Truly Madly Guilty by Liane Moriarty
They say patience is a virtue, and you are really put to the test with Liane Moriarty's new book titled Truly Madly Guilty. Six responsible adults, three cute kids, and one small dog are all enjoying a neighborhood barbecue. Something happens at the barbecue, but you are kept hanging until halfway through the book before you find out what it is. In my opinion - this one is truly, madly, intriguing.
The book starts out with everyone who attended the barbecue asking the same question: What if we hadn't gone? Moriarty cleverly tells the story of a barbecue gone awry and its impacts on the relationships of the party guests in her usual style of revealing tidbits of information through different times and perspectives. And the author continues to surprise us with twists and turns - right up until the very last pages. The barbecue guests include Sam and Clementine and their two adorable little girls, Holly and Ruby. Also attending are Clementine's friend since childhood Erika and her husband Oliver. The barbecue takes place next door to Erika and Oliver's house in the neighbors Vid and Tiffany's grand and glorious huge backyard. Vid and Tiffany have a 10 year old daughter, Dakota, who plays a significant role at the barbecue by playing with the Holly and Ruby throughout the day. They play games together and spend much of their time throwing a ball for Barney, the family dog. Everyone's life changes in a moment when something terrible happens. You don't see it coming and it takes you by surprise. The impact it has on everyone in attendance is tremendous. As well as the main characters, there are extended family members and neighborhood characters to add to the intrigue. There is the grumpy next door neighbor who makes appearances here and there, Erika and Clementine's mothers who could not be more opposite and have secrets of their own, and, most important, the interplay between the couples and the children. Written in short chapters, Truly Madly Guilty is an easy read and will keep you guessing all the way to the last page.
Liane Moriarty weaves an excellent story with really interesting characters and an extremely believable setting. This would be a fantastic choice for book groups, as there are multiple issues brought to light that would make for great discussion.