Whoopdie doo time for another book review. That wasn’t as sarcastic as it sounded, I just thought I would be whimsical and start with a rhyme. You know what, let’s just forget that first sentence even happened.
Alright, so this Christmas I got an unexpected package from my aunt in Texas, which is weird because I hadn’t talked to her in a while. Inside, as you can guess, was a book. My aunt has a long history of loving Liane Moriarty, who has the best last name for an author ever.
Anyway, so my aunt loves her work and tried relentlessly to get me to read The Husband’s Secret, but I was in college at the time so I didn’t have time to read anything that wasn’t William Faulkner. That was actually pretty enjoyable, but I digress.
So here we are, Christmas 2016, and my aunt finally gets a Liane Moriarty book in my hands. If someone gets me a book as a gift I make damn sure I read it.
So I did. And I was pleasantly surprised. You probably haven’t figured this out yet because I haven’t been blogging long, but I am not a real fan of mystery/suspense type novels. I don’t read them because they often feel very trite. I don’t have time for that, there are way too many crazy mind bending roller coasters to read and I’ll never get around to reading all of those.
This one was almost formulaic and boring, but the author saved it with her narrative and organizational style. First, a lot of suspense novels are extremely plot driven. 10 cent characters, lots of explosions, you know the kind of thing I’m talking about. It’s all a show but there’s nothing really there behind the smoke. Moriarty is actually very good at character development. Her characters and their stories like… made me feel feelings. I really enjoyed getting to know them more. I think a lot of modern writers can look at this book as a example of very solid character development.
I really enjoyed the organization of this book, which allowed for a lot of exposition without burdening the reader. The story bounces back and forth between the day of some big event (read the book) and the present. We learn more about the day of the event little by little, eventually leading right up to what happens, then it continues to shift back and forth to examine the after math of the event. It has a very typical story structure with a more unusual narrative.
The ending was also not what I expected. Let’s be honest, with a name like Truly Madly Guilty there’s probably:
- A child born out of wedlock
- A love triangle
- General conniving
- Any combination of the above
However, this book had none of that. In fact, I wouldn’t say that anyone is guilty at the end of the book. Sometimes shit happens, you know? So while the ending was a pleasant surprise, I mean really the title doesn’t fit the book at all.
On the hole, I enjoyed this a lot more than I thought I would. It was a nice beach read, something easily picked up and put down. It did take me ages to get through, but that isn’t the book’s fault. I dragged complete ass reading the first 150 or so pages, convinced I hated the book, then I destroyed the last 400ish pages because it was good and I loved the characters.
Would I read it again? No. But if you know someone who likes quick, gripping reads or you have a book club going and want to cater to everyone, I think this would work. I can see why my aunt likes her novels because she isn’t a huge reader but will occasionally pick something like this up. I think my mom would also like this one because it’s kind of in the Iris Johansen realm.
Well, have you read this one? What did you think?