Audiobook: Truly Madly Guilty by Liane Moriarty, narrated by Caroline Lee

Truly Madly Guilty
Liane Moriarty

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

23 thoughts on “Audiobook: Truly Madly Guilty by Liane Moriarty, narrated by Caroline Lee

  1. Sounds very much like her book Big Little Lies. Same slow unveiling of the big event.

    I listen to audiobooks on my long drives to New Hampshire. They’re a lifesaver.

  2. I am really starting to enjoy audiobooks. Nothing will replace reading for me, but I’m enjoying having the option. I have a lot of trouble sleeping and often I will read or do something on the computer. I’m finding that if I relax in bed or somewhere with an audiobook I’m at least resting my eyes. I do fall asleep sometimes which is OK I just have to figure out where I left off …haha. I actually have this book lined up on audio. I’m looking forward to it now.
    Great post!

  3. I’ve always been wary of audio books as I love reading so much … your positive experience of it is definitely reassuring. I might give it a go on longer trips and this sounds like a great book to start with.

    1. Hi Annika, yes I have been wary of audiobooks too because it sort of seemed like cheating to me. Plus I love to read. But I think it was a nice way to hear a story while driving and walking about, time I might have spent doing nothing else. I try to avoid multi-tasking though, because sometimes you should just do one thing and concentrate on that! Thanks for stopping by!

    1. Yes, I was worried my mind would wander. I did try listening while stretched out on our couch and slept through 3 chapters, but I was really tired and rewound to where I’d left off and listened to the rest while walking around! Thanks for stopping by – hope you are doing well!

  4. I love audiobooks, been listening to them for years. A good narrator can really bring a book to life in a way you don’t always get when reading.

  5. Great post. I haven’t listened to one, yet, but I want to give it a try. My problem is not having any headphones or device other than my computer and phone to do it… I think it’s good to alternate formats to keep the interest, so I will make this happen in 2018.

    1. Hi Jay – thanks for reading and commenting. If you have a library card you can borrow audiobooks and download them on your phone. I listened to half of it on my phone and some of it with just the phone speaker playing while I was in the room. I was surprised at how easy it was and how I was able to concentrate!

  6. This is one Liane Moriarty book I haven’t read. Love everything she writes. I do listen to audiobooks on long rides – and can really get into them. But I have to do it when I am by myself – Hubs doesn’t like them!

    1. This is my second one by Moriarty (also read What Alice Forgot) – I enjoyed them both. I got Truly Madly Guilty on CD from the library and listened on my way to pick up my son at college. I played some of it on the way back with my son in the car and it worked, but later I downloaded it to my phone and listened to the rest at home. I’m not sure my whole family would want to hear! Thanks for stopping by, Noelle.

  7. I also recently listened to my first fiction audiobook. I thought I would struggle more with it, but I ended up really enjoying the story. I almost felt like I was reading. 🙂

    1. Hi Krystal – thanks for the visit – I had the same experience. I worried that my attention span would get me in trouble, but it was a lot easier to listen than I thought. I think having a good narrator is important. Before I listened to Truly Madly Guilty, I tried a different book, but I didn’t like it at all and found it hard to follow. That one used different narrators for each character and I found it confusing. Sounds strange I guess! Happy reading and listening!

  8. I love audiobooks! I read one a week, as I also read on my kindle and paperbacks. I love the freedom it gives me to do other manual things like cooking or tidying up and it gives my eyes a rest too! I’ve been meaning to write a post about it. I’ll be doing that soon:)

    1. Yes, I felt very productive around the house while I listened. Listening to a story while I was doing the manual work was somehow more motivating than just listening to music. Thanks for reading and commenting!

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