Book Review: Truly Madly Guilty by Liane Moriarty

POPSUGAR Reading Challenge Prompt: A book from a celebrity book club (Reese Witherspoon's book club) Brief synopsis : E...

POPSUGAR Reading Challenge Prompt: A book from a celebrity book club (Reese Witherspoon's book club)

Brief synopsis: Erika and Clementine are the kind of friends that grew up attached at the hip, but are now closer to be frenemies than friends. To make matters worse, when they both attend a small backyard barbecue together where something unspeakable happens, it pushes them further apart. Not to mention the question lingering between the two of them. Will things ever be the same again?

After reading Big Little Lies a couple of years ago, I knew I would love to read more from Liane Moriarty. She gives such a satisfying mix of mystery, drama, and shock to keep you so pulled in - it's so hard to pull away from one of her novels. Truly Madly Guilty was definitely in the same ballpark and did not disappoint. This is only the second novel I've read of hers, but I am so intrigued to read even more.

I was nervous once I'd started reading, and honestly had put off this book for a while, because I'd heard/seen some reviews accusing the book of being frustrating and slow, with several reviews stating you needed tons of patience to read the book. And yes, okay, it gets you itching to know more, but for me, that was part of the appeal. It's basically a murder mystery (but, well, is there actually even a murder?).

I will say the first couple of chapters were a bit slow, but I pushed past that because (a) I had read those accusing reviews, and (b) I may have had a book hangover from my last book. But there was a point in the book where it got to the point where I just needed to know more and I couldn't stop reading.

The premise of the book is there was a barbecue a few months back where something terrible happened. Something bad enough that one of the main characters, Erika, has actually repressed it from her memory. What actually happened isn't revealed until the last third of the book, but then there are even more twists and turns from that point on. Also included is some pretty thorough character development among several of the main characters.

I think the biggest challenge with this book is there are about eight different characters of which have their own chapters/perspectives throughout the book, as well as two different time periods (the day of the barbecue and two months later), so trying to keep it all straight as I was reading got a bit confusing at points. Sometimes I would get some of the characters mixed up and kind of get myself in the right headspace to know who's perspective I was reading at the moment.

Something I love about Moriarty's books (out of the two I've read) is that the chapters are short, so I am able to find stopping points fairly easy if I need to. I also love how she really leads up to the event, so it's really a tricky guessing game throughout the book, which just serves to pull me in further.

Truly Madly Guilty is a book about parenthood, relationships and guilt (obviously) and the affects of guilt on those relationships. I really enjoyed this book (though I don't think as much as I did BLL), and the twists were just twisty enough.

I received this book in exchange for an honest review. As always, all opinions are 100% my own. 

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  1. Another one that has been on my list forever. Wish I could lock myself in a cave and just read for days on end hahahha. This sounds really good!

    1. Yeah! I've owned it for a while, and just got around to reading it, so I definitely understand. My TBR is always growing, and I would love to just read all day long!