Based on the title of this book, Truly Madly Guilty, by Liane Moriarty, I was expecting something intense. I was expecting murder. Or some kind of crime. I was expecting drama and suspense, passion and accusations.
There was some of that.
The book circled around the day that some neighbors hosted a barbecue. The couple next door, Erika and Oliver, simply wanted to have their friends, Clementine and Sam, over for the afternoon. But they were roped into a barbecue with their “fabulous” next-door neighbors instead. Clementine and Sam bring their two daughters to play with Tiffany and Vid’s daughter, and the six adults drink and eat and flirt with each other.
But Erika is thrown off her game because just before the barbecue, she and her husband had asked their dear friends for their eggs so they could get pregnant. And they hadn’t exactly gotten a response.
But that’s just the day of the barbecue, leading up to some kind of anticipated catastrophe.
We know there is a catastrophe that day because the other side of the story that we are getting is several weeks after the day of the barbecue, present day. This is where we find out that Clementine has taken to doing local talks to communities about whatever happened that day. Clementine and Sam won’t speak to Vid and Tiffany anymore. Erika and Oliver are quite certain they won’t be getting Clementine’s eggs. And Clementine and Sam’s marriage is dissolving before our very eyes. All because of whatever happened on the day of the barbecue.
Cue the suspense, the intrigue, the mystery and the drama.
The author weaves her story around the event for most of the book, leaving us anxiously waiting to find out what, exactly, could have possibly taken place on that ordinary day.
However, you might be disappointed. I was. Like I said, I was expecting murder.
That’s not to say that the book wasn’t good. It was excellent! I just think it could have been more aptly titled. Truly Madly Guilty is far too deep and ominous for what the book is actually about.
But if you like Moriarty’s style of drama, and you’ve read Big Little Lies, and you like the page-turning suspense of just not knowing what happened, then you’ll love this book.