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4.07.2017

Book Report - Truly Madly Guilty

Leading up to Big Little Lies on HBO (see here - did you watch?), I wanted to read more Liane Moriarty. I had enjoyed reading Big Little Lies a lot (see here), and was curious if any of her other works were as good.
Erika and Clementine have been friends since childhood, although for Clementine it's become more of an obligatory friendship than a true one. Erika and her husband Oliver have invited Clementine, her husband Sam, and their two little girls over to dinner to ask something very important of them. When Erika's neighbors, Vid and Tiffani, spontaneously invite everyone over for an impromptu backyard barbecue; the night doesn't go as planned, and instead becomes one they all wish had never even happened.

I tell ya, Liane Moriarty can build suspense like no one I've read in ages. This book will have you shouting at the rafters, "OMG, WHAT THE HECK HAPPENED AT THE BARBECUE?!?!"

It was insane! Literally, every other chapter focused on one of the characters and the aftermath of the barbecue, and each would end with these great tension building sentences. For example...

"In fact, she knew exactly when she'd seen Harry last. It was the morning of the barbecue. That goddamned nightmare of a barbecue she'd never wanted to host in the first place."

Then, the next chapter would flashback to the day of the barbecue and she'd give you just a little taste of the story she's now made you crave, but won't yet give you the whole pie.

I couldn't flip the pages fast enough, and it was both infuriating and lots of fun too.

The only problem with a slow build like that, is that the payoff needs to be really worth it. When the events of the barbecue are finally revealed, my reaction was more, "eh - I guess so." It wasn't nearly as exciting to read after that point.

I did still really enjoy the book. Her niche seems to be finding the extreme drama of the everyday, and it's addicting. Big Little Lies was a stronger book than Truly Madly Guilty, but both are great distractions from the real world. You'll be thanking your lucky stars your everyday life is nothing like those of her characters.

What are you reading these days? I have some friends who read Liane Moriarty too, and they both recommended Three Wishes as being their favorite of hers.

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