Truly, Madly, Guilty by Liane Moriarty

IF ONLY THEY’D SAID NO…

Clementine is haunted by regret. It was just a barbeque. They didn’t even know their hosts that well, they were friends of friends. They could so easily have said no.

But she and her husband Sam said yes, and now they can never change what they did and didn’t do that Sunday afternoon.

Six responsible adults. Three cute kids. One playful dog. It’s an ordinary weekend in the suburbs. What could possibly go wrong? (Pan Mcmillan)

Seriously, can this woman do anything wrong? Every Liane Moriarty book that I read just consistently reaffirms the fact that she is a truly fantastic excellent writer, with a singular talent for gripping and riveting reads.

Truly, Madly, Guilty centres around an ‘incident’ that occurred at a backyard barbecue, a few weeks prior to the present day in the book. What exactly this incident was remains a mystery for most of the book, although we are led down a number of garden paths as to what it could have been. Moriarty is adept at knowing what morsels of information to drop and what should be withheld; she is so skilful in her deception that I had absolutely no idea what went on, although I had plenty of theories.

You might think that being led on a merry dance by the author would be annoying, but it was quite the opposite. The present day narrative was so engaging, that although you are desperate to know what happened, you are also just as interested in learning about the fallout. The time shifts between the present day and the ‘day of the barbecue’ are seamless and don’t detract from the narrative flow at all.

One of the most interesting things about this book for me was that I didn’t feel much sympathy for either of the central characters, but they felt real in all of their flaws, and Moriarty created an eclectic and interesting bunch of supporting characters that fed the story beautifully.

Truly, Madly, Guilty was everything I could hope for from a Liane Moriarty novel – long may she keep writing! Nine out of ten whisks.

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