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Truly Madly Guilty’s Back-of-Book Description

Six responsible adults. Three cute kids. One small dog. It’s just a normal weekend. What could possibly go wrong?


In Truly Madly Guilty, Liane Moriarty turns her unique, razor-sharp eye towards three seemingly happy families.


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 Thoughts

So I came across Liane Moriarty a year or so ago and proceeded to read all three of her books that were out at the time (you may have read my earlier review of Big Little Lies).

I loved her writing and the fact that she’s Australian, so when I found myself with a Barnes & Noble gift card (thanks, Janice!) I searched her name first to see what she had that was new.

Compared to Moriarty’s other books (that I loved), Truly Madly Guilty did not disappoint. I liked the way she introduced all the characters. And the way she set up three very different relationships and three immensely different women was really incredible.

I personally think that every reader will find themselves relating to at least some aspect of each individual character, or their respective relationship.

For example, I really liked Clementine and Tiffany at the beginning, but as the story went on, I found I really understood Erika as well. I liked how introspective she was and how she was able to analyze herself and most situations.

Also, the author takes each chapter as an opportunity to tell a bit of the story from another person’s perspective. This really helps to add an interesting dynamic to the group as a whole. It also allowed the reader to really get to know the characters on a deeper, more engaging way and I think that’s really important in a novel.

Most importantly, she addresses a common fear in the parenting world – I won’t spoil anything but trust me when I say it is a real fear that people have and it’s unfortunately something that happens too often. The majority of the story then, is about the way it affects all of those involved and how they begin to move on from it.

On top of all of that, I thought it was really cool that the author used the setting and climate as its own sort of character; it has been raining since the barbecue and the persistent sound and wetness has a real effect on the mood and actions of all the characters. I thought that was really cool.

All other aspects of her writing were great, too. She has a real knack for putting thoughts into words in a way that really resonates with me.

Favorite Quotes From Truly Madly Guilty

“Everyone had another sort of life up their sleeve that might have made them happy.”


“It was interesting that fury and fear could look so much the same.”


“She’d always suspected this about herself, that right at the center of her soul was a small unbreakable stone, a cold, hard instinct for self-preservation.”


“…but he longed for something, and it felt like she was the only one who could give it to him.”


“No one warned you that having children reduced you right down to some smaller, rudimentary, primitive version of yourself, where your talents and your education and your achievements meant nothing.”

In Conclusion

Overall I would give Truly Madly Guilty 4 out of 5 stars. The story was well written and engaging. The characters were well developed and relatable. The only drawback for some readers might be that they find the premise hard to believe, or that the particular incident would effect everyone in the at it did.

Either way, it’s a good story and I think most people would really enjoy it – especially woman.


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