Book Review: ‘Truly Madly Guilty’ Loses Conviction Early On


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.

The setting for ‘Truly Madly Guilty’ is Sydney, Australia. We have six main characters and a couple of youngsters; Ruby – 2 years, Holly – 5 years and Dakota – 10 years. The central players are Sam and Clementine, Erika and Oliver, and Tiffany and Vid. One afternoon, Vid decides to have a barbecue and invites the rest of the guys over, the mix of friendships and interpersonal relationships between this group should have made for an interesting and somewhat complex afternoon but early on, you discover that something nobody wants to talk about, transpired at the barbecue and you spend over three hundred pages trying to figure out the guilt aspect of this story.

The story becomes increasingly boring and gradually I became more and more disinterested. Erica and Clementine are supposed to be lifelong friends but I could not figure out how any relationship could have survived their so-called “toxic” friendship. The complexities of the openly dishonest exchanges between all of the characters left a sour taste in my mouth.

Author Liane Moriarty is a talented writer, she paints her words with a certain panache and I give her full credit for that, it’s just the subject matter of this story was not interesting enough for the mural she wanted to paint, a cameo perhaps?

Available in book stores now


Ann McDonald

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