Truly, madly, impressed!

We pick up books to read that attract our attention; and Truly Madly Guilty had been on my radar for the past few months, ever since I had seen it attract a lot of attentions from the reader fraternity. Of course, the author, Liane Moriarty, is already well-known to most of us because of The Husband’s Secret and What Alice Forgot, among others. And so I was looking forward to reading this latest one by an author who I believe has a remarkable gift to weave stories around the most common, everyday people and circumstances; and turn them into something really special and memorable!  

This is a story revolving around something that happens at a certain social event where six people are present and something goes terribly wrong; so wrong, that none of the six people can find closure for a long time after the event (hence the title Truly Madly Guilty). However, if you start reading looking straightaway to get to this super-secret event, you are in for a bit of a disappointment as the first few chapters merely allude to it in cryptic terms. In fact, for me it was so vexing, I almost decided to give up on the book; but that was when the book suddenly picked up pace and then it got so interesting; it kept me hooked right through to the end!

Now, a book is only as good for the reader as much as it makes them think about things and gives them a significant takeaway; and I am happy to say, Truly Madly Guilty more than delivers on these counts. Taking six ordinary people from everyday life, the author has woven a story that makes us stop and take a moment from our busy lives to think, really think about our life, our blessings, our motivations and our feelings for people around us – our friends and family – and eventually has us feel immense gratitude for the life we lead and the choices we make. The thing about this story is, technically, nothing is really different after the said incident from how things were before the incident; but in reality, everything is!

Written in a very simple language, the story is easy to follow; and once the book picks up (sorry, the initial slow pace is something I just cannot get over, so bear with me); so once the pace actually picks up, you find a lot of answers to the questions you have been asking right from the beginning; giving rise to a lot of “ah!” moments that keep you engaged and going forward.

And the best part, the story has a very strong message – two, in fact! The first being a very sound message that we make connections all our lives – friendships, marriage, neighbours, acquaintances – and we learn to live with them. Of course, we all have different motivations for and different expectations from each of these connections; and of course, not all our motivations are pure and neither are all our expectations met. But the beauty of life is, it doesn’t matter! It doesn’t matter, because life is not only about give and take; it is about being true to oneself and one’s relationships; and being grateful for what you have!

The other big takeaway is a big message to parents; that there is no right or wrong way of “parenting;” that two different people are bound to have very different styles of parenting; why, even the parents and the grandparents’ style of parenting is very, very different – but just because someone else has a different way of raising a child, it doesn’t make them wrong. And that as parents, one is bound to make mistakes, but the right thing to do is not berate oneself about it; but acknowledge your mistake and move on. And the more a parent believes and understands this, the better it is for the sake of the family.

So yes, despite a slow start and almost making me give it up, Truly Madly Guilty actually impressed me. In fact, I would go a step further and say, it impressed me more than even The Husband’s Secret; and that is saying something! So that’s my verdict – if you are looking for a good story with a bit of intrigue and likeable characters, you should surely give Truly Madly Guilty a definite try!    


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