering why Morriarty sticks so rigidly to her basic structure – maybe it’s time for a change as I think it’s getting to feel just a little tired.

I once saw one of my favourite authors state how much she enjoys the writing of Liane Moriarty which peaked my interest considerably and was the driving factor in me reading TRULY, MADLY, GUILTY, my first story by this author.

The suspenseful and mysterious story arc centers around a fateful BBQ and three contrasting couples who each grow in stature as the trajectory of the story develops. The BBQ is a day that rocks their lives and the catalyst for the suspenseful element and feel of the story. The exploration of split second decisions, themes of guilt, negligence, culpability, responsibility and the human psyche pertaining to how different people deal with guilt, how they resolve it, the way some do not feel it is all absolutely fascinating.

The style of Liane Moriarty took me a moment to settle into, initially I felt like the story would miss the rush of feeling I seek when reading but the slow burn of the story had my complete attention by two thirds of the way in and the beauty and thought provoking nature of the feelings ultimately shone through. The time frames jump around unexpectedly which caused me on occasion to have to read back a little to ascertain where and with whom I was currently with, making the transitions appear somewhat jarring. However, by 30% I became accustomed to the unusual style of this author finding that I enjoyed the way the writing made me think a little more, adding to the suspenseful nature and I became completely engaged and intuitive to the writing clues that established the time frame. The third person narrative toggles between the present and the past event of the BBQ providing a full all round perspective and visual of each character’s thoughts, feelings and actions ensuring every element of the story is revealed by the end of the novel providing a very satisfying feeling to the reader.

I found myself falling in love with the writing of this author. The drops of intrigue she intelligently layers, her rich visual descriptions and faultless characterisations showcasing perfect development throughout the story arc. Their individual agenda's and histories are revealed to the reader depicting the complicated relationships of friends, spouses and good people who make mistakes. The interlacing of the past, the present and the individual stories of each character is brilliant. The plot thickened as I deduced certain aspects and tried to work out others, I think many readers will enjoy being able to solve certain aspects of the puzzle, I certainly did. The last 10% of the novel ties everything together brilliantly and secured this story as a five star read for me. A mysterious tale of how the seemingly ordinary lives of three couples are spiked with extra ordinary events showing how split second decisions can have catastrophic results. TRULY, MADLY, DEEPLY is a compelling read that made me think and to me that makes for an incredible reading experience.

Genre: Thriller & Suspense, Mystery, Women's Fiction

This is one of those long, drawn-out stories that's more about character assessment and the hardships of life than it is a story based on its plot.

This is about 3 couples and how they react and cope with something that happens at a BBQ one afternoon. By the time Liane Moriarty unveils the secret, you'll be just over halfway done with the book.

I feel I should warn you though: Please don't expect the twist to be overly shocking, twisted or scandalous. I did have that expectation, merely because the topic was built up so much and was cleverly avoided. It kept me turning the page in anticipation, only to feel anti-climactic.

That's ok, all is forgiven because the writing is superb. Liane Moriarty is quite skillful at weaving deep epiphanies, innermost feelings, etc. into her books, and yet you won't get confused or lost in the shuffle. She manages to do this while fluidly whipping back and forth from past to present.

That requires great skill as a writer, and is something I personally admire, because it allows me to trust her blindly enough to sit back and soak in her story.

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