Book Review: Truly, Madly, Guilty by Liane Moriarty

Before I started writing a review for this hugely enjoyable and thought-provoking book I thought I ought to get the Wiki definition of Chick Lit. The reason for doing this is that both the cover and the title would suggest that this is an easy reading, sexy romp in the sunshine. The quote ‘never judge a book by it’s cover’ has never been truer. Maybe the cover choice is intended to pull in those ladies who like the true definition (see below) but I feel it may exclude those ladies who want something a bit more thought provoking if not over-challenging! Maybe I’m kidding myself that it isn’t chick lit. However, here goes…. 

Chick lit or chick literature is genre fiction, which “consists of heroine-centred narratives that focus on the trials and tribulations of their individual protagonists”. The genre often addresses issues of modern womanhood – from romantic relationships to female friendships to matters in the workplace – in humorous and light-hearted ways.

Liane Moriarty is an Australian author with a few ‘blinders’ under her belt. Some of her previous novels have included The Hypnotist’s Love Story, What Alice Forgot, The Last Anniversary and Three Wishes. The Hypnotist’s Love Story was the first book of Liane’s I read and it remains with me still. Big Little Lies was adapted for TV (HBO) with Nicole Kidman and Reese Witherspoon.

Truly Madly Guilty is focussed on the event at an Australian BBQ. We don’t find out what the event is until much later in the book and the anticipation for the reader to discover the nature of this event is tantalising. The author has divided the book into 89 chapters which are split into ‘The Day of the BBQ’ and interspersed with chapters which allow us to see inside the lives of these characters before and after ‘the event’. It cleverly and sensitively handles the delicate relationships, their diversity and their commonalities and enables the reader to emphasise with each person involved. With some very funny moments and some poignant ones too, it is a book which simply makes me want to read more of Liane’s work.   And yes, it would be a good holiday read!

Truly, Madly, Guilty can be bought at Hungerford Bookshop

Hilary Stockwell


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