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  • Writer's pictureLilac Mills

Truly Madly Guilty by Liane Moriarty


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


Guilt is the word of note here. Guilt runs through every character in this memorable novel, like a Victoria sponge soaked in Madeira. The cake is the here and now, the present day, with the many layers of jam running through it representing the ‘day of the barbecue’. Add to that the icing of the more distant past which colours and flavours all the adult characters to a greater or lesser degree and you have a magnificent cake indeed!

The author was so dexterous in her handling of the main reveal, and the smaller but no less significant twists which come later from nearly every single character, she had me up in the middle of the night, desperate to finish the book. Each character was skilfully written and fabulously rounded, believable and unique, and so very compelling. The twists weren’t what I was expecting at all, and were very cleverly thought out.

As you can tell, I enjoyed this book immensely and the quality of writing was outstanding.

About the Author

Liane Moriarty is the Australian author of six internationally best-selling novels, Three Wishes, The Last Anniversary, What Alice Forgot, The Hypnotist's Love Story and the number 1 New York Times bestsellers, The Husband's Secret and Big Little Lies. Her breakout novel The Husband's Secret sold over three million copies worldwide, was a number 1 UK bestseller, an Amazon Best Book of 2013 and has been translated into over 40 languages. It spent over a year on the New York Times bestseller list. CBS Films has acquired the film rights. With the launch of Big Little Lies, Liane became the first Australian author to have a novel debut at number one on the New York Times bestseller list. An HBO series based on Big Little Lies is currently in production, starring Nicole Kidman and Reese Witherspoon. Writing as L.M. Moriarty, Liane has also written a children's book series, The Petrifying Problem with Princess Petronella, The Shocking Trouble on the Planet of Shobble and The Wicked War on the Planet of Whimsy. Liane lives in Sydney with her husband, son and daughter.

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