Truly Madly Guilty by Liane Moriarty
Genre: Fiction, Contemporary
Published: 20 July 2016
Rating: ★★★☆☆ (3.5)
So I never thought this would happen. That I would give a Liane Moriarty book anything but 5 stars.
I am a loyal fan of hers, but I also remain objective, and objectively this book is just not 5 star worthy. Heck, it’s not even 4 star worthy. *cries*.
As much as I wanted to continue my 5 star handouts to Liane (which I’ve done for every single one of her other 6 novels) I just could not do it for this book.
This book was truly, madly, infuriating.
Infuriating in the sense that I kept screaming ” Just get to the POINT! Just tell me what happened at the damn barbeque!” And no, this wasn’t in-my-head-screaming, this was real-life-screaming, out loud to family, friends, random strangers at the shops, and basically anyone that would listen.
Seriously, I got to chapter 13 and she was still being coy about the supposedly big, huge, event that happened at the barbeque.
I have read every single one of Liane’s books to date (*crazy fan girl alert*) and yes, this is her style to an extent – she builds up the suspense and the mystery and you just can’t put it down until you know what happened. But until this book she didn’t do it in an infuriating way. It was more of a subtle suspense build up where you know something big is coming but you’re not sure what and you want to keep reading to find out.
But you don’t get that here. In this book I seriously considered just googling what happened at the barbeque (I restrained myself – FYI).
And then I found out.
And then I was so sorely disappointed.
Is that all? Seriously!?
WAY too much build up and exaggeration over the ‘incident’.
God, just writing about it infuriates me.
And it infuriates me that I’m infuriated.
Liane’s standards are set so high that it’s almost unfair to expect perfection from her time and time again. Surely she’s allowed to write books that I don’t take a fancy to (there appear to be tons of Goodreads readers that loooooved the book *ugh*). I know it’s unfair for me to judge so harshly but I just can’t help it.
It’s not like the book was poorly written (I don’t even think Liane Moriary is capable of that *the fan-girl come out again*), but it just wasn’t that exciting.
Her previous books had twists, and turns, and gentle build up that simmered away until it reached boiling point and spilled over. This book started at the boiling point, gave us no simmer and just boiled and boiled away for what seemed like eternity until it spilled over.
If you’ve ready any of Liane’s books you’ll know she likes to write about ordinary people while exploring sensitive topics (think stalking, infertility, cheating, domestic abuse etc). It seems like she attempted the same with this book, except that it just didn’t feel natural.
It felt forced.
I have a feeling she came up with the barbeque premise “It was an ordinary backyard barbeque – what could possibly go wrong?” and then tried to work back from that to something really dramatic. Except that it wasn’t dramatic, and it didn’t feel genuine and that the climax was a huge anti-climax.