Book Review: Truly Madly Guilty

Truly Madly Guilty

by: Liane Moriarty

I received a free copy of this book from BookSparks as a part of their pop-up blog tour in return for an honest review. 

Publication Date: July 2017 (paperback edition)
Finished on: August 12, 2017
Publisher: Flatiron Books

"...kindness was the most important thing of all."

Six adults - 4 friends and 2 neighbors - as well as three children meet for a Sunday barbecue.  The weather, food and drinks are perfect.  What could go wrong?

"So this is how it happens, a part of her thought as she rocked and begged.  This is what it feels like.  You don't change.  There is no special protection when you cross that invisible line from your ordinary life to that parallel world where tragedies happen.  It happens just like this.  You don't become someone else.  You're still exactly the same."

Truly Madly Guilty is told with alternating narrators, switching between the day of the barbecue and two months after the barbecue.  Something happened at the barbecue to alter the course of each person's life.  Each guest questions What if we hadn't gone?

My review:
My favorite character from Truly Madly Guilty was Tiffany.  As you will learn, Tiffany has a bit of a colored past, but she owns it.  While she is now married and has a ten-year-old daughter, she is the more financially successful half of the couple and her husband frequently acknowledges it.  I loved her and Vid's relationship throughout the novel.  Further, Tiffany is not embarrassed to use her sexuality to her advantage when needed.  She seems like a legitimately nice person who truly cares about the other characters in the novel.  In comparison, the rest of the cast seemed to me to be self-indulged and a bit petty.

"Things aren't that simple," said Tiffany.
"They are if we want them to be," said Vid.

I loved the ending of Truly Madly Guilty and I loved learning more about Harry and how he tied into the entire story, but it felt a bit delayed.  By the time I got to the heavier and potentially uplifting parts of the book, I was already a bit over the story.  While some parts of the ending resonated with me, I found it to be a frustrating read overall.  I didn't dislike Truly Madly Guilty, I just would recommend her other novel, Big Little Lies, instead.  When chatting with others on instagram, they also indicated that this was likely one of their least favorite Liane Moriarty novels.

"He was a runner before running became trendy.  This body used to run.   He didn't recognize his own withered old legs anymore; looked like they belonged to someone else.  Why had no one invented a drug to stop this happening?  It couldn't be that hard.  It was because the researchers were all young and they didn't know what lay ahead.  They were oblivious!"

As evidenced by the title, guilt is a common theme amongst the characters.  Each person feels some level of guilt about what happened on the night of the barbecue.  Each character deals with their guilt in their own ways.  Some ways are healthy, while others are destructive.  

"You get professional help.  You can't change her, but you can change how you react to her."

As a reader, you won't find out what happened at the barbecue until about 2/3 of the way through the novel.  This was a problem for me.  I felt like there was a lot of whining and moping and alluding to WHAT HAPPENED at the barbecue, that when I finally found out what happened, it felt like too little and too late.

I adored Big Little Lies and so I was excited to read this title.  I'm sad to say that this wasn't a favorite of mine.  It is a LONG book (the paperback is 517 pages), but I didn't really feel like that much happened.  The characters have some interpersonal drama, but much of it is of their own making.

"First world medical care meant they wouldn't have to pay for their first-world negligence."  

Maybe the timing of my reading this novel while such sad events happen in my country made me feel like the friendship and marriage woes were a bit unimportant.  This novel is full of first-world drama and first-world problems.  Don't expect this to be heavy and full of important lessons.

Overall, I rate this 3.5/5 stars.  This is a fairly light read that is high on frivolity with a smattering of trauma and emotion added in.  

I received a free copy of this book from BookSparks as a part of their pop-up blog tour in return for an honest review.  I recommend this book for Liane Moriarty fans, although it wasn't my favorite of her novels.


  1. Thank you for the review!! Sounds like an interesting read and I can't wait to see what all the hype is about! (desertrose_89 on instagram)

  2. Amazing review!! I read What Alice Forgot by her and I'd like to read more!! (Laceyslibrary on Instagram)

  3. I liked this one, I've read all of her books. (Renwarsreads - instagram)


Post a Comment

Popular Posts