Truly Madly Guilty by Liane Moriarty
This may be one of the lowest ratings I have given a novel on this blog. I have really enjoyed Liane’s previous novels, but this one just didn’t do it for me.
The story follows several couples: Erica and Oliver, their neighbors Tiffany and Vic, and Erica’s childhood best friend Clementine and her husband Sam.
We are made aware early on that the six of them were recently at a barbecue where something happened that has dramatically altered all of their lives. The plot is told through all of their view points, intertwining the day of the barbecue and the present. Now, if you have ready any of my reviews, you know I LOVE a good mystery! Especially one that will keep you on the hook forever (like “All the Missing Girls”) BUT something about this story was just too boring. I literally found myself skipping paragraphs to keep going. Once I found out what happened at the barbecue – the big mystery – I was still not impressed.
Erica has a hard time remembering what happened, she is waiting on an answer from her best friend to see if she will donate her eggs for her to have a baby, Dakota (Tiffany and Vic’s daughter) blames herself for what happened, Clementine prepares for a HUGE cello audition, and in the midst of it all their old grumpy neighbor dies in his house.
If you don’t want to know the big mystery… do not keep reading… SPOILERS AHEAD
Okay, so maybe this is a good book for parents. It’s an important lesson on what can happen in a second if you’re not watching your children properly. But maybe not being a parent – although I was instrumental in raising my little sister – just didn’t do it for me. Throughout the story Erica is plagued with guilt because she cannot remember what happened that day, although she was the first one to notice, and saved the day.
Clementine and Sam begin having problems because they struggle to not blame each other for what happened. Watching their struggle was relatively emotional, but also just didn’t feel very personal. Maybe that was the problem with the whole story. There was a lot of character development (more than needed perhaps), but it just didn’t feel personal. I felt no connection to any of the characters.