Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Truly Madly Guilty by Liane Moriarty (2016)

Hello! I am back. It's been a while - life completely sucked my will (and even ability) to write about books. I have only read about six over the last two months, which is completely out of character for me. Fear not, though - I have opinions about these six books which I am quite happy to share!

First up, a quickie review. I was quite excited to get Liane Moriarty's new book Truly Madly Guilty, as I really loved Big Little Lies. Truly Madly Guilty is the story of three couples who attend a fateful barbecue in which An Event occurs. I was really looking forward to reading this book! Unfortunately, this books sucks and it's pretty easy to identify why: bloat and consequence.

The book is told in two time frames centred around the Event, with alternating chapters set before and after. This is not an effective technique, as this book is so long that I started to get frustrated that I was reading so much about an incident without being told what the bloody incident was! The book could have lost 200 pages without them being missed and the whole story would have been more engaging (word bloat). There are about ten characters who get point-of-view chapters and involved back stories. This is too many points of view (character bloat). What's more, everyone has an issue - this book contains a hoarder, someone with OCD, alcoholics, mental illness, job insecurity, musical genius, stripping, cutting - too many issues (issue bloat). So bloated, so annoying.

While the bloat made the book frustrating to read, it could have been fixed with a decent (albeit severe) edit. The second problem is harder to fix. The truth is that the incident, the huge event that drives the plot, is just not that big a deal. Sure, there was danger, but [spoiler alert] everyone was fine! There were no ongoing consequences, so why was everyone so het up about it? Every single adult in this book massively overreacted in a way that is completely unbelievable.

So, basically, this book is not good. However, every author gets one free pass. Hopefully, she will be back to form with the next book and we can all pretend this one didn't happen.

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