Book Review: Truly Madly Guilty by Liane Moriarty

Truly Madly Guilty by Liane Moriarty

 

Summary

IF ONLY THEY’D SAID NO…

What if they hadn’t gone? That’s the question Clementine can’t stop asking herself. It was just a backyard barbeque. They didn’t know their hosts that well. They were friends of friends. They could so easily have said no.

But she and her husband Sam said yes, and now they can never change what they did and didn’t do that beautiful winter’s day.

Six responsible adults. Three cute kids. One yapping dog. It’s a normal weekend in the suburbs. What could possibly go wrong?

Once again Liane Moriarty uses her unique, razor-sharp observational skills to sift through the emerging fault lines of seemingly happy families.

It was just an ordinary Sunday afternoon…

Comments

This was a good holiday read for our group.  However, while this was an eagerly anticipated read for us having read a few books by this author, we felt that this was not one of her better ones.  We found it a little too hard to follow.  The writer built the suspense well, but between flipping between 3 different points of view and also between the past and present day, made it at times, too complex.  Some of our readers found it hard to sympathise with the main characters and found some sections a little over detailed.
Overall though, as a group, we still found this book an enjoyable read, and we definitely recommend it.

Rating – 7/10          
Read by – Culcha Club

 

Book Club Wrap Up – June 2016

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Our Book Club’s love to read! Take a look at what they read in June.

 

First Wednesday Book Club

Book ReadThe Orphan Master’s Son by Adam Johnson

Abstract

Pak Jun Do is the haunted son of a lost mother—a singer “stolen” to Pyongyang—and an influential father who runs Long Tomorrows, a work camp for orphans. There the boy is given his first taste of power, picking which orphans eat first and which will be lent out for manual labor. Recognized for his loyalty and keen instincts, Jun Do comes to the attention of superiors in the state, rises in the ranks, and starts on a road from which there will be no return.

Comments

Thought the novel was about the search for identity. Various characters found their identity as the story progressed, e.g. Comrade Buc being able to speak by the end of the book. Many didn’t have their own names but an assumed identity. Pah Jun Do assumes the identity of Comrade Ya. The characters inner self initially hidden but each found their identity. Enjoyed reading the novel and wanted to know what happened to the characters.

In two minds about the book! Is it American propaganda or is the life in North Korea not as ideal as painted in the book. Needed to skim sections; e.g. loud speaker speech.

Found it exhausting to read. Difficult to engage with characters. It needs to be read in short time frame to follow the change in time and characters. “The story is more important than the person”, is the crux of the story; the person must change.

Found it very bleak as there is no way of finding out the truth. Life so very hard and bleak, with education and freedom not available to people.

Didn’t enjoy reading the novel at all!

Didn’t enjoy it! Even though I thought I was very interested in North Korea. Would prefer a factual account of North Korea rather than a satirical account, such as this novel.

 

Second Tuesday Evening Book Club

Book ReadLife after Life by Kate Atkinson

Abstract

What if there were second chances? And third chances? In fact an infinite number of chances to live your life? Would you eventually be able to save the world from its own inevitable destiny? And would you even want to?

Life After Life follows Ursula Todd as she lives through the turbulent events of the last century again and again. With wit and compassion, Kate Atkinson finds warmth even in life’s bleakest moments, and shows an extraordinary ability to evoke the past. Here she is at her most profound and inventive, in a novel that celebrates the best and worst of ourselves.

Comments

Overall, book was good but there were parts in the middle where the story seemed to stop following the pattern.

All agreed it was very well written and found it interesting, how small events may change the lives of one or many; plus therefore history.

Great concept and well done, but could be complex in parts.

Good overview of social and moral values at the times.

Recommend ‘A God in Ruins’ if you enjoyed this book; it follows through one of the characters in this book, Teddy.

Thought the theme was being “beaten into me”!

 

The Last Thursday Book Group

Book ReadThe husband’s Secret by Liane Moriarty

Abstract

At the heart of The Husband’s Secret is a letter that is not meant to be read…

My darling Cecilia,
If you’re reading this, then I’ve died…

Imagine your husband wrote you a letter, to be opened after his death. Imagine, too, that the letter contains his deepest, darkest secret—something with the potential to destroy not only the life you have built together, but the lives of others as well. And then imagine that you stumble across that letter while your husband is still very much alive…

Cecilia Fitzpatrick has achieved it all—she’s an incredibly successful businesswoman, a pillar of her small community, a devoted wife and mother. Her life is as orderly and spotless as her home. But that letter is about to change everything—and not just for her. There are other women who barely know Cecilia—or each other—but they, too, are about to feel the earth-shattering repercussions of her husband’s secret.

Comments

Really well written and loved the way all the characters intertwined and created a plot that was very exciting, maintaining interest throughout.

Qualities of each character showed different traits.

Kept reflecting and changing opinion of the characters.

Author displayed a good understanding of people.

Big Little Lies

big little lies

Big Little Lies Liane Moriarty

Summary

Pirriwee Publics annual school Trivia Night has ended in a shocking riot. One parent is dead. The school principal is horrified. As police investigate what appears to have been a tragic accident, signs begin to indicate that this devastating death might have been cold-blooded murder. This book deftly explores the reality of parenting and playground politics, ex-husbands and ex-wives, and fractured families. This book also shows us the truth about what really goes on behind closed suburban doors.

Comments

A hugely enjoyable and easy read. The characters are well developed, believable and likeable. Although it was an easy read, it showcased some serious and confronting issues. It reminded us that although we all appear fine on the surface, a number of us are secretly fighting our own battles. The book also demonstrated the playground politics often found in schools and we all admitted to comparing the characters to some of the parents at our schools! The book at times felt like a screenplay and we questioned whether that was necessary. There is a great, unexpected twist at the end which had us all talking. Overall a fantastic book and a must read for kindergarten parents!

Rating – an impressive 9.5/10

Read By Cultcha Club

Big Little Lies

big little lies

Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty

Published – July 2014

Book Summary

Pirriwee Publics annual school Trivia Night has ended in a shocking riot. One parent is dead. The school principal is horrified. As police investigate what appears to have been a tragic accident, signs begin to indicate that this devastating death might have been cold-blooded murder. This book deftly explores the reality of parenting and playground politics, ex-husbands and ex-wives, and fractured families. This book also shows us the truth about what really goes on behind closed suburban doors.

Comments

Well, where do I start? Liane Moriarty is one of my favourite writers and ‘Big Little Lies’ is one of the books I have been waiting for this year.

I had to get my copy on the day it went on sale, I was just a little excited. Now I have finished and it was absolutely GREAT. I loved it from the first page to the last.

I found all the characters in the book really likeable ( except for the ones you are meant to dislike); everyone’s story fitted so well together. I couldn’t wait to see how the book wrapped up and it didn’t disappoint.

One of the reasons I think I enjoy Liane’s books so much is because she always finishes a great story with a satisfying ending.

A MUST READ. I know this will be one of my favourites for the year.

Jody 

Staff Pick

What Alice ForgotWell the first book I read for 2014 was another Liane Moriarty book called ‘What Alice Forgot’ and it was great.

 

Book Summary Alice is twenty-nine. She is whimsical, optimistic and adores sleep, chocolate, her ramshackle new house and her wonderful husband Nick. What’s more, she’s looking forward to the birth of the ‘Sultana’ – her first baby.

But now Alice has slipped and hit her head in her step-aerobics class and everyone’s telling her she’s misplaced the last ten years of her life.

In fact, it would seem that Alice is actually thirty-nine and now she loves schedules, expensive lingerie, caffeine and manicures. She has three children and the honeymoon is well and truly over for her and Nick. In fact, he looks at her like she’s his worst enemy. What’s more, her beloved sister Elisabeth isn’t speaking to her either. And who is this ‘Gina’ everyone is so carefully trying not to mention?

Alice isn’t sure that she likes life ten years on. Every photo is another memory she doesn’t have and nothing makes sense. Just how much can happen in a decade? Has she really lost her lovely husband forever? Continue reading