Whew! I finally got through this one. I hate to say this because I’m a big fan of Liane Moriarty’s writing, but it took me quite a while to get through her newest novel, Truly Madly Guilty. If a book grabs my interest, I finish it relatively quickly. If it doesn’t, and if I don’t abandon it, I slog my way through it at a very sluggish pace. That’s what happened to me with this book.
The first sentence of the book is “This is a story that begins with a barbecue.” Now, the hardcover copy of this book is 432 pages long. For at least half of this book, the reader is left wondering what actually happened at the barbecue that could have affected the main characters in this book so deeply. Clementine and Erika have been friends since childhood. Clementine is married to Sam and they have 2 young daughters. Erika is married to Oliver and they are a childless and extremely neat and organized couple. They invite Clementine and Sam over to their house for tea, but they all end up having an afternoon barbecue at a neighbor’s house instead. The chapters alternate between present day and the day of the barbecue, and I just felt like I was left hanging for so long about what happened at the barbecue, I started to get annoyed. There was such a long, slow build to the event, I actually felt let down by the time the event was revealed.
I think the best way to enjoy this book is to try not to wonder what actually happened at the barbecue and just focus on the themes Moriarty tries to develop in the story: marriage, friendship and parenthood. All in all, this book was just ok for me. I enjoyed Big Little Lies, The Husband’s Secret and What Alice Forgot so much more. Happy reading everyone!