Liane Moriarty is the author of the international best-seller- Big Little Lies. Her book, Truly Madly Guilty, was the Goodreads Choice 2016 winner in the fiction category. She is known for life-like characters and plots that will keep you awake late at night.
I decided to read this book for multiple reasons: First, it was a constant recommendation that featured in my Pinterest feed, and second, Reese Witherspoon and Nicole Kidman signed a deal to bring this book to the “Big Screens.”
Erika and Clementine have been friends since childhood. While one of them has been fortunate enough to experience an ideal home setting; the other has grappled with having a difficult parent back home. They share a complicated friendship, and when Erika needs someone, her first choice is Clementine. However, one evening at a barbecue changes it all. Sam and Clementine learn of the actual strength of their marriage as they cope with the events. Oliver and Erika, who operate flawlessly as a team, realize that there is more to know about each other. This one is a page-turner and will leave you hungry as the plot unravels itself.
Liane’s characters are relatable and so real. How many of us have shared a complicated friendship? Socialized with people we tolerate, but don’t like. Loved and hated a friend and never understood why we didn’t cut the thread. Human relationships are complicated, and humans are more grey than just black or white. Moriarty’s book brings these facts out flawlessly.
Erika, as a character, is a strong, no-nonsense woman. She believes in perfection and rarely relaxes her guard. She has built her life (personally and professionally) piece by piece, and that is visible in her constant endeavor to protect it. Erika’s childhood holds struggle and pain in it. Liane perfectly describes it when she writes, “I’d be looking out the window, feeling so pleased with myself, so blissful, pretending Clementine and I were sisters, and that her parents were my parents.”
Clementine, on the other hand, is a musician who has had a blessed childhood. She has a husband, Sam, and two daughters, Ruby and Holly.
Clementine’s friendship with Erika may have been forced upon her, but, it did have some essence, and substance to it. The author portrays that when she mentions, “In the end she decided that her wolf tone was the price she had to pay for the sound of all those centuries of time held within the red-gold curves of her cello. Maybe Erika was her wolf tone. Maybe Clementine’s life would have lacked something subtle but essential without her in it: a certain richness, a certain depth.”
Oliver, Erika’s husband, won my heart. He is a solid foundation and remains so until the end of the book. His love for Ruby and Holly while adorable has some pain associated with it, and the author ensures that you feel that as much as Oliver does. His love and care for his wife may seem mechanical but has more layers than we may initially identify. He understands Erika’s difficult childhood having had one of his own.
Vid and Tiffany, the hosts for the evening, are colorful characters. Vid is an electrician, albeit, a rich one. Vid is a property developer, who is a doting mother to Dakota, their daughter. Harry, their neighbor, is where the entire heart of the story lies. Prepare for a twist that will have you wrapped and screaming, “No-way!!!!!”
My favorite quote from the book is, “Everyone had another sort of life up their sleeve that might have made them happy.” It is one that I instantly related to. Moriarty’s best characteristic is that she has provided the reader with every character’s backstory. You will love this one.
To buy the book on amazon.com, click on https://amzn.to/3cPZoXJ