Recommend: Yes, with restrictions
Genres: Fiction, contemporary
Add it to your TBR: Goodreads
I got to know Liane Moriarty’s work almost by accident: it was a cold week of February and I had just finished the book I was reading two days earlier than I expected and desperately needed something for the 2-hour trip that awaited me that Friday.
Truly Madly Guilty follows the main characters through flashbacks and current days’ events as it slowly starts to unfold the mystery of what went wrong on a rainy day during that ordinary barbecue on a Sunday afternoon.
I have seen very discrepant reviews on this book. Some love, others hate, but most people just agree it’s not Liane Moriarty’s best book. Personally, I loved it (as my 4-star rating makes clear). However, it is a book for the type of reader who can read an entire book because of the characters and who does not expect a thriller like Gone Girl or The Girl on the Train. It is nothing like that at all.
Moriarty brilliantly captures human nature in this book, and the characters are so realistic that their problems and flaws will resonate with yours many times. You will like this book if you are interested in reading about human relationships and enjoy realistic fiction, with some suspense added to it, but I don’t think you will like it if you read Big Little Lies and expect something similar. This book requires a little patience from the reader, but I think it is worth it. I read 30 pages and then quickly put it down, unimpressed. But after picking it up again, I read it through very quickly. The last pages sent me to bed at 1 AM while having to get up the next day to work.
I was so impressed with this book I immediately put Big Little Lies in my To-Read list, and also added The Expatriates by Janice Y. K. Lee a week later because Moriarty had praised it (I am very easily convinced to put books in my To-Read List, I must say).
Verdict: You will like this book if you enjoy reading about human relationships with a dose of suspense and are able to read a book for its characters and the writing style (like Fates and Furies by Lauren Groff). If you like a book that makes you think about your own life, but not in a self-help way, and women’s fiction in general, you will like it. If you expect it to be a domestic/psychological thriller like Gone Girl, you will be disappointed, and it’s also not too similar to Big Little Lies either.