Truly Madly Guilty, by Liane Moriarty
[Image courtesy of bookdepository.com]
This book totally exhausted me.
The storytelling was laborious, the characters unlikable, and the pace was painfully slow for me. Moriarty took slightly over half the book to finally reveal what happened at the barbecue. Well, I suppose one could argue that it’s to set the context and build up the suspense, but I can only say it could have been done better. Plus, I was disappointed that the “mysteries” behind the barbecue event were too easily solved – I had guessed them right after the writer finally revealed what had happened in the third quarter section of the book. I was hoping there was an unexpected twist at the end that would make me feel better about it.
This is also one of those few times that I’m not able to find a character that I like (or hate). Everybody in there seemed to have his or her burdens, problems and ghosts. Even the little kids had their own burdens and secrets. No matter that the story ended well (I hope this is not a spoiler for you). And never mind that the author might have been trying to mirror modern lives today. Perhaps she was trying too hard to give us hope while making sure the characters still looked real enough. (Okay, maybe the message about the importance of learning first aid was useful.)
I think I need a break from “reality” and a dive back into fantasy books.
VERDICT: Moriarty had written better books before, and if you happen to be going through a period with time and patience in low supply, avoid this one at all costs.
For those who want to know a little about the story line, here’s an overview from bookdepository.com:
Despite their differences, Erika and Clementine have been best friends since they were children. So when Erika needs help, Clementine should be the obvious person to turn to. Or so you’d think. For Clementine, as a mother of a two desperately trying to practise for the audition of a lifetime, the last thing she needs is Erika asking for something, again. But the barbecue should be the perfect way to forget their problems for a while. Especially when their hosts, Vid and Tiffany, are only too happy to distract them. Which is how it all spirals out of control…