By: Liane Moriarty
Published Year: 2016
Publisher: Flatiron Books
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Summary (Provided by Goodreads): 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?
Yay! Another book by Liane Moriarty! I have enjoyed the other three books of hers that I have read and every time I pick one up I find that I can’t put it down. I was really excited that she had a new one coming out and couldn’t wait to read it. I will admit that he cover of this one is the least exciting of the other ones. I think I still prefer, and would be drawn to first, the Big Little Lies cover.
What I thought
Liane Moriarty’s books are a little formulaic, but not in a bad way. They all start at the end of some big tragic event and then work backwards with flashbacks. Yet it always works! This set up makes these stories un-put-downable.
In Truly, Madly, Guilty, some event occurred at a barbecue a bunch of weeks back that changed everyone’s lives. Clementine and Erika have been “friends” since childhood. Their relationship is and always has been complicated. The day of the barbecue, Clementine and her husband Sam were supposed to go to afternoon tea at Erika and her husband Oliver’s house with their little girls. However, Erika and Oliver’s neighbors Vid and Tiffany invited them to an impromptu barbecue that morning, so the plans changed. Clementine, Sam, Erika, and Oliver don’t know Vid and Tiffany well, but they go and decide to have a good time.
In present day, Clementine and Sam are having marital problems, Erika is struggling with her mother, and Vid and Tiffany are having difficulties with their daughter Dakota.
Clementine and Erika’s friendship is completely different from anything else that I’ve read. Clementine’s mother encouraged/forced Clementine to become friends with Erika when they were kids. Because of that, even though she hasn’t loved the friendship, she feels obligated to continue being friends with Erika. Their friendship is definitely a love/hate relationship with some deep seeded issues.
I also didn’t really like Clementine. I don’t know if I was necessarily supposed to, but I found her to be a bit pretentious and annoying. I actually found myself liking Erika a little bit more, which, I don’t know that what says about me. I think I appreciated that she is a very black and white personality, so she pretty much said exactly what she felt which was refreshing.
Unlike Moriarty’s other books, I was able to predict what the big event was. I don’t know if that’s because this is now her 4th book that I have read, or if it just wasn’t as creative as some of the other ones. I still found myself unable to put this book down (finished in just over 24 hours) wanting to know if what I though was going to happen would happen and how exactly things went down.
I think the greatest part of this book wasn’t the mystery, but the relationships between all of the characters. There are so many layers to each relationship and so many issues that I haven’t seen dealt with before. I truly enjoyed reading every characters’ perspective as they were so completely different and gave the reader insight to so many different things.
By: Liane Moriarty