Liane Moriarty’s Big Little Lies has drawn a lot of attention on social media over the past few months, particularly as it has been adapted into a TV series starring Nicole Kidman and Reese Wetherspoon. I had been meaning to read Big Little Lies for a while but just hadn’t got round to it, so when I saw Truly Madly Guilty, Moriarty’s latest novel, I thought it was worth a shot. I have heard good things about Moriarty’s previous novels and was looking forward to an entertaining read.
Truly Madly Guilty is set in Sydney and follows the lives of two women with very different lives and an unusual friendship. Clementine is a relaxed musician with two daughters and a supportive husband. Her oldest friend, Erika is married but childless and is far more orderly and controlling. Although they have been friends for a long time, their relationship is far more complex than it first appears. I really enjoyed the contrast between the two characters although it was slightly confusing separating the two women to begin with, on paper they are very different but I felt that the tone didn’t change enough between their two narratives to make the novel as easy to read from the beginning.
The novel moves quite rapidly between different times. Before ‘The Barbecue’ and after. It is unclear throughout the first two thirds of the novel what happened at the barbecue but we can see a clear change in the characters. I really enjoyed the way the plot unravelled and the characters became more complex. I partly guessed what was going to happen, but there were still two really good twists that drove the novel forward and left it in an interesting place. I feel that the ending was heartfelt and thought-provoking.
Overall this is a very interesting, plotty read. I think the characters are well-developed and diverse and it is a really good book for presenting multiple women living different lives and behaving and reacting in very different ways to each other. The plot was really good and kept me interested and after the first few chapters I got used to the way the book moved around.
I would definitely recommend this book and I’m hoping to get a copy of Big Little Lies soon!