Synopsis: 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? In Truly Madly Guilty, Liane Moriarty takes on the foundations of our lives: marriage, sex, parenthood, and friendship. She shows how guilt can expose the fault lines in the most seemingly strong relationships, how what we don’t say can be more powerful than what we do, and how sometimes it is the most innocent of moments that can do the greatest harm.
My Review: 3.5 Stars
Liane Moriarty is one of my favorite authors due to her unique stories and relatable characters. However, her latest book, Truly Madly Guilty, is one of my least favorites. It wasn’t until about halfway through the book the story drew me in which is also about the time the tragedy was revealed. I then became a bit depressed in thinking how this tragic event could happen to any of us when least expected.
I was intrigued by two relationships:
1) Erika and Clementine – long time friends but not mutually valued. It made me think about the impact of a parent’s opinion on a child’s relationship. Is this a good thing or bad thing? For Erika, it got her through childhood. Clementine, on the other hand, resented her mother for pushing her into the friendship. In the end, their friendship was a necessary part of their life journey and it became significant to both.
2) Clementine and Sam – spouses struggling with their marriage after a tragic event. It made me think about the importance of communication in a marriage but also how it’s natural for one of the spouses to shut down. This is a very realistic occurrence and shows how easily divorces can happen from single events.
My favorite quotes:
“It was interesting that fury and fear could look so much the same.”
“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. Everything around you still smells and looks and feels exactly the same.
“Everybody wants the babies…The cute little babies. But what they really need is foster parents for the older kids. The angry ones. The broken ones.”
Though not my favorite of Moriarty’s, Truly Madly Guilty should be read due to the life lesson involved. I highly recommend Liane Moriarty’s books, What Alice Forgot and Big Little Lies.