Truly Madly Guilty
read by Caroline Lee
Everything changes for three couples and their families the day a simple backyard barbecue goes wrong. And the wrong thing that happens hits them hard with feelings of guilt and regret. What happened and what is the backstory? That’s the basis of Truly Madly Guilty by Liane Moriarty, a modern story set in suburban Sydney, Australia.
Vid and Tiffany are the outgoing neighbors who want to enjoy themselves. Erika and Oliver conduct themselves carefully and deliberately. Sam and Clementine are deep into balancing life with careers and two little girls. The common link is the complicated friendship between Erika and Clementine, built on decades of resentment and shame.
The story begins sometime after the barbecue and hints at how the group is coping. Moriarty slowly reveals, through alternating chapters of before and after, just what happened at the barbecue and mixes in the many relationship difficulties between the married couples. Difficulties like love and marriage and sex and careers, becoming adults and raising children. Additional themes include money and class, being charitable and accepting help, family obligations and the big one, guilt.
Everything that could be ignored before the barbecue now demands their acknowledgement and work. Moriarty’s characters are good people under it all and the question is if and how they will pull themselves up. Despite the events, the story ends on a hopeful note, with some realistic loose ends. Special praise goes to the narrator, Caroline Lee, whose terrific character sense and range add a bonus dimension to the story. At seventeen hours, it’s a long but entertaining listen. I recommend Truly Madly Guilty to listeners (and readers) who like stories about relationships and modern problems.
Note: This is my first audiobook experience. I was not sure how I would feel about listening to a book because I wondered if I would be able to keep the characters and plot straight. No problems! I listened to half of it in my car last Friday during a long ride in a crazy wind storm and finished up yesterday as I took a walk and worked around my house. I still prefer reading, but think I will enjoy mixing it up a bit with an audiobook.
How do you feel about audiobooks? What do you do while you listen?
Thanks for visiting – come back soon!
If you like stories about marriage and family, check out:
What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty